Sophomore Ashley Randall rides her way to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes

Maddie Cohen, Assistant Features Editor

Sophomore Ashley Randall was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2007 when she was only nine.  Ashley volunteered at her first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) ride, a charity bike race to raise money for juvenile diabetes research, in 2010 at the JDRF Tahoe Ride to Cure Diabetes.

In 2011, Ashley participated in  a JDRF Ride in Tucson.

She was awarded “Top Fundraiser Award” for completing a 62 mile bike ride in Tucson, Arizona for  JDRF. The award goes to the person who has raised the most money by Ride Day and Randall certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Randall’s fundraising successes and her ability to raise awareness for diabetes stems from her ability to get the community involved.  Randall emails camp friends, and family friends about her cause and circulates a newsletter informing people about how close medical science is to curing Type 1 diabetes.  Also, Ashley encourages awareness about the her money-raising efforts.

“Hopefully through my fundraising, I can play a small part in helping to find a cure and assist families in need,” said Randall.

This year, Randall raised $14,780 in about four months for the JDRF Long Island Chapter.

“I was extremely thankful for all the generous donations that I received from friends and family,” said Randall.

Not only did Randall win “Top Fundraiser Award,” but she will also be the honoree for the youth achievement award this year at Winthrop’s Bite of Hope fundraiser.  The annual event raises funds for the Winthrop’s Pediatric Diabetes Program, which offers free psychosocial services to patients. Since these services are not always covered by insurance, many of these families struggle to help their children with their illnesses. Therefore, the proceeds from the fundraiser will enable the program to provide emotional support for children with diabetes and teach them to successfully manage their illness.

Randall’s youth achievement award is given to  a role model who is involved in the community, by fundraising and assisting others with diabetes.  This year’s Winthrop’s Bite of Hope event is Nov. 20 at The Inn in New Hyde Park.

Families who are affected by diabetes meet with their representatives and senators during local town hall meetings and at events throughout the country.  On Feb. 24, Ashley met with Congressman Steve Israel to share her story as part of her JDRF ambassadorship.

“Our hope is that the Promise to Remember Me Campaign will put a face to the millions of Americans who live with the diseases and result in commitments by Members of Congress to support federal policies that will speed our path to a cure,” said JDRF representatives.

The JDRF Promise to Remember Me Campaign asks Members of Congress to “promise to remember” those who are affected with diabetes.

“Diabetes has definitely taken a toll on my life. I am constantly counting carbs, checking my glucose levels, and giving insulin shots, but it has taught me to value what I have and that I can’t let one thing control my life,” said Randall.