For Mineola learners, finding a cure for juvenile diabetes is personal

For Mineola learners, finding a cure for juvenile diabetes is personal
Fiona and her "Warriors" in the fight to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. (Photo courtesy of Mineola School District)

For learners and teachers at Mineola UFSD’s Meadow Drive School, finding a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a mission they take very personally. Since 2016, the school community has been steadfast and unified in its support for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and for students battling the disease.

According to teacher Christine Gayson, Meadow Drive’s push to raise awareness and funds started in 2016 when the family of kindergartner Marcelo Patron reached out to the school for support. “From that moment it’s been a yearly tradition,” said Ms. Gayson. “We look forward to supporting every year and we won’t stop until there’s a cure.”

In 2020 the Meadow Drive family was contacted again by a family dealing with a recent T1D diagnosis. This time it was Fiona McHugh, a pre-K student at Meadow Drive, and it took no time for the school to mobilize their support behind Fiona and her family.

Besides supporting and joining the McHugh’s in the JDRF walk at Eisenhower Park, the school holds an in-school walk-a-thon where all students can be engaged in the cause. During the event, held in October, the entire school community wears blue (Fiona’s favorite color) and walks around the school led by Fiona and her team dubbed “Fiona’s one-derful Warriors.”

“We are always happy to empower our learners to see how they can make a difference in the world,” said Meadow principal Jennie Fahey. “Fiona is not only making an impact toward finding a cure, but she is also a role model for her peers who may seek to make a difference in their own way.”

The district is so proud of our warrior Fiona and all her fellow students, friends and teachers who work together to lift each other up and put their energy and passion behind causes that will make the world a better place.

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