Central Virginia Youth Advocate
A note from our Youth Advocate, Dylan White
"I want to teach everyone about diabetes and its effect on their lives, and am joining 'Step Out' to help find a cure!"
Dylan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 6 years old, during her second week of first grade at Millwood School. Ending up in the ICU after her diagnosis, she was able to return to school nine days later. Diabetes has been a major life change for Dylan. The constant needle pricks and doctor visits are a new normal – even at such a young age. Every time she eats she has to check her blood glucose levels with finger sticks and make sure she takes her insulin shots to balance those levels and keep her alive.
Dylan has to remember to check her blood sugar at school, even if when she is busy with her schoolwork and her fingertips hurt. She also has to get tested after lunch when her classmates are having recess, so she sometimes misses the recess break. However Dylan thanks all those who have been there to help her through this major life change. Before getting an insulin pump, her teachers helped her monitor her blood sugar and give her the insulin shots needed.
In becoming this year’s Youth Advocate Dylan not only wants to help find a cure, but also help educate and show fellow Red Strider’s that with eating well and living a healthy lifestyle, you can still do the things you love. You can live with the disease and manage it. She has learned that she can still do anything she sets her mind to doing. She recently tried out for the Elite Kickers all girls soccer team – and made it! Dylan continues to enjoy playing various sports, riding her bike, and art classes.
Interested in being a Youth Advocate?
Is your child one of the 23.6 million Americans that has diabetes? Approximately 39,000 children between the ages of 12-19 have diabetes. The alarming reality is that 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050, if current trends continue. Every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes. Every 17 seconds there is a new reason to get involved, raise awareness and empower your children to make a difference in their lives and the lives of all who are affected by this disease.
The Central Virginia office the American Diabetes Association is searching for our 2013 Youth Advocate(s) between the ages of 7 and 17. The purpose of a Youth Advocate is to put a human face on the Association’s mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Youth Advocates share their personal experiences of living with diabetes to help motivate and recruit members of the community to become involved in our efforts to Stop Diabetes. They will also work hand in hand with Association staff to create awareness about the work of the Association.
The benefits of this program are tremendous for all involved. American Diabetes Association Youth Advocates have the opportunity to motivate friends, family and members of the community to join in the fight for a cure for diabetes by becoming involved with the Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. Advocates help people in the community understand the importance of participating in Step Out as well as help them focus on fundraising efforts. In return, Advocates have the opportunity to share their stories, receive support from their community and feel a sense of enpowerment – that they are an active part in the effort to Stop Diabetes.
Advocate duties could include but are not limited to:
- Record local PSAs
- Willing to do interviews for media (newspaper, TV and radio)
- Speak and attend local events, including kick off events, rallies etc.
- Provide information and photograph for publication, including the Step Out brochure
- Be willing to have input on local newsletters and communications – write and submit pieces upfront so Association staff has access to when developing correspondence to constituents, etc.
- Form a Walk Team of five or more participants
- Be present at Step Out: Walk To Stop Diabetes
- The Advocate would be encouraged to attend local Walk planning meetings to help promote and plan the walk.
- Be willing to be an advocate for the Association
- Have a supply of brochures/posters on hand to deliver in the community when “out and about”
- Allow letters of invitation to be sent out to constituents from Advocate for participation in various local events (the Association will assist in drafting and preparation as well as cover mailing costs)
The Local Association Staff would consider other suggestions and ideas.
If you, or someone you know, are interested in the Central Virginia Youth Advocate opportunity, please fill out the application or contact Nancy Castrina for more information at (804) 225-8038 ext. 3287 or email@example.com.
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