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Young Patient Helps Others Diagnosed with Diabetes
June 9, 2015

A dedicated and hardworking patient in the Pediatric Diabetes Program at Winthrop-University Hospital recently donated 162 backpacks filled with toys, games, crafts and books to the Program, making a difference in the lives of young patients learning to deal with diabetes. Olivia B., a 16-year-old Girl Scout and resident of Greenlawn, New York, was working on her Gold Award and wanted to help children and young adults going through what she did – living with Type 1 diabetes. With this goal in mind, she assembled the backpacks, filled with entertainment she hopes will ease the anxiety of all newly diagnosed children and young adults.

Olivia, who was diagnosed at 11 months old, placed the following letter in each backpack for the children:

I understand how intimidating Type 1 diabetes can seem when you’re first diagnosed. But I promise you the only thing that can limit you from doing what you want to do is yourself. Life likes to throw hurdles in your path, and if you think of this diagnosis as one of the many that you will have to face, you can come out of this as a better and stronger person. Stay strong and don’t let Type 1 Diabetes dictate the way you lead your life. As Joshua J. Marine said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

“On behalf of the Pediatric Diabetes Program at Winthrop, we thank Olivia for not only being a role model to our patients, but for giving them the hope and courage to overcome their fears and anxiety to live their lives to the fullest,” said Lori Benzoni, MPH, Pediatric Program Manager at Winthrop.

For more information about Winthrop’s Pediatric Diabetes Program, visit or call 1-866-WINTHROP.

Contact: Courtney Allison
Publications Specialist
(516) 663-2234