March 18, 1990 was an evening that Randy Mihelich would always remember. That evening, he was introduced to Elmhurst Hospital by his mother and father, and subsequently realized that his blood glucose was 1,029, far exceeding the typical vary. Randy was recognized with sort 1 diabetes that night, altering the course of his life eternally. He knew that diabetes wasn’t a illness he’d ever have the opportunity to “turn off,” however he courageously chugged ahead, finally studying how to higher settle for and handle the bodily and emotional trappings of sort 1 diabetes via Association camp packages.
Randy met his spouse, Katie, in school. She’s been totally supportive of his diabetes since they met, carrying further glucose tabs, holding onto his insulin and pictures and describing their relationship expertise as “nothing out of the ordinary.” However, her perspective on diabetes care utterly modified when their eldest daughter, Ava, was recognized in 2013 at age 4. Both Randy and Katie’s hearts sank after they heard the information, however Ava—the spirited, bundle of power she is—remained optimistic. She had her father as a diabetes function mannequin, and her mom as an exemplary basis of care.
Randy’s rapid plan upon Ava’s analysis was to ship her to one among our camp packages. For him, camp was an enlightening expertise that welcomed a completely new community of youngsters into his life—youngsters who have been “just like him,” coping with the on a regular basis challenges of managing diabetes, who would turn out to be lifelong associates. He needed the identical for Ava.
At solely 4 years outdated, Ava adopted her father’s footsteps and attended her first camp, the place she realized to verify her blood glucose, rely carbohydrates, independently administer insulin and develop a greater understanding of her illness. Most importantly, Ava fostered friendships that may final a lifetime. Molly, Ava’s youthful sister, acted as a supportive sidekick, attending camp alongside her and taking part in a big caregiver function within the household’s on a regular basis diabetes administration.
Shortly after Ava’s first camp expertise, the Mihelich household started using within the Chicagoland Tour de Cure, one among our fundraising biking occasions. This occasion raises crucial funds for diabetes analysis, advocacy and packages akin to camp. “Team Ava’s Peeps” invitations associates, household and fellow campers to experience 10 miles via the attractive, suburban trails of Chicagoland, all in assist of Randy, Ava and your complete diabetes group. In addition to rallying the Mihelich community behind this vital trigger, Ava additionally used her story to leverage fundraising on company groups. In 2014, she spoke to a room stuffed with Walgreens executives, urging them to assist Association packages like camp via occasions like Tour de Cure.
From a number of generations of camps to Tour de Cure, our packages have bonded the Mihelich Family for greater than 25 years, offering hope, custom and a lifetime of treasured reminiscences. In June 2017, we have been proud to honor Randy, Katie, Ava and Molly on the Chicago Father of the Year Awards because the Association’s Chicago Mission Family after they raised over $30,000 through the occasion’s Fund-A-Mission program. Randy and Ava haven’t been ready to “turn off” their diabetes, however they select to embrace its on a regular basis challenges, in hopes to sometime notice our imaginative and prescient: a life freed from diabetes and all its burdens.
As a long-time National Sponsor of the American Diabetes Association, Walgreens promotes the significance of bodily exercise with company groups that take part in Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes® and Tour de Cure® occasions throughout the nation, and thru our summer season camps the place youth be taught independence and useful abilities wanted to dwell a full and wholesome life.