Gellmans Walk to Raise Money for Juvenile Diabetes

By Kim Gellman

Cameron GellmanThis is our first year to be involved with the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and we are very excited to be part of raising funds for research to find a cure for TID (type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes) – for Cameron and everyone else. Cameron was diagnosed in December last year at age 13.

A few days after Cameron was diagnosed and still in the hospital, he said to me, “I want to get involved with JDRF and eventually speak to kids about how this disease does not have to change their life in a negative way and how they can manage it with a positive attitude and a good outlook.”

The diagnosis is overwhelming and scary. Both JDRF and St. Louis Children’s Hospital have been a source of information, guidance and support.

Cameron inspires our family every day. We were healthy eaters before his diagnosis but now we have a diet of lean protein, organic vegetables and fruits. And we’re walking to get in shape for the Walk to Cure Diabetes on Sunday – October 7th in Forest Park.

Cameron is an 8th grader at Wydown Middle School in Clayton who plays basketball, guitar and enjoys hip hop dance. He has always been interested in the arts. My husband Jeff and I did not realize how much he loved singing, dancing and acting until the past couple of years when his focus changed, and he really wanted to dive in and study. He played a lot of sports in his elementary and tween years, just like his older brother Justin. Justin is an avid baseball and basketball player. Cameron wanted to be like his older brother, but an arm injury in 5th grade put him on the bench for a year. That’s when he became more focused on the arts. He plays the guitar, jams in a local band, when time allows, and most recently starting taking voice lessons. Cameron is an energetic creative young man who wants to do it all. He jumps into his new interests with vigor and panache. But his true love is acting. This summer Cameron is going to LA for a month of acting and film study. He is creative young man who loves people and taking on new challenges.

As an aspiring actor, he has been studying with an acting coach for a year and a half. He went to LA this summer and did an intensive for a month with directors, writers and photographers. He was truly in his element and did not want to come home! His diabetes has not slowed him down one bit. He has a great outlook and takes his diagnosis seriously by checking his sugars, eating healthy and paying attention to how he feels.

Cameron was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease ( a gluten allergy). This means he is not able to eat grain based products and he has had to alter his diet once more. But Cameron has continued to be positive and educate himself about the disease and what he can and cannot eat. Celiacs and juvenile diabetes are commonly linked. We are continuing to learn about both diagnoses and our son continues to amaze us daily with his joy for life and his attitude about making every day count. I know he will continue to be a champion for JDRF

We reached out to our family and friends and now have a Gellman Family Walk team of 20 people – and the team is growing every day. Our T-shirt is being designed, and we are using emails, Facebook and Twitter to inspire everyone.

So far we have raised $600 but our goal is $2,000 We are thrilled to be a part of JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes this year.

About the Gellmans
The Gelmans are members of CRC “which we absolutely love. CRC has been very supportive of Cameron and his diagnosis. We adore Rabbis Susan and Randy, both of whom called and checked on Cameron when he was diagnosed.” Kim is owner of an internet-based bedding, furniture and room decor artisticsensations.com. Her husband, Jeff, is a Medical Sales Manager for Mako Surgical. Their other son Justin is a sophomore at Clayton High School. Kim can be reached at – kagellman@gmail.com.

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