Board of Directors - Help a Diabetic Child

Board of Directors

Tami Balavage President/Founder

PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

(239) 821-5051


When my son was diagnosed my life was changed forever. Watching my son live with this disease every second of every minute of every hour knowing that he will always be affected by this disease has opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, adult-onset blindness, and lower limb amputations. Diabetes is also a significant cause of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and nerve damage. Diabetics are always at risk for these complications, which can happen early in life if their diabetes is not managed. As a mother of a child with Type 1 diabetes, my worst fear is that my son will be the victim of these complications.

Michael J Haller MD

MEDICAL DIRECTOR


Dr. Haller is the Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Florida, College of medicine. He is an active investigator in the NIH funded Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet studies as well as The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in Youth (TEDDY) study. Dr. Haller has also served as the principal investigator of “first in man” studies aimed at using autologous umbilical cord blood stem cells as a potential therapy for Type 1 Diabetes. In addition, he has served as the PI of studies seeking to determine the potential of a combination of FDA approved immunotherapeutics to augment the autoimmune destruction of islets in patients with recent onset Type 1 Diabetes. Dr. Haller has been awarded the Lawson Wilkins Clinical Scholar award, a JDRF innovative research grant, two NIH R21 awards, a JDRF Early Career Clinically Oriented award, and support from the Hemsley Trust to support his work in developing combination therapies for Type 1 Diabetes. In 2008, Dr.Haller, and his colleagues Dr. Desmond Schatz and Dr. Mark Atkinson received the JDRF’s highest award, the Mary Tyler Moore and S.Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award, for their team approach to developing therapies for Type 1 Diabetes.

Link: http://diabetes.ufl.edu/
Profile: diabetes.ufl.edu/research/our-team/michaelhaller/

Todd M. Brusko PhD

DIRECTOR


Dr. Brusko conducted his graduate training at the University of Florida, College of Medicine in the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences. While there he was awarded the Graduate Fellowship for Outstanding Research Award for his work in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Atkinson. Dr. Brusko went on to conduct his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) under the mentorship of Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone. Dr. Brusko’s work at UCSF was supported by a prestigious Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award sponsored by the JDRF. This work contributed to the first clinical trial employing regulatory T cells as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes. Dr. Brusko is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Florida where he conducts research at the Diabetes Center of Excellence

Links: diabetes.ufl.edu
Article by Dr. Brusko: Engineering Immune Cells To Stop Autoimmune Attacks Causing T1D
Lecture by Dr. Brusko: Read Lecture
Profile: bruskolab.diabetes.ufl.edu/about-dr-brusko

Kristi Balavage MD

DIRECTOR


Dr. Balavage is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine, where she also completed her undergraduate education. As a Summa Cum Laude undergraduate, she was one of 17 students selected to the combined B.S/M.D Medical Honors Program, and began medical school during her senior year of college. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in the research laboratory of Dr. Todd Brusko at the UF Diabetes Institute. Her work in the lab resulted in a 1st place oral presentation at the 2015 Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatric Medical Student Research Forum for her talk “Assessing the functional capacity of regulatory T cells derived from cryopreserved umbilical cord blood for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.” During her time in medical school, she was actively involved in the Equal Access Clinic (EAC), a network of medical student-run free clinics to provide care for the underserved population of Gainesville, as a Women’s Night Officer. In addition to local health outreach, Dr. Balavage was involved with global health outreach and participated in a week-long trip to various regions in Ecuador to provide basic health care. Dr. Balavage also has an interest in medical education, and was chosen from among her classmates to pilot a group-tutoring program in which upper-level medical students design review lectures for first-year medical students. She was selected to be a medical student member of the UF College of Medicine Interview Committee, and participated in interviewing UF medical school applicants alongside the admissions committee. During her fourth year of medical school, she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society. Dr. Balavage is Fellowship of Laparoscopic Surgeons Certified and is completing residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

UF College of Medicine
Class of 2018
ktbalavage@ufl.edu

Dolph von Arx


Help a Diabetic Child Foundation is proud to announce that Dolph von Arx has joined its Board of Directors.

Dolph and Sharon von Arx have been philanthropic and service pillars of the Naples area for more than thirty years during which time numerous organizations have benefited from their generosity which, in turn, has enriched our community greatly. Organizations and institutions that have been fortunate to work closely alongside The von Arx Family Foundation include the Naples Accelerator, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Youth Haven, The Shelter for Abused Women and Children, The Community Foundation of Collier County, Hodges University, The Naples Museum of Art, The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts and NCH Healthcare Systems, where Mr. von Arx served for 11 years as Chairman of the Board and now, Help a Diabetic Child. Dolph and Sharon have been in leadership positions in almost every organization to which they have lent their names and continually strive for the betterment of our area. Serving as co-chairs of the Annual Florida Diabetes and Wellness Conference has raised the bar of this conference’s goals, which are to educate the public and medical community about the latest in diabetes research, treatment and prevention and to help further establish the conference as an annual mainstay event at Florida Southwestern State College.

John Reisman

DIRECTOR


John Reisman received his Undergraduate Degree from American University with a B.S. in Business Administration from the Kogad Business School. He continued his studies at New York University where he received a Master of Science Degree in Real Estate Development & Investment. John graduated top of his class from NYU and was presented with the Award of Highest Scholastic Achievement from the 1991 graduating class. He is a Licensed General Contractor in the State of Florida. John has been a Type 1 diabetic since the age of 14 and is an active member of the JDRF Southwest Florida Chapter. John’s oldest daughter is also a Type 1 diabetic since the age of 7.

Since April 1994, John has overseen the Florida operations, which have been responsible for permitting and building over 2,000 homes and apartments. John is a resident of Naples, Florida, where he currently lives with his two daughters, Julia and Jayda.

Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA


Nicole Johnson has nearly 25 years of experience in marketing/communications, academic behavioral health research, and non profit management. She is an award winning author and communicator who started her career when named Miss America 1999.

Nicole is the National Director of Express Feedback for Good at HundredX where she focuses on building relationships with non-profit organizations to amplify their audience engagement and fundraising strategies.

Over the years, Nicole has served on many advisory boards including the Florida Governor’s Diabetes Advisory Council, the NIH Council of Public Representatives and the national boards for both the American Diabetes Association and JDRF. Nicole has been recognized for her work around the world. She is a recipient of the Charles H. Best Medal for Distinguished Service in the Cause of Diabetes, the C. Everett Koop Medal for Health Promotion and has been recognized by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Regent University.

She has a Doctor of Public Health degree, as well as Master’s degrees in Public Health and Communication.

Desmond Schatz MD

DIRECTOR


Dr. Schatz is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Associate Director of the GCRC at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He served as the 2016 President for the American Diabetes Association. He has been involved in Type 1 diabetes research since the mid-80s and has published over 340 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several JDRF and NIH awards. He is currently PI of the University of Florida Clinical Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet. He serves as co-PI on a Program Project Grant looking at the immunopathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes, and also serves as co-PI of the Florida-Georgia Center in the international TEDDY consortium. He has served in numerous capacities for the American Diabetes Association and on study sections and site visits for the NIDDK and JDRF. He also serves on the external advisory board for the NIH- and CDC-funded SEARCH study and the TODAY study in youth with type 2 diabetes and on the JDRF-funded Australian INIT II studies. He was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore and S Robert Levine JDRF Excellence in Clinical Research Award together with his colleagues, Mark Atkinson and Mike Haller, as well as the 2009 Cure Award from the American Diabetes Association.

Profile: https://diabetes.ufl.edu/desmondschatz/

Lowell Lohman

DIRECTOR


After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry, Lowell, a Florida native, launched a career as an entrepreneur. He ultimately owned 60 companies predominately in Florida as well as in Atlanta, Georgia and Phoenix, Arizona. As an entrepreneur, Lowell’s story and strategies for building multimillion-dollar family businesses are detailed in his recent book The Lohman Way.
Throughout his career Lowellfocused on business management as well as sales and marketing. He created a cemetery industry sales manual that continues to be referenced today. He shared his business wisdom and expertise in both training reference manuals and through regularly taught training sessions. His training classes have continued to be taught through a series of video recorded training sessions. His “teach and share” mentality and business advice has been captured in his book.

Lowell was president and CEO of the largest, private family-owned operator of funeral homes and cemeteries in Florida with 34 locations. Since the sale of their funeral properties, Lowell, his son Ty and wife Nancy have bought and sold over 24 apartment complexes in Orlando, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach totaling more than 4,000 apartments. In the last year and a half, they have sold 15 apartment complexes for over $200 million.

Lowell served on the board of directors of several state cemetery and funeral associations. He has been master of ceremonies and a keynote speaker at numerous state and national trade association meetings as well as entrepreneur conferences and summits, particularly on leadership. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. He also received the Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement and received the Halifax Humane Society’s humanitarian awards.

Lowell was the captain of his Vero Beach High School baseball team with a school-record batting average of .509. He was captain and quarterback of his high schoolfootball team as well and voted most athletic in his high school class. He attended college on a baseball scholarship, was captain of his college baseball team and voted Most Valuable Playerstriking out 19 batters in one game, a school record. Lowell quarterbacked a competitive 7-on-7 flag football teamand was inducted into both theU.S. Touch & Flag Football Hall of Fame and the FL Flag Football Hall of Fame. He was a two-time National Flag Football MVP and quarterbacked his team when they won the national flag football championship.

Jon Piganelli PhD

DIRECTOR


Dr Piganelli is Associate Professor of Surgery, Immunology and Pathology Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC and has been involved in studying immunology and autoimmunity in Type 1 Diabetes. His work primarily focuses on the role of oxidative stress and free radical generation and how it leads to secondary inflammation since the majority of pathological conditions have an inflammatory component. Also these redox reactions are critical for synergizing the innate and adaptive immune response, and exploitation of these reactions can modulate immune function. Dr. Piganelli has studied these interaction in both human islets isolated from cadaveric donors as well as in animal models of T1D like the NOD mouse. His work has demonstrated that modulation of redox-dependent signaling can have positive effects on controlling aberrant immune responses as well as the protection and preservation of organs and tissue for transplantation.

Profile: www.immunology.pitt.edu/person/jon-d-piganelli-phd

Michael Balavage

DIRECTOR


Michael is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in Psychology. While at USF Michael participated in a research program with Michael Schoenberg, PhD. Dr. Schoenberg is Chief, Neuropsychology Division, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and Clinical Director, Memory Disorders Clinic, at the University of South Florida. Michael is part of a team from the University of South Florida whose research was selected for presentation at the 44th annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Boston, MA. (Sever, R.W., Rum, R., Tabak, A., Nelson, R., Balavage, M., Osborn, K. E., Benbadis, S. R., Vale, F. L., Waseem, H., & Schoenberg, M. R. (2016, February). Seizure remission status following surgery for localization-related epilepsy associated with differences in postoperative WAIS-IV performance) Michael has been managing Type 1 Diabetes since December of 2010.

David Wagner PhD

DIRECTOR


Dr. Wagner received his BS in Chemistry/Biology in 1984 from King College in Tennessee. He received his MS and PhD in Biomedical Sciences from East Tennessee State University in 1987 and 1994 respectively. Dr. Wagner then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Immunology followed by a second Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Colorado Denver and the Barbara Davis Childhood DiabetesCenter in Diabetes/Immunology. He was appointed Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor at the University of Colorado in 2000, 2002, and 2008 respectively. Dr. Wagner is presently an Investigator at the Webb-Waring Institute for Cancer, Aging, and Antioxidant Research. In addition, he is Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care, Department of Medicine and Head, Section of Immunology at the Webb-Waring Center within the University of Colorado Department of Medicine. Dr. Wagner’s dedication to finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes brings hope to all who are dealing with this lifelong disease.

Profile: www.ucdenver.edu

David Marrero PhD

DIRECTOR


David G. Marrero, PhD, is the director of the UA Center for Border Health at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. The Center for Border Health works to develop programs and strategies to improve health and wellbeing along the U.S.-Mexico border and across the greater Southwest.
Dr. Marrero, whose research has focused on medication adherence, community health programs, early diabetes intervention and translational medicine, also is professor of public health at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion Sciences, and professor in the UA College of Medicine Tucson, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology.

The Center will focus on building extensive collaborative efforts to affect the treatment of type 2 diabetes in border populations. Working with the Arizona Area Health Education Centers (AzAHEC) and other UAHS centers, the Center for Border Health is establishing Regional Arizona Centers of Excellence in Clinical Research (or RACER sites) in Yuma and Nogales to provide mental health services for individuals with diabetes and to develop culturally appropriate and relevant training programs.

Dr. Marrero joins the UA Health Sciences after 20 years at Indiana University, where he served as director of its Diabetes Translational Research Center and the J.O. Ritchey Professor of Medicine. He was instrumental in the development of a Diabetes Prevention Program and the TRIAD study, which evaluated strategies to improve diabetes care delivery in managed-care settings, among many other achievements.

Twice awarded the Allene Von Son Award for Diabetes Patient Education Tools by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Dr. Marrero has been nominated to Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care in 2000, served as the associate editor for Diabetes Care (1997-2002) and is the associate editor for Diabetes Forecast. He was selected for an Alumni of the Year award from the University of California, Irvine in 2006 and Outstanding Educator in Diabetes in 2008 by the American Diabetes Association. In 2016, he served as the president for health care and education of the American Diabetes Association. His research interests also include strategies for promoting diabetes prevention, improving diabetes care practices used by primary care providers and the use of technology to facilitate care and education. His clinical interests include diabetes, obesity and coping.

Dr. Marrero received a bachelor’s degree (1974), master’s degree (1978) and doctorate (1982) in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

Henry Rodriguez, MD

DIRECTOR


Henry Rodriguez, MD is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, Clinical Director of the USF Diabetes Center, and Principal Investigator of the USF TrialNet Clinical Center. His career has focused on collaborative clinical research, clinical care, and education in type 1 diabetes. Dr. Rodriguez served as Principal Investigator and Clinical Center Director for the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Indiana University Clinical Center beginning at TrialNet’s inception in 2001 until his departure in 2010. He was recently awarded funding as PI and Director of the USF TrialNet Clinical Center. He has been an active member of the TrialNet in multiple capacities including Chair of the TrialNet Natural History Protocol Committee since 2010. He is also the PI for numerous diabetes clinical studies including the T1D Exchange USF Center and 9 industry sponsored trials investigating therapies in children and young adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Dr Rodriguez also cares for children at the Morisani Center located on the campus of the University of South Florida.

Pat Read Botthof

DIRECTOR


Pat Read Botthof holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in hospital and health administration from the University of Iowa. Pat has had a successful career in hospital administration for over 40 years. For 23 years she worked within the NCH Healthcare System, and for the last ten years, she has focused on women’s and children’s services. Pat has had a real and genuine passion for improving children’s services throughout her career.

It is interesting to note that her late father was a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Iowa where he authored the Constant Carbohydrate Diet which was one of the initial diets for people with diabetes. Because of her dad’s life work and her inherited passion for helping children, Pat has a warm spot in her heart for helping those dealing with diabetes.

Ashby Walker, PhD


Dr. Walker received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Emory University in 2007 and currently serves as the Director for Health Equity Initiatives at the University of Florida Diabetes Institute. Dr. Walker is a member of the North Florida American Diabetes Association Board, as well as an elected member of the American Diabetes Association National Health Disparities Committee and the Type 1 Exchange National Racial Disparities Working Group. Dr. Walker’s research as a medical sociologist focuses on pediatric type 1 diabetes and the role that social capital plays in determining health outcomes. She is the PI of several funded studies that aim to promote health equity for vulnerable populations with Type 1 Diabetes, including the All for ONE! program – a novel service-learning intervention using college students with Type 1 Diabetes as mentors for publicly insured teens with Type 1 Diabetes. Her most recently awarded grant, ECHO T1D, is a 1.6 million dollar collaborative initiative with Stanford University aimed at improving access to care for underserved T1D populations in the states of Florida and California. Her publications as a lead author have appeared in the International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology, Clinical Diabetes, and the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition. Dr. Walker is the recipient of five teaching, mentoring, and curriculum development awards and previously served as the Chair of Social Sciences at Mars Hill University in North Carolina.

Testimonials

  • Patient
    Thank you for supporting me with my insulin. It’s really helpful in these days. I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for you. God Bless You!
    Patient
  • Donna
    We had help a couple of months ago from HADC as we had no insurance. I thought when we got the ObamaCare that it would help but it seems that they are trying to get him on state help and so we are back at no insurance for him right now. It will cost me 900.00 for both his insulin and over 100.00 for test strips. Our doctor thought I might be able to get a few supplies for my son until I can figure out what insurance he will have either state or ObamaCare.
    Donna
  • Debbie
    American Diabetes Association told me about your company. My daughter just got an insulin pump last month, and now they canceled her insurance. I'm so upset and worried for her. She takes Humalog, I don't know how I'm going to afford all her medicine and supplies. I have been looking at all the insurance plans and they are so expensive, it's crazy. If you are middle class, then it is not affordable. The cheapest plan I can find is $4715 per child before they pay for any medication and doctor visits, and I have 3 children. Florida Kid Care is not affordable if you have to pay the full payout. I think its nuts they go by gross and not net income and don't take into consideration your school loans, mortgage, car payment, utilities, etc. I'm sorry, I'm just upset and worried.
    Debbie
  • Kara
    I have a 9-year-old daughter with T1D. She has been on Medicaid or Healthy Kids for her entire life. She was diagnosed 5 years ago. We recently got kicked off of healthy kids and put onto a full pay plan, we went from $20.00 a month to $372.00 a month for insurance. I am looking for some assistance with her insulin and diabetes supplies. I went to fill her insulin prescription for the first time with her new plan and the pharmacy told me it would cost $568.00 for a month’s supply. Her plan does not cover her pump supplies or test strips either. I can’t afford that.
    Kara
  • Desmond Schatz, M.D. is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Director of the Clinical Research Center within the CTSI at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He was the 2016 President of Science and Medicine of the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Schatz has been involved in Type 1 diabetes research since the mid 1980’s and has published over 330 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several NIH awards including the University of Florida Clinical Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet, NIH-funded international newborn genetic screening (TEDDY) program in North Central Florida and the on the NIH-funded Human Islet Research Network (HIRN) Grant amongst many others.
    Desmond Schatz
    M.D
  • Patient
    I just calculated by insurance and I am going to be paying $737.00 a month through my company and that’s the most I’ve ever paid for insurance. That is almost two weeks of my paychecks just to have insurance, I’m not sure what else I can do.
    Patient
  • Janet Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CDE is a licensed Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator with the University of South Florida.She obtained her Nursing Diploma from Jackson Memorial Hospital / University of Miami and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from San Francisco State University. Her nursing career began at Jackson Memorial Hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care and she continued to work in the PICU, nursing management, and Quality Improvement at Children's Hospital of San Francisco and California Pacific Medical Center. Janet is a certified trainer for all of the insulin pump and CGM devices and she provides education to pediatric and adult patients, their families, and other caregivers including, school nurses, medical support staff, and administrative personnel. She also supports our clinical research efforts in new technologies. Janet has been an active supporter of diabetes camps since the 1990s, serving as camp nurse at camps in California, Indiana, and Florida. She currently assists with the Florida Diabetes Camps' Sam Fuld Sports Camp, Family Camp, and Adventure Camp.
    Janet Rodriguez
    RN, BSN, CDE
  • Tami & Joe
    Thank you both for your support for me and helping me buy needed supplies. It really helps take stress and pressure off me and my mom know that we have people like you that will help us in troubled times. It is truly a blessing for us and I look forward to giving back as much as I can.
    Tami & Joe
  • Henry Rodriguez, M.D. is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of South Florida (USF) in the Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Director of the USF Diabetes Center, and PI of the USF TrialNet Clinical Center. His career has focused on collaborative clinical research, clinical care, and education in type 1 diabetes. Dr. Rodriguez served as Principal Investigator and Clinical Center Director for the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Indiana University Clinical Center beginning at TrialNet’s inception in 2001 until his departure in 2010. He was recently awarded funding as PI and Director of the USF TrialNet Clinical Center. He has been an active member of the TrialNet in multiple capacities including Chair of the TrialNet Natural History Protocol Committee since 2010. He is also the PI for numerous diabetes clinical studies including the T1D Exchange USF Center and 9 industry sponsored trials investigating therapies in children and young adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
    Henry Rodriguez
    M.D.
  • Timothy S. Harlan, M.D., FACP, currently serves as Associate Dean for Clinical Services at Tulane University School of Medicine is the Executive Director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, the first of its kind teaching kitchen operated by a medical school. The center offers an innovative program teaching medical students about diet and lifestyle that bridges the gap between the basic sciences, clinical medicine, the community and culinary education. Medical students work side-by-side in the kitchen with culinary students to teach each other and, most importantly, teach the community and patients how to return to their kitchens and transform their health.
    Timothy S.
    Harlan, M.D., FACP
  • Mark Atkinson, Ph.D. is the American Diabetes Association Eminent Scholar for Diabetes Research and the Jeffrey Keene Family Professor at the University of Florida. Dr. Atkinson has devoted more than 30 years of investigation into the field of Type 1 diabetes. He is the recipient of multiple scientific and humanitarian based awards for these efforts. He has also been active in a leadership service to the type 1 diabetes community, with active administrative or advisory service to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Diapedia, The American Diabetes Association, The National Institutes of Health, and the Immunology of Diabetes Society. Finally, Dr. Atkinson is active at a global level for causes related to the care and treatment of those in the third world; especially and including persons with type 1 diabetes. For this cause, he serves as President of Insulin for Life USA, and is an Advisor to Life for a Child.
    Mark Atkinson
    Ph.D.
  • David H. Wagner Jr., Ph.D. is currently the Investigator and Head Section of Immunology for the Webb-Waring Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Read more about Dr. Wagner's investigations lab.
    David H. Wagner Jr.
    Ph.D
  • Dolph and Sharon Von Arx have been philanthropic and service pillars of the Naples area for over thirty years. Numerous organizations have benefitted from their generosity which in turn has enriched our community greatly. Organizations and institutions fortunate to work closely alongside The Von Arx Family are; the Naples Business Accelerator, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Youth Haven, The Shelter for Abused Women and Children, NCH Healthcare Systems where Mr. Von Arx served as Board Chair for 11 years, The Community Foundation, Hodges University, The Naples Museum of Art, and The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts just to name a few. Dolph and Sharon have been in leadership positions in almost every organizations they have lent their names to and continually strive for the betterment of our area. Serving as co-chairs of this Second Annual Naples Von Arx Family Foundation S.W. Florida Diabetes Conference has raised the bar of this conference's goals to educate diabetes treatment, preventions, and research to the entire Naples Community; and help to further established it as an annual mainstay at the Greater Naples YMCA.
    Dolph and Sharon
    Von Arx
  • Patient
    "Food or medication, feed my family dinner or buy my sons life saving insulin. I never thought I would have to choose between feeding my family and life saving medication and supplies for my 4 year old. When I think I can't handle anymore I get more added on to my shoulders. As I type this my little one asks for an apple, I hand it to him and his little hand brings it to his mouth to take a bite and all I can think about is how much the apple costs and how I can gather some change to get him another one. Working 7 days a week, budgeting every dollar, meal planning every meal and snack, couponing, shopping clearance, we don't eat out, we don't waste money on processed snacks or junk food, and yet it's not enough. I still sit and stare at his medical bills and my empty bank account, tears quietly roll down my cheeks without the kids knowing. This disease has devastated our lives. Everyday is a struggle to keep him healthy and to keep up with his medical supplies. The struggle to put food on the table is harder and harder. Sometimes I feel helpless today is one of those days, weeks, months...."
    Patient
  • Stephanie and Courtney
    To all those involved: My daughter Courtney and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kind contribution, so Courtney is able to attend Session 2 at Camp Winona. As a nurse, I was planning to volunteer my time at session 2 to assist these precious kids. I did this last summer and truly enjoyed the experience. As a volunteer, my daughter would also be able to attend the camp for free. Unfortunately, due to my own medical issues I will have to undergo unexpected surgery just before the start of camp and will be unable to volunteer my time. Which in turn, means Courtney would be unable to attend camp for free. As a single mom with 3 kids finances are tight. Because of the generosity of people such as Lowell and Nancy Lohman and their donations to Help a Diabetic Child (HADC) Courtney is able to attend camp with the sponsorship of HADC. Thank you again from Courtney and me for all you do for the community and this life-altering opportunity. The camp provides the opportunity for these beautiful children to be "normal kids" while learning to own their disease and take charge. Have a blessed week.
    Stephanie and Courtney
  • Patient
    “Dear Tami, thank you again for your help. The monitors and strips have been invaluable, its a great monitor and my son can now test his own sugar. We are having trouble getting insulin and wondered if you can help. I have been getting free samples from a diabetes camp, but I realized they are out of date and I only have 2 left (both out of date). I have talked to my son's school, they have arranged an appointment at a salvation army clinic so I should be able to get a prescription, but wondered if you know of anywhere I can get help with the prescription cost.............I have lots of lantus for now and its in date!! yeahhh. but the novolin insulin I am really struggling with. Thank you again for your time.
    Patient
  • Sabine
    These past four months with the Libre have been AMAZING! My fingers have healed and my A1C has gone down. Being able to see a graph of my blood sugar and where it’s headed has been helpful to see what’s happening while I’m asleep or in class. It gives me an indication of how certain foods affect me. Now that I can see what direction my blood sugar is going I can see when my blood sugar is starting to drop or go up and I can match my feelings to my blood sugar. When I was just finger sticking I would start to feel low and I would go to the nurse but my blood sugar wasn’t low. I knew that I was dropping but I had no way to prove it. Now I can see where my blood sugar is going just by simply scanning the Libre. I can now treat it before I get too low. I truly appreciate you providing me with this technology to help manage my T1D. Love,
    Sabine
  • Patient
    Dear staff and donors of Help a Diabetic Child, I was hospitalized with DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis). I had just gotten sick and had been extremely dehydrated causing my acetone level to skyrocket. Before that, during the month of April, I had started making preparations to start my own business after I graduated college so that I could afford insulin since I had no insurance with my previous job. Paying bills for three months on savings quickly depleted my account. I found myself no longer able to pay for insulin and my stress level was at an all time high. I had tried starting my own business only to see more debt. Furthermore, I had applied to various jobs and had gotten no response. At the hospital, when I found out I was at DKA, all of my frustration came out. I couldn’t even provide for my health. Help a Diabetic Child came in and helped us greatly. You went above and beyond to pay for my insulin. Because of you, I was able to be covered for two months. Your organization helped me get back on my feet, starting with my health. Now I am working for a company as a dispatcher. I still do not have insurance, but hope to have it soon. Our HR department is currently working on the problem. I personally wanted to thank Tami and everyone that made this possible for me. Thank you for serving me with tender care. May God bless your organization and your lives. Thank you,
    Patient
  • Patient
    To whom it may Concern: I am 26 years old. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 2017. At the time I was working full time and on my Moms health insurance. Since I've been diagnosed I've struggled with finding the right doctors, the right testing supplies, the right insulin and the right doses of insulin. At the same time I've been struggling with depression and I am having trouble holding a job due to my sugars bouncing around and just not having good control. I am currently unemployed and living with my brother and his family who also struggle with their own finances having four children. I am a recent patient of Doctor Tami. She has been very helpful and I think now we might be headed in the right direction with which insulin and supplies work for me. Unfortunately I am no longer on my Moms health insurance as of October 2019. I need help. I am hoping to stabilize in order to move forward and go back to work full time. Hopefully with health insurance in the future but in the meantime I have no way to pay for my supplies and Doctor Visits. Doctor Tami offered Help a Diabetic Child as a possible means of help in this. I can use all the help that I can get. I want to regain my health and move on with my life. Thank you for your time and consideration,
    Patient
  • Patient
    I just want to thank you for helping me out when I really needed it. I have type 1 diabetes for many years. I also have a sister who has type 1 diabetes as well. Over the past years I have been battling with insurance and how I was going to pay for my insulin and diabetes supplies that I need. I finally got insurance through my dad that would cover me until I was 26 and was so thankful. My dad got a new job and had to switch to a new insurance company which was fine, until they ended up terminating us before the 30 days which I didn’t find out until I went to get my insulin and the pharmacist told me the cost would be $381.00 for one month. I could not afford that so for 4 days I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, how I am going to pay for my insulin. I ended up in the hospital with DKA for 2 days. The Diabetic Specialist at the hospital found HADC to help me pay for my insulin. I am so grateful you could help me. There are no words to explain how lucky I was to find Help a Diabetic Child foundation. Me and my family are so happy to find a local charity to help.
    Patient
  • Patient
    Sarah a college student was referred to HADC by her endocrinologist. Sarah’s mom had just passed away from lung cancer and their insurance was cancelled. Sarah was in need of insulin and syringes to hold her over until she was able to get back on an insurance plan. HADC purchased a 3 month supply of insulin and diabetes supplies for Sarah. Sarah writes “I just wanted to send so many thanks for paying for my insulin this morning. I can’t explain how much I appreciate it. There was no way that I could have afforded the insulin at $1,100.00. I am not sure what I would have done without you guys” Sarah writes “Thanks so much for following up with me. I got my insurance situation all figured out and was able to get everything I need. Thanks so much for your help! I appreciate it immensely. Everything at school is great! Thanks Sarah”.
    Patient
  • Patient
    HADC helped this teenage boy after their family lost everything due to the devastating hurricane in the Bahamas. Hope you are doing well and thanks again for all your help with our disaster recovery. And as far as I know now it's still uncertain as to what we are going to do hopefully we will get something figured out but as soon as I know I'll be sure to let you know. There is still no Pharmacy on my island so getting supplies are very limited. Most infrastructure is still down. We again are so happy we got a contact for you guys. And we will never forget what you guys have done and hopefully continue to do for us. My son needs some of the 4mm needles that go on the insulin pens if possible he has some 8mm but a bit difficult trying to get it right for injections he hasn't complained but I see him trying to get it done. Again he's a trooper we are soooooo proud of how he is handling this and in this time especially. Received the package of supplies and again we say thank you soooooo much and you have no idea of how much we appreciate you guys. When my son seen the needles he was pleasantly surprised. We are so thankful for your help. Stay safe. Kind regards. God bless Hope you guys are doing well and staying safe. We were wondering if you guys were shipping any supplies in this most serious time. We are almost out of strips and can't find any alcohol swabs don't know if you guys have any of them Received everything you have no idea on how much this means to us. We can never say thank you enough I didn't tell my son anything about the supplies coming, he had no idea until it was placed in his hands this afternoon and he was pleasantly surprised. Because if I wouldn't have found you guys I don't know what I would have done God bless you and hopefully one of these days we will cross tracks and meet in person.
    Patient
  • Patient
    To whom it may concern: Good afternoon, I have a 9 year old daughter with type 1 Diabetes. She has been on Medicaid or healthy kids for her entire life. She was diagnosed 5 years ago. We recently got kicked off of healthy kids and put onto a full pay plan, we went from $20 dollars a month to $372 a month. I am looking for some assistance with her insulin and supplies. I went to fill her insulin prescription for the first time with her new plan and CVS told me it would $568 for the month’s supply. Her plan does not cover her pump supplies or her test strips either. I can’t afford that. I’m kind of lost and don’t really know what to do, so I’m asking for help and direction. I went on your website and submitted my name and email for an application for assistance. I just wanted to know what you think my next steps should be. Thank you for your time. Best regards,
    Patient
  • Gail
    Dear Tammy & Joe, I am writing to you to thank you and let you know how very grateful I am for the endless support you gave me in my hour of need in regard to my Novolog insulin. I went into the gap and there was no hope, no help, no understanding of my despair. Needed an advocate w/ a heart to ride in on a white horse and save me. YOU DID!! You helped greatly and showed me how dedicated, professional and caring individuals you truly are. You gave me hope to be alive to share my story. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving me. Both of you worked extremely hard to get things done, when many others could not. I hope others knows what an asset you are. I will pray that I can continue with your foundation, at least until the end of the year and whenever I find myself in the gap. Hopefully 2019-2020 will continue from this point on a positive note and our relationship will continue. God Bless You! Please feel free to call me, text, email me or write anytime. Thanks again! Very Fondly,
    Gail
  • Patient
    Dear Mrs. Balavage, I want to take a moment to extend my sincere gratitude to you and your organization – Help a Diabetic Child Foundation (HADC)! The impact for the diabetic child we have worked together on these past few weeks is life changing for her and her family. The child has been provided the medical care, education, tools, and supplies - thanks to HADC Foundation. The lab results are improving from a daily blood glucose level of close to 300 down to 120’s as well as establishing baseline levels on various blood tests. The medication adjustments are proving to afford this child to take less daily long acting insulin. The family is being provided excellent diabetic support, learning the importance of these small changes that will result in a lifelong different path for their child. The child is doing well, feeling better and taking control of her disease. We never fully know the burden one is carrying. Knowing the challenges this family was facing with little to no health care resources to tackle the disease, makes our appreciation for HADC so much more than I can simply verbalize. Please know this child is actually smiling these days! May God Bless you all! Theresa, RN, MSN (School Nurse)
    Patient
  • Patient
    Dear Tammy thank you very much Bud received his life saving supplies yesterday. It really means a lot to us and we are very thankful to Help a Diabetic Foundation. You all mean the world to us and always will!!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!! Poor Bud had a tough summer just got released from the hospital he went into DKA last Saturday spent a week in hospital...so coming home to a box of presents (diabetes supplies) was especially special! “Feeling truly blessed;)))) my son's box of diabetes supplies arrived today!!! We cannot thank you enough for all for your help and support…Without you we’d be scrambling to pay for test strips, skipping sugar counts and reusing syringes…..From my family to yours there is hope n angels do exist.”
    Patient
  • Patient
    When our 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with T1D, Help a Diabetic Child Foundations was there for us when we were told that we needed to have $1,500 worth of diabetic supplies before our daughter would be released from the hospital. We already had to borrow from a loan to pay for the hospital deductible and didn't know how we would be able to pay. Thanks to Tami and Help a Diabetic Child foundation, they bought the necessary supplies for us. We will forever and eternally be grateful to them! Thank you! Myriam
    Patient
  • Patient
    Carlos was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus in May 2018. We are currently requesting assistance with diabetes supplies and insulin for Carlos if possible. During the time Carlos was diagnosed with diabetes, his mother was hospitalized from, at which time she was in a coma and fighting for her life. His mom is now residing in a LTAC (long term care facility). Carlos is currently uninsured and in need of medical supplies. His mom, is also diagnosed with diabetes and due to the financial strain has suggested she will share supplies with Carlos. However, this is highly not recommended. Therefore, we are requesting as much assistance as possible with his diabetes supplies and insulin. Carlos is no longer enrolled in school. He is currently working in hopes to help support his family financially. He works construction making $14/hr. He works 5-6 hours for the day and works 5 days a week. Any assistance that can be provided to this family would be tremendously appreciated. If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you again.
    Patient
  • Myriam
    When our 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with T1D, Help a Diabetic Child Foundations was there for us when we were told that we needed to have $1,500 worth of diabetic supplies before our daughter would be released from the hospital. We already had to borrow from a loan to pay for the hospital deductible and didn't know how we would be able to pay. Thanks to Tami and her foundation, they bought the necessary supplies for us. We will forever and eternally be grateful to them!
    Myriam
  • Lisa
    Thank you so much for what you are doing for my son! The Sure Comfort syringes are only 30 units. Those are the most comfortable though - and he can use them for the smaller dosages. Thank you so much. You are unburdening me more than you know. God bless you and your family, Tami.
    Lisa
  • Jay reveals how, despite having Type 1 Diabetes, he has pushed himself to incredible personal triumphs. Jay an ironman triathlete and practising attorney knows what he is talking about, he shows audience how they too can overcome whatever lifes throws at them and can still reach unimaginable levels of success and teamwork. An Ironman Triathlete and practicing attorney, he is the only person with Type 1 diabetes ever to qualify for the U.S National Triathlon Team.
    Jay Hewitt
    Ironman Triathlete

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