Community Papers

Audrey’s Angels walk for a cure for diabetes this Sunday

Audrey de Boer and friend Sophia Ladha live with Type 1 diabetes. The pair has raised nearly $10,000 this year ahead of Sunday’s TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes event.  -
Audrey de Boer and friend Sophia Ladha live with Type 1 diabetes. The pair has raised nearly $10,000 this year ahead of Sunday’s TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes event.
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Thousands of people will walk Sunday to make a difference in the lives of over 300,000 Canadians living with Type 1 diabetes.

Audrey de Boer, 12, is among those raising funds and awareness ahead of the annual TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes event. It’s a cause that’s deeply personal.

The Lord Byng Elementary student was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age six. She left hospital dependent on insulin—and now requires several injections and blood sugar tests each day, and lives with the constant threat of serious health complications.

The disease, the most severe form of diabetes, comes without warning. Causes are not entirely understood, and there is no cure. Sometimes called juvenile diabetes because of its tendency to develop early in life, Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the immune system attacking the pancreas, stopping the body’s ability to produce the necessary hormone insulin.

Soon after her diagnosis, Audrey committed herself to help find a cure. Her fundraising team, Audrey’s Angels, was born, raising $5,700 for her first Walk to Cure event.

Today, several years later, Audrey’s fundraising efforts have raised $50,000, and she’s become a champion for the cause.

“I’m extremely proud of her for her dedication to do this year after year. I think it speaks volumes particularly about young kids, when they set their minds to something, what they’re capable of,” said mom Charmis de Boer.

Audrey has raised funds through a letter-writing campaign, organizing a carnival and even selling homemade soap. In recent years she’s put her vocal talents to work, hosting a fundraising dinner with musical entertainment.

Last Sunday was her latest Voice for Change event, drawing 70 people to Steveston Seafood House and raising $3,500. This year alone donors to her campaign have contributed nearly $10,000.

“Diabetes isn’t something she takes a pill for and forgets about for the day. She’s constantly checking her blood sugars, (doing) insulin injections,” said her mom. “She does hope there will be a cure one day.”

Audrey has partnered with friend Sophia Ladha for this year’s fundraiser. On their donation page, the girls share what a cure would mean: no more needles or blood tests, a freedom to eat what they want and no worries of health complications.

“We are determined to help find a cure and we need as much support as we can get,” they wrote. “Please help us by making a donation to our walk team.”

The TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes takes place in Vancouver’s Stanley Park at 11 a.m. on June 8. Donations are welcome on Audrey and Sophia’s webpage: tinyurl.com/AudreysAngels.

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