As Founder of the Kids With Courage Foundation, you’ve likely already read about my connection to Type 1 diabetes and are discovering and learning about our kids battling Type 1, our precious reasons behind its creation. What you may not know is how challenging the journey is to create an organization from nothing more than an idea.  My many years of administrative work at Kansas City Southern Industries and small business management only somewhat prepared me.  A quote from Newt Gingrich comes to mind and pretty much nails it—“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” 

The quote also reminds me of what our kids with Type 1 are challenged with and must endure everyday for the rest of their lives. They, can’t give up. They can’t quit.  They cannot take a vacation from their fight. It’s not an option. Their lives depend upon it.  Our work is because of their amazing spirits and that is what keeps us moving forward.
 

Kids With Courage has many heroes–our friends, supporters, board, staff, volunteers, parents of children, brothers, sisters, families where T1 lives, doctors, educators, nurses, nutritionists, mental health professionals but most of all our children and young people who must find a way to face, battle, endure and live life the best that they can..  And, each and every one of them hold a special place in my heart!  We’re doing this.  Together.  And, we’re making a big difference!!

What I do at Kids With Courage:
I have the privilege to G.I.V.E. and being part of:
Growth: To provide the opportunity to help an increasing number of children.
Improvement: to continually improve program offerings and the delivery of services.
Viability: To manage scarce resources with efficiency.
Enrichment: To enrich the lives of all people who we come in contact.

What I like most about being involved with KWC:
It’s really tough to narrow it down. I/we are proud to have a positive effect on the lives of children and young people battling Type 1 diabetes. Kids with Type 1 are remarkable! They require strength beyond what most of us can comprehend as they battle this horrible disease each day of their life. It is an honor to get to know these incredible kids. And, it is especially joyful to bring people together (supporters and volunteers) who don’t take good health for granted, people who realize that society is shaped by the contributions of many who have overcome adversity in their lives, as adversity brings knowledge, and knowledge wisdom. These people really care about all children and want to make a difference in the lives of our brave kids and young people. They realize that if we want our young people to be prepared when society needs them, we need to be there for them when they need us.

If I could meet one person from the past or present, who would it be and why?
Elizabeth Evans Hughes. Elizabeth was born in 1907 and diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. Elizabeth was one of the earliest American patients to receive insulin. (Discovered in 1921) Elizabeth was just hours from death weighing only 43 pounds when she was injected with insulin—a medical miracle. It would have been great to get to know her.

Place I would love to travel:
The Tuscany region of Italy

What are your hobbies?
Decorating, reading.

Many people would be surprised if they knew I…
Was born in California, but moved here as a young girl. Raised by a single mom with 2 brothers and 1 sister and we lived in the housing projects of Kansas City.

About your connection with Kids With Courage:
Founder.