It’s been one year since the Desert Vista community was caught off guard by the passing of senior Alex DePriest after complications with type 1 diabetes.
She was 17.
“Alex was very close friends with many of the girls on the team. Alex had a very amazing impact on all the people she came in contact with,” said Desert Vista beach volleyball coach Rick Schapler, whose son, Davis, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 2.
“Having a son with type 1 is a 24/7 challenge of balancing life and blood sugars. It’s a disease that never gives you a day or minute off.”
Alex played indoor volleyball at Desert Vista, and was beloved by all of those around her. In the fall, the indoor team wore pink shirts– Alex’s favorite color – in her honor. On April 3, the one-year anniversary of her death, members of the beach team wore pink uniforms against Marana.
The two teams came together to form the ADP (Alex DePriest) Pretty in Pink walk team to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The team walked in the JDRF Walk on April 6 in Mesa and has raised over $7,000.
“I got to speak to Alex’s mom and she was very touched with how much support there was given the circumstance,” said Peggy Schapler, Rick’s wife and the president of the Valley chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“She was touched and in awe by the outpour of love and the day of hope at the JDRF Walk.”
The effort from both teams to raise money for type 1 diabetes research is just another way for them to remember Alex.
“Having the Desert Vista volleyball teams raising money and awareness is very emotional to all involved,” Rick Schapler said. “All of these young ladies not only dealt with a tragic loss but rose up to honor her by wearing pink.
“Raising money and awareness is something Alex would have been very proud of.”
Donations for the ADP Pretty in Pink team are open until June 30. For more information and to donate, visit www2.jdrf.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=walk_homepage and search for “Pretty in Pink.”