Diabetes Awareness: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.org) · National Institutes of Health · American Diabetes Assn. · Diabetic Avengers
At the age of 7, New Jerseyite Alex Friedman laid in the cancer ward of the nearby hospital while his family stood by his side terrified by the unknown. Eventually he learned that he had type 1 diabetes. Now, 25 years later, Alex says “it was a scary road but it made me grow, learn and appreciate life from a very young age.”
After a long time of managing his diabetes Alex started a Facebook group called Diabetic Avengers. The name was created for everyone – you have the power to become an avenger if you are affected by T1D or love someone who has T1D. The group’s intention is to give support and to share funny memes to inform, spread awareness, and laugh together.
The Facebook group caught traction, so he started a clothing line with seven percent of each sale is donated to JDRF. As he began to raise funds, he knew he could make an even bigger impact on the mission – by using his fifteen years’ experience as a bartender to raise funds for JDRF. Now each month, he works with a different restaurant in New Jersey to host a fundraiser where part of the proceeds go back to JDRF.
Recently he has hosted fundraisers at Max’s Bar & Grill in Long Branch and the Red Rock Tap & Grill in Red Bank; with plans for one at The Headliner Oasis in Neptune in December. At each fundraiser, he has bands come out to play and has lots of different prizes that they raffle off like restaurant gift cards, bottles of wine, tickets to MSG tower suite and more.
Alex really enjoys organizing these fundraisers to “bring awareness and shed light on this disease – its a great feeling for me knowing I am giving back to this community and bettering the lives of those living with T1D.”
He says, “a cure for this disease would mean the world to me and millions of others! Not just for diabetics living with it, but for family, friends, relatives, significant others and ones we lost from T1D. It would be a new way of life for a lot of us, but an easier way of life. Its a constant trial and error every day trying to feel normal and if we win that day it’s an amazing feeling. We need more people to help spread awareness and come together as one”.
Thank you Alex for being a “mover, shaker, and T1D changemaker” and all your efforts to organize these events to raise awareness & fundraise for our mission!