Katelyn Baker, 12, has to check her blood sugar about 12 times a day to make sure her body is stable.
The Pegasus School seventh-grader, who has had Type 1 diabetes since she was 3, has been selected to serve as a youth ambassador for the Orange County chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.
She and classmate Josh Morrison, 13, who is in his second year as a youth ambassador, will serve as the faces of Type 1 diabetes, bring awareness and help dispel misconceptions about the disease.
The two were selected because of their commitment and enthusiasm, said Michelle Popoff, outreach manager for the Orange County chapter.
"Our main goal is to raise money to fund a research for a cure for Type 1, and the more awareness we can bring to it, the better our chances are to raise the money and fund the research for a cure," she said.
Josh, of Newport Beach, has been fulfilling his duties as ambassador and Katelyn, of Huntington Beach, volunteered at an event and signed up for another, Popoff said.
Both students would not allow diabetes to get in the way of their lives. Although they both have insulin pumps and have to check their blood sugar, they say you can accomplish all your goals and reach all your dreams, which is their message to others.
"I figure skate and surf," Katelyn said. "You can pretty much do anything with diabetes. You're completely a normal person, except you have to check your blood sugar and take insulin."
Some of their duties include speaking at schools, volunteering for the organization's fundraising event and participating in the Walk to Cure Diabetes, Popoff said.