A Volunteer Perspective by Galinie Zisimopoulou

My name is Galinie Zisimopoulou and I currently live in Greenwich. I am of Greek origin, but lived in the UK for a long time, came to the US in 2016 and then moved to Greenwich in 2017.

Galinie and her family

I have been a diabetic for almost 25 years now, having been diagnosed at the age of 14. At the time of my diagnosis, and during the first few months of treatment, I had to use a syringe twice a day to inject insulin. I am very excited to see all the progress that has been made to diabetes management and technology throughout the years, and I am really hopeful for a cure!!

I first got involved with JDRF when I participated as a volunteer at the 2018 Hudson Valley Gala. It was such an emotional experience for me, despite having been type 1 for many, many years. I never had the chance to really connect face to face with other people who are managing type 1 themselves, or their kids or relatives! It was a great experience, and it really felt like home! I’d always wanted to be involved with JDRF, even when I was in the UK, but I never got to do it. I was very happy to find out about our local chapter and wanted to immediately get involved!

While I am very passionate about helping the newly diagnosed, I am also very excited about helping out at the chapter galas and fundraising for JDRF! I was determined to be involved at this year’s Gala and felt honored to be given the opportunity to do so this year as a Gala committee member. I am really excited about the fund-a-cure campaign this year and can’t wait to see the amazing video that we’ve worked hard to create.

When I’m not volunteering my time to JDRF, I’m busy with my 3 1/2 year old son I adore playing with, and a busy household, but I also spend my time meeting with friends or going out for walks.

When people ask me what I’ll do when a cure is found, I can’t even begin to think about what I would do! I think I would cry from happiness for days, and then I would throw away all the life saving devices I have been using over the years. Then I would go on holiday without thinking about all the supplies and insulin I needed before, eat pizza without thinking about it, and finally have a good night’s sleep!

Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 job, and it is something that is constantly on my mind. Thinking that someday I may not think about it as constantly as I do now is a very weird concept for me. I want to see a future where I won’t have to worry about planning every meal or trip around type one, and seeing how much support and generosity is given by our donors gives me hope that one day I will.

By Galinie Zisimopoulou