Student Spotlight: Sammy

"Walking for Mom"

JDRF is excited to shine the Kids Walk Student Spotlight on Sammy, a second grade student at Kingston Elementary School in New Jersey. Sammy walks in honor of his mom, Lori, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) as a teenager. Kingston School has been hosting JDRF Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes since 2009, and Sammy was excited to learn about and participate in his first Walk as a kindergartner. Since then, Sammy has raised an incredible $1,865 to support JDRF-funded T1D research!

About two weeks before the Kids Walk at Kingston, Sammy learned about T1D and JDRF with his classmates. "When he came home that day, he told me about what he learned at school and started asking me lots of questions about T1D", says Lori. From there, the two visited the JDRF Kids Walk website and shared their story on Sammy’s personal fundraising page. Lori shared the link to the page using the "Fundraise with Facebook" application, and donations started pouring in! "Sharing the link on Facebook made it really easy for friends and family to learn about what Sammy was doing and make donations online," she says.

Described as a "sports fanatic" by his mom, Sammy loves to watch all sports and plays soccer and basketball. He also likes to take long walks with his mom, and he understands the extra steps she needs to take before, during, and after their walks to manage her blood sugars. "He is very patient with me, and he understands that sometimes I need to wait a while before we take a walk if my blood sugar is low," Lori says. Still, it is during these times that Sammy often remarks that he "wishes there was a world without diabetes."

Sammy was nominated to be featured in the Student Spotlight by JDRF Senior Development Coordinator Ashley Trasser. "It’s amazing to see how much money he raised online over the past two years! You really don’t see too many students raising over $1000-what an awesome kid!" she says.

The money raised by great kids like Sammy will help JDRF continue to work towards making his wish (and the wish of so many others) for a world without T1D a reality. Thanks for all your hard work, Sammy, and congratulations on earning your spot in the JDRF Student Spotlight!

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