FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 29, 2013
American Diabetes Association Names Youth Ambassadors For Southeast Wisconsin.
BROOKFIELD, Wis. – The American Diabetes Association has named Joey Balistrieri and Cooper Wintheiser as the 2013 Youth Ambassadors for Southeast Wisconsin.
“This year we are excited to have both Joey and his nephew Cooper as Youth Ambassadors,” said Jacalyn Gillis, ADA’s Tour de Cure manager. “Both boys, as well as their families, are very active in the fight to stop diabetes. They will be great role models for everyone involved.”
Joey, 11, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 8. His nephew was diagnosed three years prior so his family knew exactly what to do when they discovered that Joey also had Type 1 diabetes. He has been a great advocate towards finding a cure for diabetes.
“I find that most kids don’t know what we have to go through and they think you can get it from eating too much sugar and that I can’t have any foods made with sugar,” said Joey. “I would love the opportunity to educate more kids on what Type 1 diabetes really is.”
Cooper, 7, was diagnosed at only 23 months. Doctors thought that he just had a bad case of the flu. It wasn’t until a trip to the emergency room and a blood sugar level of 1000, which is considered a medical emergency, that doctors diagnosed him with Type 1 diabetes.
As the American Diabetes Association Youth Ambassadors, Joey and Cooper will represent children all over Wisconsin who live with diabetes. They will attend Step Out, Walk to Stop Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association Annual Gala where they will be able to share their stories and bring awareness to the disease and participating with their team in the Southeast Wisconsin Tour de Cure June 15 at Grafton High School.
“I stand strongly behind diabetes research and enjoy showing and telling people about my disease,” said Cooper. “I want people to know that there was nothing I did to cause this.”
Joey attends Holy Apostles school. He swims, runs track, plays football, but most of all loves basketball. He has also begun writing a blog about his life with diabetes.
Cooper attends Elm Grove Lutheran School. He loves to watch hockey and soccer and play video games. He has been pricking his finger to get the drop of blood to test his blood sugar level since he was in kindergarten.