ratterman family 2016In Leslie’s words—“My connection with KWC started off at arms length honestly. We were overwhelmed by the generosity and the udder idea that anyone (KWC) knew our precious little girl, Jade only 8 years old was diagnosed with Type 1 and in the hospital.   I tried to get more involved with KWC within the first year and my body was willing but my mind was weak. It took all I had to process the diagnosis and what it meant to our family. I realized later, I was going through the grieving process and after the first year or so decided enough was enough. With the gentle nudges and constant support from Daph and her family, they welcomed me with open arms in December of 2012 to the board. I am so thankful they did. Now I attend every event possible, assist with the Gala and other gatherings, and help wherever I can. I have made wonderful connections with local companies who support our cause. Our entire family—my husband Phil, son, Cody, and daughter Jade and I have a wonderful group of people within KWC that we call family.”  While Leslie doesn’t think her BS of Science in Physical Education, specializing in Fitness and Wellness doesn’t help our cause much, all education matters.  Experience in being a human pancreas for Jade, years of volunteer efforts, three sisters, her knowledge of T1 diabetes and her amazing speaking ability are impacting our Type 1 community and helping the KWC Foundation mission succeed in a big way.

What I do at Kids With Courage:
My role within KWC is being a part of the team. With our education classes to our One Inspired Evening and our group outings…I do whatever I’m asked and help wherever I’m needed. Daph likes to think of me as the “voice” of KWC. I do speak for the team a lot, but they are words shared by everyone in the group. I enjoy this role as it takes all of us to make it work. We all have our strengths to give to KWC and I’m honored to be a part of it!

What I like most about being involved with KWC:
I enjoy the interaction between the kids the most. Watching everyone be able to check their sugar, need a snack and talk the T1 talk is awesome. It’s a time and place where the kids aren’t “different” and can share their experiences or compare pumps! Getting to know the parents is a true blessing on my part too. People just don’t understand in general the severity of this challenge daily, and being able to talk shop with other adults is such great therapy!

If I could meet one person from the past or present, who would it be and why?
It would be my husband’s father. What an amazing man he must have been to have such an awesome family! He was so gifted, talented and artistic. I know he’d be making and selling his crafts to help support KWC today if he were here.

Place I would love to travel:
I’m honestly not a big traveler and very much a homebody. One thing I would really like to do is an Alaskan cruise someday. I suffer from terrible motion sickness so I’m not super anxious about it. Would just love to see the wild life.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading, exercising, singing, sewing and mostly being with my family! Time goes by so fast, and I’m trying to treasure each moment!

Many people would be surprised if they knew I…
I’m not as confident in dealing with T1 as you might think. My husband Phil and I have a system. I do the daily management and he runs the numbers. I am terrible at math and truly don’t like it. I like to think that is God’s way of giving me relief through humor.