ROCHESTER — On June 10, at RIT in Rochester was the sight of the 'JDRF Walk to CURE Diabetes' and it saw a small local community come together to support one of it own with a record number of 'Crew' members.
Carter's Crew is a local team that walks in support of Carter Davis, who will be a senior at Dansville High School this year. Carter had just turned 8 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes on Oct. 1, 2009. Carter's family started Carter's Crew and walked in their first walk in May of 2010. They had the biggest team there with 37 Crew members. Every year, Carter's Crew grows, and this year they set a new record with 285 team members. The next closest team had 62 members.
Over the last 8 years, Carter's Crew has raised over $90,000 and this year they set their sights on raising over $10,000 and hitting the $100,000 mark. They not only hit it, they surpassed it and raised $15,606 bringing their 9-year total to $106,584.
Since Carter's diagnosis, the Davis family has made it their mission to not only raise money to help the JDRF improve the daily lives of everyone who lives with T1D, with the ultimate goal of having their son cured, they also hope to raise awareness, educate and advocate about T1D. In 2015 at the JDRF Gala they received the Laurie Schreiner Award for Volunteer Family of the Year. They have written to members of the Senate and Congress and have signed numerous petitions to help with funding T1D research.
In the last 8 1/2 years, they state there has been significant advancements in diabetes care and management even with the government threatening to cut aide and that is why raising this money means so much and moves the world closer to a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
"The support this community has given us over the years is absolutely incredible. To think how many people give their time to support us is just unbelievable and goes to show how bighearted this community really is. Its one thing to talk about supporting one another but this community doesn't just talk the talk they lead by example and they walk the walk, figuratively and literally. They step up every time anyone in our community needs support. We couldn't be prouder to live in such a fantastic community," said a statement from Carter's family.
Carter is bound for college, and faces the reality that diabetes is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, 365 day a year disease, that patients don't get a day off from. His testing regimen includes checks every night at midnight and 3 a.m. — Not an easy task for a heavy sleeper.
Carter's parents, Cindy and Kevin Davis recalled the impacts on their family, "Carter's diagnosis at the age of only 8 was definitely life changing for our entire family. I am so proud of how well Carter has taken on his diagnosis and has not let it slow him down, He has played three sports since he was in 3rd grade, and has been a member of the school band since 3rd grade also," they said.
Despite the many challenges, community support has played a key roll in Carter's ability to continue fighting. Last year during a varsity soccer game against Wayland he literally collapsed on the field because his blood sugar dropped to low to fast.
His teammates quickly reacted and came to his aide without hesitation. It sidelined him for the rest of that game, but he was right back out there giving 100 percent in the next game, exemplifying a motto he lives by — "Diabetes is not a disability, but an ability to prove myself."