Recognizing World Diabetes Day in Memoriam.

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During National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM), we would be remiss not to honor the lives of the individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) who we have lost. Whether these incredible people lost their battle due to T1D complications, or their lives were lost due to other causes, we hold a place for them in our hearts.

Through the advancements and progress toward cures for T1D, we acknowledge and remember these losses, as well as the unique grief bereaved families and friends experience.

This month, we remember former NDAM Champion, Lexi DeYoung who tragically lost her life to T1D complications in July of this year.

In partnership with her sister Cole, who also lives with T1D, the DeYoung sisters previously, and graciously, contributed their story and raised awareness and funds for this cause.

Figure 1 – Cole DeYoung (back) and Lexi DeYoung (front), 2021 Breakthrough T1D Illinois NDAM Champions

During NDAM and with the help of their families, we remember:

  • Aaron Barrera
  • Lexi DeYoung
  • Mallory Fritz
  • Jim Hannigan
  • Juanita Olaopa-Coke
  • Charley Ramm
  • James Page Smith, Jr.
  • Janice Speziale
  • Seth Sugar
  • Jerry Taylor
  • And all the others in our community who we have lost.

Help us remember these individuals and raise awareness for T1D. Let’s speak about our loved ones, say their names, tell their stories, and keep their memories alive.

Donations can be made in their honor to Breakthrough T1D here.

If you or someone you know experienced the loss of a loved one with T1D and are in need of resources, we invite you to visit the webpage, Jesse-Was-Here or reach out to for support.   

If you’d like your loved one to be remembered as part of this tribute, please contact Katrina at