Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! of the Month – February 2014 – Sam Holman

Sam Holman, 12-year-old amazing diabetes’ activist!
By Kasey Dallman, Staff Writer

 

Quote of the Month

“Even if your future doesn’t look bright, stay happy and energetic. Look on the good side.”
-Sam Holman, 12-year-old amazing diabetes’ activist

Introducing Amazing Diabetes’ Activist Sam Holman

Sam’s whole life changed when he was five-years-old. After his parents noticed odd symptoms, like his excessive thirst, Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition where the pancreas produces little to no insulin. However, Sam hasn’t let his illness take over his life. In fact, he is an amazing young activist, raising awareness and money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

We can’t wait to introduce you to Sam! Keep reading to learn more about Sam’s story, diabetes, and how you too can turn your scariest days into a triumphant victory.

Understanding Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in children and young adults, however the majority of people living with type 1 diabetes are adults. The illness is characterized when the body does not produce the insulin, a necessary hormone needed to convert sugars into energy.

Sam at age 5, just weeks after his diagnosis.

Sam at age 5, just weeks after his diagnosis.

For Sam, the biggest challenge is “having to stop doing something fun to go check my blood sugar or do other diabetes things. It’s hard because I don’t want to miss out on something fun or important,” he said.

While there is no cure yet, Sam’s parents have hope that with the proper research, there is hope for a cure. In fact, his parents even toured the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle, Wash., where they had an epiphany to raise money for these researchers who are capable with finding a cure.

Raising money for Type 1 Diabetes

Sam and his family first started participating in the Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes five years ago. The event raises money for JDRF, which in turn helps fund researchers like those in the Benaroya Research Institute. For Sam, participating in the event means that he is one step closer to curing his disease. For his family, it means that others will understand the illness instead of rushing to misconceived conclusions. The event “energizes us to keep fighting and never lose hope that someday there will be a cure for Type 1 diabetes,” said Rena Holman, Sam’s mother.

This year, Sam’s put together a team of 115 members, and they raised almost $11,000. Combining all his years of fundraising for the event, Sam has raised over $44,000. How incredible!

Sam’s mom said “This is what it looks like to cross the finish line of an 8k race when you have Type 1 diabetes, an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor, a backpack full of juice for fear of having a low blood sugar, and more courage in that 12-year old body than I could muster up in all my 46 years. Sam beat the bridge that day, as he always does.”

Sam’s mom said “This is what it looks like to cross the finish line of an 8k race when you have Type 1 diabetes, an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor, a backpack full of juice for fear of having a low blood sugar, and more courage in that 12-year old body than I could muster up in all my 46 years. Sam beat the bridge that day, as he always does.”

His team, called Free Sisyphus, comes from Greek mythology in which a man named Sisyphus is cursed to roll the same boulder up a hill, push it down, and then roll it up again for eternity. As a metaphor, Sam’s family is Sisyphus, and the rock is his diabetes management. “The rock represents the many tasks we do each day to keep Sam healthy,” his mom said. “One day we would like to free Sisyphus.”

The logo for Sam’s team!

The logo for Sam’s team!

As with any chronic illness, it is easy to become sad or angry at the pain. However, Sam shows us that by taking a proactive approach we can do wonders! For our readers who may be suffering from an illness, Sam has the perfect advice to you. “Even if your future doesn’t look bright, stay happy and energetic.”

To learn more about Type 1 diabetes and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation visit jdrf.org.

3 comments

  1. kayydollie14 /

    my dad passed away because of diabetes i hope they find a cure so that more people can live and still have a fammily because mine is no longer the same because of diabes

  2. Logan Stoecker /

    Hey, Sam I can’t believe I found this during English.

  3. Go Sam! What amazing and admirable accomplishments you have and will continue to achieve! You are truly amazing and inspiring to know.

    Thank you for inspiring and giving hope to kids and adults alike!

    Keep up the amazing work!

    Warmest wishes,

    Alyse Rome
    Founder/President
    Amazing Kids!

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