Reagan Moore has been living with T1D since she was 9 years old. Now a psychology major at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, Reagan’s goal is to become a mental health professional.
“Mental health is so important to me because it hits so close to home. Depression and anxiety runs throughout my family. In the Black community, it can be hard for people to cope and understand their mental illnesses because for decades it has been discarded.”
She also understands the importance of mental health for people living with T1D. About the idea that being diagnosed can make people feel isolated and alone, this Mover, Shaker, and T1D Changemaker says, “I felt the exact same way when I was first diagnosed, and all I can say is to teach others about diabetes as you are learning about it. This will allow others to potentially help you when you are feeling lonely or feel like no one understands you. It may feel like your world is crashing around you, but T1D is manageable, and you can do it!”
Sam DiGaetano of Pennington, New Jersey, has been living with T1D since he was 11 years old. The 25-year-old investment advisor representative has since regularly participated in a great number of JDRF events, including the TypeOneNation Summit.
A true Mover, Shaker, and T1D Changemaker, Sam highly values the T1D community. “You’re never alone. Things always get better and you can live a long, successful life with T1D. It is hard. You will struggle. It makes us stronger and I use T1D as a backbone for strength. It’s easier said than done, but it’s vital to remain happy and positive.”
Dr. Jose M Jimenez
Dr. Jose M Jimenez Vega aka “Dr. Jose” is a Hispanic, bilingual pediatric endocrinologist from Michigan. Dr. Jose’s goal as a provider is to make sure all of his patients and their families feel comfortable with their diabetes care team.
Dr. Jose says that communicating with patients and families in the best language that suits them can make them feel more confident to learn about and ask questions around their diabetes care. He says he will continue to advocate to various healthcare partners for all voices in the diabetes community to be heard and feel represented.
Sophia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) when she was 5 years old. She has always loved art and being creative, but really started to focus on it during the Covid-19 safer-at-home period. Because school was virtual and most things were closed, she spent hours each day painting, drawing and watching art how-to videos.
This past year, Sophia produced the custom artwork for JDRF’s T1Detect Screening and Awareness marketing campaign. Sophia was thrilled to be involved in this project—her blood sugar was at 597 when she was diagnosed and was fortunate to get checked because of a close family friend that also has the disease. Sophia wanted to help spread awareness of T1D screening because it is one way to help prepare for and prevent serious complications that can occur during a diagnosis.
The Hagans Family
Patty and Fred Hagans became involved with JDRF in 1992 when their son William was diagnosed with T1D at age 12. Their commitment to finding a cure for their son and others, and their belief in JDRF’s mission makes them stay involved, always going above and beyond for the organization as volunteers and generous supporters. The entire family, including their daughter Lindsay, have played an active role in support of Walks, Gala, and other Chapter events.
In addition, Fred has served as Chapter Board President, and William is the current President of the Houston Gulf Coast Community Board. In 2020, William co-chaired their successful virtual Promise Ball with his friends, Shannon and Ernest Hunter. This event was featured in the Houston Chronicle for creating a unique and fun experience for the Gala guests.
The daughter of former basketball players, Lauren Cox’s skills and love for the game came naturally when she started playing in kindergarten. Ranked by ESPN as the “Top recruit” in the country, the Texas native selected Baylor University where she became a star forward, averaging 12.5 points a game her senior year. Lauren’s accomplishments include 2018 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention, 2019 NCAA Championship, winning three gold medals with USA Basketball, and the 2020 co-recipient of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s (USBWA) Pat Summitt Award for Courage, alongside her sister Whitney Cox. Now a 6-foot-4 power forward, Lauren’s biggest achievement is being the #3 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft.
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at seven years old, Lauren is the first player with T1D in the WNBA. Her experiences growing up with T1D and determination to thrive in the face of the disease have fueled her passion to join efforts with JDRF as an ambassador to help raise awareness and funding for research, and to inspire youth and other young adults that they too can push through the challenges of T1D and achieve their dreams.