Kyrene de la Sierra

Anna Cable, 9, poses in front of the paper sneakers that were given to donors to her drive on behalf of JDRF. Donors drove through the parking lot of Kyrene de la Sierra, where Anna is in fourth grade, to pick up their sneaker.

An Ahwatukee girl recently completed a virtual fundraiser with an impressive result on behalf of research into the disease that afflicts her.

Anna Cable, a 9-year-old Kyrene de la Sierra student, raised $1,950 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which often identifies itself only by its acronym, JDRF.

For several years, Anna and her mom, Jill Cable, and Reagan DuVall, 11, and her mom would mark Diabetes Awareness Month in November standing outside the Sierra playground selling paper cutouts of sneakers. 

They would organize individual classes to sell them too, with the class selling the most earning ice cream sandwiches. 

This past year, however, the sneaker fundraiser looked a little different. Reagan is now in middle school and by the time Anna was ready to reprise the mid-month fundraiser, Kyrene campuses had been closed because students returned to virtual learning.

Anna instead organized an online paper sneaker sale, pitting two sets of grades – kindergarten through second and third-fifth – against each other in a friendly competition to see how much each group could raise.

To pick up their sneakers, donors drove through the Sierra parking lot.

Under the circumstances, Anna’s mom had set expectations low, expecting only a few hundred dollars.

Instead, the $1,950 Anna raised surpassed last year’s take.

“We were floored by the support from our community,” Jill Cable said.

Every spring, JDRF also holds a fundraising walk and Anna and Reagan have participated in that too, organizing their teams by the names Anna’s Bananas and Reagan’s Renegades.

Kids and adults living with diabetes walk with their friends and families to raise money for JDRF.

“The outpouring of support we have received from the community is truly amazing, we are just humbled by it,” Jill said.

Anna was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes two years ago.

“Our world was rocked and completely flipped upside down,” her mother said. “Diabetes was nowhere on our radar.”

“We were just scared when she was diagnosed,” she added.

The diagnoses imposed huge lifestyle and dietary adjustments.

Kids with Type 1 Diabetes can’t live their lives as carefree as others.

Jill said having Anna go to playdates or a sleepover at a friend’s house wasn’t easy. In fact, parents of most children with the disease avoid sleepovers all together.

“Pretty much everything takes thought,” Jill said.

People within the community were there to connect Jill and Anna to helpful resources. 

That community support was demonstrated when the 2019 Ahwatukee Little League season began: players saluted three teammates with Type 1 Diabetes – Anna, Zachary Cicchillo and Davis Schapler.

Of the estimated 1.6 million Americans with the disease, about 200,000 are under age 20.

Between 2001-2009, there was a 21 percent increase in the prevalence of the disease in people under 20.

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