The Lemonade Life Of: Monica Oxenreiter, founder of ZiptheCure.com
For those of you who haven’t heard, Monica Oxenreiter is the up-and-coming diabetes advocate extraordinaire who is gaining national and online coverage for her Zip the Cure fundraising initiative, which aims to raise $100 in every zip code in the United States. That’s 42,085 zip codes! At $100 each, that would total $4,208,500! Besides diabetes, Monica and I have a couple of things in common. First, we were both JDRF Children’s Congress delegates (me in 2001, her in 2005) and we both started our diabetes advocacy careers working with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I invited Monica to share her story and talk a bit about how she too is turning the lemons of diabetes into a bit of lemonade.
Take it away, Monica…
Hi! My name is Monica Oxenreiter. I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes when I was thirteen months old, on July 14, 1995. Three years later, my older brother, John, was diagnosed with diabetes too. Diabetes has always been in my life; it is part of me, of who I am. I am fifteen years old now, and currently a sophomore in high school.
After over fourteen years with the disease, I am healthy and do not have any complications from diabetes. I diligently maintain my blood sugars through careful monitoring, calculated insulin dosages, and a flexible exercise regimen. This way, I am able to keep a stable blood sugar and stay healthy.
Although diabetes is a burden that requires attention every day, there have been many positive aspects of having the disease. I have met many dedicated and generous individuals . I have also seen that having a chronic disease does not change people, When I attended diabetes camp for five years, I met diabetics my own age who easily became good friends. I have gained public speaking skills by delivering the keynote address at JDRF’s Pittsburgh Annual Gala. I learned the importance of grass roots efforts by being involved in Children’s Congress and the Promise to Remember Me Campaign. The threat of future complications can be difficult to deal with, but knowing that I can make a difference in funding research to find a cure for diabetes, allows me to be hopeful.
My brother and I were both Pennsylvania delegates to Children’s Congress in 2005. While we were there, we came up with the idea for Zip the Cure. I started Zip the Cure because I wanted to create a way to involve everyone from across the country. Diabetes affects people in every zip code. This way, people can work together to achieve a huge total. Communities can work together to fundraise $100, if that is too much for one person. If every person donates, then we can raise so much money for diabetes research! If we raise $100 in every zip code, it will total to $4.2 million for JDRF. All the proceeds will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the website Zip the Cure, or join the Facebook group, Zip the Cure. I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for all of your support!
Thanks Monica! And best of luck.