BLACKFOOT — Six families coping with the realities of juvenile diabetes received a little assistance Wednesday from the Rollin’ for a Cause fundraiser.
The motorcycle ride organized earlier this year by two women—Colleen Morgan and Susan Jensen—raised more than $10,000 to benefit families with children living with Type 1 Diabetes. In addition to helping individual families, a scholarship for graduating seniors with Type I Diabetes—the Camille Coles Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Jensen’s daughter—was established and money was donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through the Zip for a Cure campaign.
“Everyone in this room is deeply impacted by this disease, one way or another,” Jensen said speaking to the families at a pizza dinner Wednesday. “It is a cause very close to my heart.”
The dinner provided the opportunity for parents to meet and share their stories as well as for the kids to see they are not the only ones living with diabetes.
Eight-year-old Tayla Despain was one beneficiary of the funds raised through Rollin for a Cause. Tayla was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes one year ago and was hospitalized for four days.
Her parents, Troy and Trisha, said the diagnosis has been life-changing, but that Tayla has kept a positive attitude and her friendly personality. They recently purchased an insulin pump for Tayla, eliminating the need for insulin injections.
“It’s nice to know there’s people out there who are willing to go out of their way to give kids a better way of life,” Troy Despain said.
Trisha Despain said they are incredibly grateful, and hope Rollin’ for a Cause continues in the future to help other kids.
Jensen and Morgan are already planning next year’s Rollin’ for a Cause ride. It is scheduled for the first Saturday in Augus. They also plan to seek non-profit status and garner corporate donations next year.
“I’m excited for next year,” Jensen said. “I see no limits on this.”