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Petersen supports fight against diabetes

by Julie Dobbs / Dallas Stars

As Stars Forward Toby Petersen continues to prove, there is no offseason when it comes to the fight against diabetes.  While most of the Dallas Stars players have headed back to their hometowns for the summer, Stars Forward Toby Petersen stuck around Dallas, and he's already made a couple appearances to support the fight against Diabetes. Toby, who is a diabetic himself, knows how important it is to spread awareness for diabetes research, and he continues to be a great role model for children throughout the Metroplex by making various appearances and speaking to children about the disease that currently affects over 3 million young people. One of the great organizations that Toby supports is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, whose mission is to "find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research."

Toby appeared at a JDRF event last week at Castle Montessori of McKinney. The school has been a big supporter of JDRF, and they recently made a large donation to diabetes research. Toby was invited out to the school to participate in their Walk Kick-Off Assembly for the Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes program. The assembly was planned as a way to get the children excited about fundraising for JDRF and to provide them with information about diabetes, as they begin their fundraising efforts for the upcoming Walk to Cure Diabetes program. Each student over the next two weeks will be collecting donations and raising money for their upcoming JDRF walk that will be held at Castle Montessori School.  Each participating student received a packet with paper sneakers that they will sell for a one dollar donation, and the paper sneakers will be placed around the school to display their progress.

Toby began the assembly, in front of about 50 children aged K-3rd grade, by reading a book to the students titled, Rufus Comes Home: Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes.  The book is about a young boy who is recently diagnosed with diabetes, and Rufus, the stuffed bear, helps with the transition. The bear has patches to identify spots for insulin injections and it's fingers have red patches where the blood is obtained.  Julie Dee, the JDRF School Walk Coordinator, held the bear and used it as a prop as Toby read the story to the children. Following the story, Julie provided a short presentation to the students about diabetes and using insulin. Toby then discussed his struggle with diabetes at a young age, and emphasized the importance of exercise for youth.

This appearance was one of many that Petersen makes to raise awareness about diabetes.  He enjoys going to speak to local schools that raise money for JDRF as a special thank you for their participation in the fight against the disease. In addition to his many school visits, Toby has also attended the JDRF kickoff luncheon and Dream Gala as a special guest to fulfill his role as celebrity ambassador for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Tressa Thomas, family outreach organizer for JDRF, says they love working with Petersen, and are very appreciative of what he does for their organization.

"Toby has graciously been serving as our JDRF Celebrity Ambassador Spokesperson and has volunteered countless hours to JDRF's Mission in finding a cure for diabetes. Toby's story has brought great inspiration and encouragement to people of all ages, especially those living with type 1 diabetes, that it is possible to live your dream and achieve excellence even while confronting a challenge like type 1. Toby Petersen is our "JDRF Star" and we can't thank him enough for sharing so much of his time and talents with JDRF!"

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