BEAVERCREEK — The JDRF Southwest Ohio chapter recently chose Braden Cox from Beavercreek to be a member of the JDRF Youth Ambassador program for the 2019-2020 school year. This competitive program each year selects children who live with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and who serve as a great example of living with the disease. Braden was diagnosed at the age of 12 and excels through his support and commitment to fundraising for the JDRF and their goal to find a cure.
Braden is now 16 and is a junior at Beavercreek High School. In this role, he will represent JDRF and share his experience about living with T1D. When asked about living with T1D he said, “While T1D can be a struggle each and every day, it has helped me to learn perseverance and live each day with gratitude.”
The Youth Ambassador program was created to empower children with T1D by giving them the opportunity to provide diabetes education to the public. Braden Cox is one of an estimated 30,800 residents of the southwest Ohio area who live with T1D. T1D is an autoimmune disease where the body destroys its own insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, and it can strike anyone at any age and at any time.
T1D is often misunderstood, which is why the awareness-building aspect of the Youth Ambassador role is so important. “JDRF Youth Ambassadors are a critical part of our work, as they help advance the cause and build awareness of type 1 diabetes,” said chapter Executive Director Melissa Newman. “These young people volunteer their time and put themselves out there in sharing their story, which includes the struggles of living with T1D, and we are appreciative of their efforts.”
During the next year, Braden will provide health education throughout the community to raise support and awareness of type 1 diabetes. He will speak to businesses, schools, and hospitals, as well as participate in JDRF sanctioned outreach events. Youth Ambassadors have a positive outlook on life and diabetes, and also represent JDRF at various local events.