With a passion for serving her Metro Detroit community through various volunteer efforts, 15-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Lefief is dedicated to staying healthy and managing her type 1 diabetes (T1D) so she can play a bigger role in making the world a better place.
Diagnosed after losing 28 pounds over the course of two months, Alex, then 12, decided early that life must go on. She adopted a positive attitude and now “wakes up every day with a smile.” She prides herself on the ability to hold her head high and thanks JDRF for providing her opportunities to not only share her story but also build her confidence as a young teen.
“Living with type 1 doesn’t stop me from helping others, seeing my friends and enjoying life, but at times, it has been a struggle to stay confident,” Alex shared. “When I was first diagnosed during the spring of 2017, I was afraid to go back to school and thought I would be bullied and made fun of. Now, I see how supportive everyone was, and continues to be, and I can talk with other kids who may be struggling with the same fear.”
Alex offers those living with T1D who are unsure of the journey ahead the following bits of advice that have helped her along the way: “Although it’s easier said than done, you should always be yourself. I am an energetic and eccentric person, and I have never let type 1 stop me from being Alex Lefief. Keep doing you, don’t let the disease take over, and go with the flow. Eventually, type 1 will become a smaller part of you, and the things that make you truly YOU will shine.”
When Alex is having her “off days” and her blood sugar is low, her family and friends cheer her on, are always ready to help, and know how passionate she is about supporting a cure. “Whether they are helping me fundraise for JDRF’s One Walk or sending news articles on the latest type 1 research, it means so much they have my back, and I want to do that for others.”
As a newer member to the JDRF family, Alex has found that her passion and capacity to volunteer has not seized, but grown. “Being a volunteer at Fund-a-Cure, serving as a Youth Ambassador and sharing what life is like for a teen with Type 1 has been lifechanging and reminds me I really am making a difference.” Next year, she is planning on joining the Children’s Congress to do her part in fighting for the T1D cure.
Until then, Alex and her JDRF One Walk team, Type 1 Destroyers, are fundraising to support T1D research ahead of the 36th annual Detroit JDRF One Walk on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at Milliken State Park/ Detroit River Walk. For more information or to register for One Walk, please click here.