A certain 10-year old soccer champ kicks it up at the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Diagnosed with T1D at age five, Joey Hagen is a happy, athletic and charismatic boy. “Even so,” says his mother Julie Stein, “living with someone who bears the weight of this disease is, at times, heartbreaking. Those with a passing knowledge of T1D do not generally understand the extreme complexity of the condition and the many things that must be done each and every day and night to manage it.” That’s why Joey’s family decided to form a Walk team, Joey’s Jammers, to increase awareness and raise money to help find a cure.
The team looks forward to the enormous energy and sense of community that they experience at the Walk each year. Julie says, “The Walk enables me and my family to do something positive to show our love and support for Joey and, of course, for all of the other millions of people living with T1D.” They have become avid fundraisers, recognizing that research is critical but requires money. Julie continues, “The Walk is one of many important vehicles out there that raises important funding for the many facets of research, medical advances and advocacy …to not only find a cure but also to ease the burden in the lives of those that currently have the disease.”
Joey doesn’t let T1D stop him from doing anything, including winning soccer trophies. He impresses his mother every day. When asked what her definition of a hero is, Julie is quick to answer, “Joseph Ryan Hagen!”