Mitzvah Hero: Sophie Waldman of Cheltenham, who turned her Bat Mitzvah project at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am in Abington into an ongoing commitment to battle diabetes.
What It’s All About: The 13-year-old — an 8th grade student at Cedarbrook Middle School — has Type 1 diabetes and chose the write stuff to educate youngsters recently diagnosed with the disease on what to expect. The “junior ambassador” for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is writing a book on the topic to be self-published by her family and donated to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which will make it available for patients in its endocrine section.
Explains our Mitzvah Hero: “I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes right after my 9th birthday. I spent a week at CHOP with my parents,” Sloane and Gary, “learning about my diagnosis and what my life would be like. As things quieted down and my ‘new normal’ began, my mom and I had ideas for educating those who were going through those first scary days and months after diagnosis.”
Not Just a One-Time Thing: Friends and family know Sophie has her energy in the right place. The work she is engaged in for the research foundation has many parts to it: “I have a walk team for the Walk to Cure Diabetes run by the JDRF annually,” which has raised more than $30,000. The teen also speaks on behalf of the organization at functions.
Good for Them: Sophie’s not the only one sweet on volunteer work: Sisters Carly, 15, and Maggie, 9, also give time and effort to the foundation.
“I want other kids to know that life with Type 1 is manageable and you can still do anything you want,” says Sophie, who is eager to build on her success: “I hope to be an architect when I grow up and I know I will continue to raise money and awarenesss for the JDRF."