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Leslie Oxford

Making a Difference—Jacksonville, FL Step Out to Fight Diabetes

When she was diagnosed with diabetes at age 8, Leslie Oxford wasted no time diving in help find a cure. Her diagnosis was in October, and she became an ADA camper just a few months later. While there, she received information about the ADA's fund-raising walk and immediately wanted to become involved.

Since then, Leslie has raised more than $30,000 as team captain of the "Making a Difference" team at the walk events, supported every step of the way by her friends and family. "Of course my family were all right behind me 100 percent," she said. "And, I have really amazing friends who wanted to get involved with me."

Her tips for success include setting fund-raising goals (which she's always surpassed!) and reaching out to donors via written letters that include self-addressed stamped envelopes with them. In keeping with a personal tradition, Leslie has not set her Step Out to Fight Diabetes goal just yet. "I never decide until I get that registration form in front of me!" she said.

Leslie recognizes that "there's no doubt that diabetes is going to affect your life. You can't take a break from it—it's constant." Leslie's involvement in the fight against diabetes is just as constant: she supports her local camp (where she got started), the walk, Tour de Cure and the Cure Ball—a local gala where she recently presented a video she personally produced for the "I Decide to Fight Diabetes" campaign. She also attended last year's Call to Congress, and serves as the co-chair for her local Teen Council—a group where teens with diabetes can support each other through their hardest years.

Since her diagnosis, Leslie has been thankful for all of the support she has received. Though there's no break from the disease, "the ADA is one of the silver linings of having diabetes in your life," she said. We're all rooting for Making a Difference to have another goal-breaking year!

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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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