Life handed Canton middle-school student Addy Colling lemons, so she’s making lemonade.
Diagnosed in the summer of 2022 with type 1 diabetes, the East Middle School student is choosing to make a difference instead of lamenting the tough hand life has dealt her.
On Saturday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Colling is hosting a lemonade stand in front of her home at 8344 Orhan (located in Canton’s Holiday Park subdivision), the proceeds of which she will donate to the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.
Although the exact cause of Colling’s T1D is unknown, the disease is frequently caused by an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Children like Colling who live with T1D must have daily injections of insulin to keep their blood glucose level within normal ranges and limit the number of carbohydrates they consume.
“We are so proud of the way Addy is handling this,” said her mom, Brianne Colling. “She has been so brave throughout the journey. I guess you could say she’s rolled with the punches. I’m not sure how I would have dealt with it when I was 10 years old.
“The nurses at her school told us she is one of the best students they’ve seen at East in terms of taking care of herself and maintaining a positive attitude.”
Colling’s first fund-raising lemonade stand for JDRF last year was a rousing success, netting over $600 in proceeds.
“One woman whose son has type 1 diabetes donated $100, which really touched us,” Brianne Colling said.
Altogether last year, Addy’s fundraisers (two lemonade stands, bringing a Kona Ice truck to her subdivision and through social media) raised over $3,000 for JDRF.
“Which is why we are upping our goal to $4,000 this year,” her mom said.
The Collings took Addy for a check-up last summer when she was experiencing classic diabetes symptoms, including weight loss and excessive thirst.
“We had no idea what was wrong when we took her in,” Brianne Colling said. “When we found out, we were shocked, obviously. The nurse gave us some encouragement, though, educating us on the technology that is available now to help treat the disease.”
Addy was fitted for a pump that injects the correct level of insulin into her bloodstream once she registers how many carbohydrates she is preparing to consume.
“Having the pump makes living with this a lot easier,” Addy said. “Before I got the pump, I had to poke myself (to get insulin readings) and give myself insulin injections.”
Making strides toward a cure
Brianne Colling said thanks to organizations like JDRF, strides are being made in the treatment — and potential cure — of the disease.
“Researchers are making progress on something they refer to as a bionic pancreas,” she said. “Maybe by the time Addy is 20, that will be an option. Ultimately, we want to see a cure.”
Brianne Colling said her family is prepared to sell massive quantities of lemonade Saturday.
“We’re pretty stocked up,” she said, smiling. “And if we run out, we can always make a run to Sam’s Club.”
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