But Riley also focuses on the positive of her condition.
“Being a T1D can be very fun at times too. I am offered so many great opportunities and I get to meet new friends,” she said.
The Youth Ambassador Program was created to empower children with type 1 diabetes by giving them the opportunity to provide diabetes education to the public.
Riley is one of several an estimated 30,800 residents in the Greater Cincinnati area who live with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the body destroys its own insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is often misunderstood, which is why the awareness-building aspect of the Youth Ambassador role is so important, according to JDRF.
During the next year, Riley will provide health education throughout the community to raise support and awareness of type 1 diabetes. She will speak to businesses, schools, and hospitals, as well as participate in JDRF sanctioned outreach events.
For more information about the JDRF Southwest Ohio Youth Ambassador Program, visit www.swojdrf.org.