We offered to let one of the Youth Ambassadors take over the blog this month and first-year YA Xavier was the first to raise his hand!
Xavier just finished up the second grade and has been living with type 1 diabetes (“T1D”) for over four years now. We first met Xavier and his family at the JDRF One Walk held at Liberty State Park shortly after his diagnosis. They’ve been a part of our community ever since then.
In his application to become a Youth Ambassador, Xavier shared that he feels happy about his diagnosis because he gets to meet new friends. “When diabetes becomes hard sometimes I just live my best life and be happy.” Xavier is an active member of our Blue Crew – that’s our meet-up group for grade school aged kids living with T1D.
He’s been incredibly engaged as a Youth Ambassador by creating original artwork for our Metro Roadsters, sending personalized videos and notes to JDRF supporters, interviewing his brother for National Siblings Day and he’s even led his first fundraiser for his Walk Team at a local restaurant.
We asked Xavier to share a little bit about his experiences so far this year:
“As a Youth Ambassador, I have been able help others and make new friends who were newly diagnosed with diabetes. I like that I get to help my other diabuddies who are having a hard time. I never let diabetes hold me back from having fun and playing all the sports I like. If I go low, I have a juice and I get right back in the game. Diabetes isn’t always easy, but I’m stronger!
One time when I was playing football, I had a really low blood sugar. I was on the field and double dropping at 40 and it made me really frustrated that I had to stop playing. It was a really bad low so I had to sit out a long time while I boosted. It made me sad that I couldn’t play right away and even though I was a little scared.
I knew my mom had my back and wouldn’t let anything happen to me. After a few minutes of boosting and some finger sticks I was ready to go back and play again. The best part of the day was that we went on to win the championship for my town and we even got medals and cupcakes!
While I have to take breaks because of diabetes, it never keeps me from doing anything I want to do.”
Xavier, we’re glad you’re on our Team and we know that you are using your voice to make a big impact within our T1D community!
If your grade school aged child would like to connect with our Blue Crew, keep an eye on our calendar of events for upcoming meet-ups! Applications for the 2022 Youth Ambassador program will be available in the fall. If your child is interested in applying, email Outreach Coordinator Gretchen Van Mater.