Leesville raises money for a good cause

Reese Layh, Leesville sophomore and Executive Council member, counts money during SMART Lunch that students in Executive Council collected from first period classes at Leesville Road High School.  The Executive Council will donate the money to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which will then use the money to help researchers find a cure for Type One diabetes.  (Photo courtesy of Sydney Tucker)Reese Layh, Leesville sophomore and Executive Council member, counts money during SMART Lunch that students in Executive Council collected from first period classes at Leesville Road High School. The Executive Council will donate the money to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which will then use the money to help researchers find a cure for Type One diabetes. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Tucker)

From September 25–29, the Leesville Road High School Executive Council collected money from each first period class to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, more commonly known as JDRF.  In order to encourage participation in the JDRF drive, the Executive Council offered a Chick-Fil-A breakfast to the first period class that raised the most money per student and Duck Donuts to the runner-up class.

Students at Leesville donated to JDRF for numerous reasons.  Some have personal connections to JDRF while others simply wanted to win the Chick-Fil-A breakfast.

Regardless of why students want to donate, every year, teachers always effectively motivate their students to donate to JDRF.

Ms. Scioli, a Leesville social studies teacher who was the runner-up in the competition last year with $14.11 per student, employs her own creative incentives to convince students to donate.

“Ms. Scioli made her own list of…things that we got if we reached certain amounts of money.…I think one of them was…[that] we got jolly ranchers,” said Brigid Lindley, a Leesville junior and a student in Ms. Scioli’s second-place class last fall.  “[The rewards were] definitely [an] incentive for our class to [donate].”

Other teachers, such as Ms. Dinkenor, who has a reputation at Leesville for always raising a large amount of money, encourages students to contribute whatever amount of money they have, no matter how big or small.

“Ms. [Dinkenor] is…really, really good about…getting us to [donate to JDRF]…she’ll…be, like, ‘You don’t have to donate that much.  Just…dig in your car for change…just take it out and give it,’” said Bridget Morgan, a senior at Leesville and a student in Ms. Dinkenor’s first period class.  “Most of our money was actually donated in change.”

Money raised for JDRF funds research to find a cure for Type One diabetes (T1D).  Unlike the more commonly-known Type Two diabetes (T2D), T1D is currently incurable.

“[JDRF is] a good cause,” said Morgan.

Excess weight or inactivity” contribute to T2D, which typically begins at an older age, but “T1D is an autoimmune disease” that can arise at any age without warning.  T1D causes a person’s pancreas to stop its production of insulin, “a hormone the body needs to get energy from food.”  Without insulin, a person’s blood sugar levels go unregulated.  Both a blood sugar level that is too high—hyperglycemia—and a blood sugar level that is too low—hypoglycemia—can kill.

Thus, people with T1D must “inject or infuse insulin through a pump” to regulate their blood sugar levels for the rest of their lives; however, even when adding insulin to their bodies, victims of T1D continue to be constantly at risk of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

Erika Nelson, a senior at Leesville, has a family member with T1D.  Every day, he must take precautions to ensure his blood sugar does not rise too high or drop too low.

“Every time before [my family member] eats or drives or does any physical activity, he has to test his blood sugar,” said Nelson.  After testing his blood sugar, he then knows how much insulin to give himself.

Leesville students have to live up to high expectations this year.  For the past two school years, the Leesville Road High School team for the Raleigh JDRF Walk—nicknamed “Team Pride”—raised over ten thousand dollars each year.  Team Pride’s goal for the 2017 Raleigh JDRF Walk, which will take place on the morning of Saturday, October 28, is twelve thousand dollars.

Team Pride invites any students in the Leesville community to show their support for JDRF by participating in the 2017 Raleigh JDRF Walk with Team Pride.  Interested students should contact Ms. Mayfield, Leesville Road High School math teacher and Executive Council advisor, at kmayfield@wcpss.net.

“Students should attend the JDRF Walk because…it’s a lot of fun.…I know…walking [a 5k] might not seem that much fun, but…you’re doing it for a great cause,” said Nelson.

Did you miss the collection week at Leesville?  Click here to donate to Team Pride online.

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