Team We CAN Hackett—San Diego, CA Step Out to Fight Diabetes
When Leslie Hackett entered her senior year of high school in 1999, diabetes was just "one of those things that you've heard people talk about. You have these images of what diabetes is in your mind, but you're really clueless." The shock of a type 1 diagnosis—where no family history of diabetes had existed—sent Leslie on a course to educate herself completely about diabetes with the help of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
"[ADA] was an overall comprehensive place to go to get all sorts of information that we needed as a family," Leslie said. With the aid of diabetes.org and Diabetes Forecast, she and her family tried to understand diabetes' effect on not just Leslie's life, but the community around her. "As a refresher even now, we can go to ADA for community resources, doctors, and other diabetes information," she said.
Leslie has since taken her personal experience to a bigger level: she serves as both a team captain (Team We CAN Hackett) and a volunteer. "Being in high school, I never really went to any sort of support groups; I didn't know anybody affected by diabetes," she said. "Being a volunteer really gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of people affected by diabetes. It was interesting to hear others' stories and to share my own—I had never dealt with diabetes outside of myself."
Described by local Step Out coordinator Shelby Dopp as "one of San Diego's top fund-raisers, team captains and overall team players," Leslie sets an example for her team reminding them why they're raising funds in the first place. "A lot of people think that you just write a letter and send it out, and you're done. But there are really many different dimensions to fund raising," Leslie said. "You can set up a night to eat out, a softball tournament, garage sales. It doesn't have to be solo thing—it can be a collaborative effort, and that makes it a lot more interesting for everybody."
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