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From her mom, Rachel:

I am nominating Ashley for this award because she has been an advocate, role model and inspiration for other children and adults suffering with Type 1 DM. As a nurse practitioner, I have treated countless patients with diabetes so when I noticed her frequent urination, I became concerned. She was seven years old at the time and received the diagnosis of Type 1 DM shortly thereafter. From that point forward, she grew up quickly. Within two days of diagnosis, she was doing her own blood sugars and within one week, she asked us to let her do her own insulin injections. She didn’t have any other kids in her school who were diabetic, and she strove to be “normal” so she learned how to count carbs and take the appropriate amount of insulin for the food she was eating. She wanted to sleep over at other kids houses and play sports without relying on others. Of course, as her mother, I was closely monitoring her progress, but I couldn’t have been prouder of how she was handling things. When she was 10, she started attending the WI Lion’s Camp during Diabetes Week. This experience was life changing. She found other kids “just like her” and began to make lifelong friends. She valued the lessons she learned there about truly living with diabetes and not just surviving. She attended camp yearly from age 10-17. In grade school, she played volleyball and basketball and was on a competitive dance team. In high school, she made the varsity dance as a sophomore and excelled academically, being admitted to the National Honor Society. After graduating high school, she decided to follow in my footsteps and began nursing school at University of Pittsburgh. She worked as a nursing assistant, anatomy and physiology teaching assistant and served as a resident assistant during her sophomore and junior years. She volunteered for a mission trip to Honduras after her Junior year. However, every summer she returned to the Lion’s Camp to be a student volunteer during Diabetes Week so she could help other young diabetics learn how to truly live with the disease. After graduating from nursing school, she volunteered at camp as a medical professional. In her professional role, she co-leads the Diabetes Committee for the Advocate Health Midwest Region as she continues to advocate for the highest quality care for diabetics. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this Journey Award!

Thriving with T1D
since 1999

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