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Community Spotlight: The Impact of "Touched by Type 1" in Central Florida

Insights from Elizabeth Forrest and 23 Years of Empowering Lives


At WPC, we believe in the power of giving back and supporting those who make a difference in our communities. For over half a century, embodying 'The WPC Way' has meant more than just business; it's been about nurturing and contributing to the welfare of the communities we are a part of. Our commitment has been steadfast and impactful - with over three million dollars donated and more than a thousand hours of service dedicated to enriching the Central Florida community. In line with this spirit, we are thrilled to spotlight a local champion, Touched by Type 1 (TBT1), an organization that epitomizes the resilience and positive impact that we value.  In this exclusive interview, we delve into the heart and soul of TBT1 through its founder, Elizabeth Forrest, to understand the journey and the remarkable difference this organization is making.

 

1. What Inspired the Inception of Touched by Type 1?

Elizabeth Forrest: Touched by Type 1 began as a small community fundraiser, an idea I had as a middle schooler. After being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 10, I realized I had two choices: let this diagnosis define me or define a path that turns this challenge into an opportunity. My passion for dance, sparked in Holley Ricker’s class at Millennium Middle School, became a beacon, guiding me to use it for something greater. That's how Touched by Type 1 was born - not just as a fundraiser, but as a movement to shed light on the lives of over 1.9 million Americans living with this disease.


 2. How Has Touched by Type 1 Evolved Over the Years?

Elizabeth Forrest: Over 23 years, what started in Sanford, Florida, as a heartfelt initiative has grown into a highly respected nonprofit. We've expanded beyond just awareness; we're a support system, a community. Our annual conference, dance programs, and educational initiatives like 'Type 1 at School' reflect our commitment to not just live with diabetes but thrive with it. Our journey mirrors the stories of many we've touched - starting young, growing, facing challenges, and constantly evolving.


3. Can You Tell Us About Your Unique Programs Like 'Golfing Fore Diabetes’ and the Dance Program?

Elizabeth Forrest: Absolutely! Our dance program is particularly close to my heart. It's where we channel the power of dance to empower children with Type 1 Diabetes, teaching them that their disease doesn't limit their dreams.


'Golfing Fore Diabetes’ is a fun, engaging way for people to come together in a healthy way and raise funds for diabetes research. It symbolizes our approach - tackling serious issues with a blend of joy and determination.


4. How Do You Address the Challenges Faced by Children with Type 1 Diabetes in Schools?

Elizabeth Forrest: The importance of education and empathy in tackling the challenges faced by children with Type 1 Diabetes in schools. The 'Type 1 at School' program is designed to educate teachers and school staff. This approach aims to foster an environment of understanding and support, ensuring that children with Type 1 Diabetes feel secure and accepted. The program's focus is on training educators to understand Type 1 Diabetes, its severity, what to look out for and how to best support their students with Type 1 Diabetes. The goal is to make sure that their disease doesn't impede their educational journey.

 

5. What’s it like for someone who has Type 1

Elizabeth Forrest: Living with Type 1 Diabetes, involves constant vigilance and management. It requires regular blood sugar monitoring and insulin administration. Those with Type 1 Diabetes must be cautious about hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Dietary management and adjusting insulin are crucial to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Additionally, those with Type 1 Diabetes may face emotional and social challenges, feeling different from their peers and dealing with anxiety related to their disease.

6. Looking Forward, What's Your Vision for Touched by Type 1?

Elizabeth Forrest: Our vision is twofold: continue being a pillar of support for those living with Type 1 Diabetes and drive towards a future where this disease can be a thing of the past. We're here to journey with them, at every step, towards a healthier, brighter future.

 

Elizabeth Forrest's journey and the evolution of Touched by Type 1 reflect the essence of community empowerment and the impact of individual determination. WPC is proud to support local heroes like TBT1, who align with our ethos of making meaningful contributions to community life. As we continue our mission of giving back, we draw inspiration from organizations like Touched by Type 1, which remind us that every effort, no matter how small it begins, can grow into a significant force for positive change. We are honored to play a part in supporting and celebrating the achievements of such vital community champions in Central Florida, as they continue to enrich lives and pave the way for a brighter future.


Learn more about this amazing organization and the many ways in which you can support them.

 

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