Alex Turner was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 11 years old. Since his diagnosis, Alex and his family have been determined to fundraise for T1D research until a cure is found. In the 15 years since his diagnosis,
the Turner family has raised and donated over $200,000 to JDRF! Today, Alex is a husband and father and JDRF means more to him than ever before.
When Alex was diagnosed with type 1, it was sudden, almost out of nowhere. He was going to see his doctor for a routine physical to play sports for school. When the doctor came back with his test results, he told Alex and his mother that they needed to go to the hospital right away. There, he was diagnosed with type 1. Not long after, Alex’s mom found out about JDRF from a woman they knew from church whose 6 month old daughter had also been diagnosed with type 1. At the start of the Turner family’s involvement, JDRF meant having a support group and a community to find out more about diabetes and within the first year of their involvement, the Turner family attended their first Walk.
So, how have Alex and his family raised so much money each year for the Walk? From letter campaigns, car washes, going door-to-door, and bucket drops, there are no limits to their fundraising possibilities. In years past, even Alex’s middle school and high school got involved in raising money for JDRF. It has always been a year-round effort for the Turner family. Alex credits his mother, Judy, for this encouragement, saying, “She has always had the confidence. She has been the motivation in the fight to find a cure.”
Alex notes that the new research developments for T1D over the years have been truly amazing. The first couple of years he had been diagnosed, Alex regulated his diabetes with insulin injections, but since the development of the insulin pump and glucose monitor, he can go to the gym without crashing, have the opportunity to sleep in a bit more, and even grab a small breakfast every once in a while. It’s getting to do those little things that make the day to day life of having type 1 come with a bit more ease.
To Alex JDRF is more than just a non-for-profit organization. In his own words, “JDRF means I can be around for my kids, to walk my daughter down the aisle one day, and even see my grandchildren. JDRF gives that hope.” Even amidst the struggles of T1D, Alex provides encouragement to others with T1D, saying, “Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can overcome and conquer it. It would be easy for my family and I to give up, but we lift our heads up every day because there is hope.”
–Article & Interview by Rachel Holmes