A diagnosis of juvenile diabetes is not one anyone would wish for, but it’s one that Davis teen Josie Campanelli has been using as a vehicle for good since she was a young girl.
Campanelli, now a senior at Davis High School, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 2005 when she was 8 years old. Since then, she has endured nearly 18,000 finger pricks and given herself four to five shots every day, and will continue to be insulin-dependent for the rest of her life.
But she’s never let the inconvenience slow her down. An active teen who plays soccer and plans to head off to college next year, Campanelli has served as a role model for kids with diabetes for years.
In 2011, she even received a Golden Heart Award from the city of Davis for her efforts.
Campanelli was nominated for the award by the Meinert family of Davis, who said she had served as a friend and role model to their daughter, Kate, when she was diagnosed in 2010.
“There are people like Josie,” they family said in their nomination, “who will pick you up, they will brush you off, and they will guide you out of the storm.”
And in Campanelli’s case, they’ll also go the extra mile in the quest for a cure.
Every year since her diagnosis, Campanelli and her family – mom Kim, dad Mark and sister Kayla – have participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes, always accompanied by a sizable contingent of family and friends.
Last year the team — Campanelli Magic — raised $4,000 for the foundation and this year the goal is at least that. They’ll be walking again in Sacramento on Sunday, Oct. 6.
“It’s a great way to raise awareness about juvenile diabetes,” Campanelli said. “Because it can happen to anyone. We don’t know why I got it, it doesn’t run in my family, so it’s important for people to be aware of it.”
All the funds raised go toward finding a cure, she added.
The team welcomes anyone interested in walking and/or donating to the cause. Do either by visiting http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?px=8605086&pg=personal&fr_id=2415.
The team also will participate in a fundraiser at Caffé Italia, 1121 Richards Blvd., on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a Stella & Dot fall collection fashion show, a photo exhibit with prints for sale and, of course, Italian food.
Caffé Italia will donate a portion of the fundraiser’s dining proceeds to the team. Just be sure to mention “Josie” or the JDRF fundraiser — whether you’re staying for the fundraiser or not.
Learn more about Campanelli and her efforts at https://www.smore.com/hyg1-help-find-a-cure-for-Josie.
— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or 530-747-8051.