Everything for the Coffey family changed in an instant—and forever—when 2-year-old Emily was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Parents Brian and Lori were aware of diabetes, which may affect as many as 3 million Americans, but they had to take an immediate crash course in managing this type of the disease, often called juvenile diabetes. They learned how to check their daughter’s blood-sugar level, keep track of the carbohydrates in all of the food she ate and give shots of insulin.
Members of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Peoria, Ill., the couple looked for a support group to help them deal with their new challenges, but there wasn’t any. So they started one. And last year they started the area’s first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes, which raised $240,000. For their efforts, the Coffeys received a community service award from Country Living magazine.
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