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Team Tammy Lobato, Our Family Angel

Team Tammy Lobato, Our Family Angel—Colorado Springs, CO Step Out to Fight Diabetes

Lisa Dutz and her family have made ADA's walk event a real family affair. Each year, they gather to walk and raise money in memory of her sister, Tammy Lobato, who died from complications of type 1 diabetes at the age of 30.

The Lobato family's first walk event was just two months after Tammy's passing in 2003. It was a last minute idea to get involved, but everyone rallied to together because Tammy had always wanted to organize a team. Even on such short notice, Team "Tammy Lobato, Our Family Angel" raised $1,700.

Since their first year, the Lobato family's participation—and fund raising—has only grown. "At first, we participated to keep [Tammy's] memory alive" said Lisa. "Now, we also walk to help other families. We don't want them to go through what we went through."

In 2006, Tammy's family and friends raised nearly $9,000 in her memory. They were the top fund-raising family team in the Colorado Springs walk event. "When we first started participating, it was hard to ask for money," said Lisa. "After you see how simple it is just to ask, the fund raising gets a lot easier."

Lisa has extended her involvement from walking to volunteering. She serves on the Colorado Springs walk committee, and often acts as a media spokesperson for the event, giving interviews via both television and radio.

Helping with the walk and telling Tammy's story has become Lisa's passion. Because her sister was diagnosed at age 12, it is very important to her that some of the monies raised from the walk event go toward funding ADA's Camps. "I want kids who are diagnosed to have knowledge about diabetes," said Lisa. "Although Tammy participated in a lot of medical studies to help find a cure, I don't think she knew what she was in for."

Lisa's father, John R. Lobato, is also heavily involved with the family's team, serving as co-captain along with Lisa. Last spring, John was recognized by his employer, Safeway, with a Local Hero Award for his efforts on behalf of the ADA.

Tammy's family continues to gather together and raise money year after year. Their core team consists of Tammy's five siblings, parents and other close relatives and friends. Each year, they strive to top their fund-raising goal from the year before. Tammy's family is eager to tell her story and for people to remember who she was. "It's about seeing her name and knowing her name," said Lisa, "and raising enough money to make a difference."

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Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes® is the premier fundraising campaign of the American Diabetes Association ®, now with virtual engagement designed for anyone and everyone to participate. The campaign has been expanded to include more members of our community and bring them together to learn about diabetes, healthy living and to support people living with diabetes. Step Out is a unique opportunity for businesses, clubs, friends and families to form virtual teams with the vision of a life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

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