Ashlynn O'Hara, a 10-year-old girl from Calmar, has been doing her part to find a cure for diabetes.
Ashlynn O’Hara, a 10-year-old girl from Calmar, has been doing her part to find a cure for diabetes.
After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in August 2016, Ashlynn made it her mission to help find a cure for the disease.
For the past four months, Ashlynn has been designing and selling bracelets to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). All of her proceeds are donated to the foundation.
“[I wanted to start] so we could find a cure for type 1 diabetes,” Ashlynn said. “I feel really good about helping.”
All the bracelets have her personal touch in the form of a name tag with Ashlynn’s name.
On her Instagram and Facebook pages, T1D Looks Like Me Ashlynn O’Hara, she has nearly 200 followers already who check in with her as she manages her day-to-day life.
As a JDRF junior ambassador, Ashlynn has been busy raising awareness and educating others on Type 1 diabetes as well. Aside from making bracelets, she’s given speeches at her school in Calmar, met with local businesses, set up lemonade stands and a community pancake breakfast and participates in the Walk for Diabetes every summer.
“All the ideas and fundraising come from her and I just drive the car,” said Ashlynn’s mom Tammie O’Hara.
Part of Ashlynn’s goal is to raise money so other diabetics can purchase life-saving equipment like the Dexcom, which provides continuous monitoring of glucose levels. Tammie said the machine has saved Ashlynn’s life on more than one occasion, but the equipment is expensive and not always covered.
“I wanted everyone to be able to have the Dexcom. My other goal was I wanted it to be easier for other people to manage their diabetes because it’s really hard to,” Ashlynn said.
To help realize her goals Ashlynn comes up with many different ways to raise money and has received tremendous support from her community.
This summer Ashlynn will again participate in the local Walk for Diabetes in Calmar in June. Tammie said that many of those who sponsored and supported Ashlynn for her Calmar Walk the past two years were inspired by her and sparked the creation of her social media awareness campaign.
“From there, just people meeting [Ashlynn], it kind of just bloomed,” Tammie remarked.
In 2019 there are a variety of ways to support and contribute to Ashlynn’s cause.
The Devon Neighbourhood Dental clinic has pledged to donate proceeds from fluoride treatments to Ashlynn’s cause for the month of January. With the help of her family, she is also organizing a family ski day at Rabbit Hill Snow Resort on Mar. 3, 2019.
Ashlynn’s bracelets can be found online on her Facebook and Instagram pages. More information on the JDRF and its cause can be seen on the foundation website.