11/10/2016
Thank You, Jake Payne, 12

To commemorate November, National Diabetes Month, we want to thank Dobbs Ferry middle schooler, Jake Payne, 12, for organizing and implementing a recent fundraiser for the

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Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. Every month is diabetes month for Jake, who has had type 1 diabetes (T1D) since he was 11-months-old—so he decided “to raise money to help find a cure,” he said. Of the dozens of fundraisers and events (large and small) through the years for the Berrie Center—Jake’s will be remembered for its energy, enthusiasm and simplicity.

“He literally just asked people he knew and local businesses for money,” said his mother Jessica Bryan, the Photo Editor at People Magazine. “I really had nothing to do with it. He just came home one day and said he was raising money for the Berrie Center.” Added Jake, “I just gathered my friends after school, and we had a bunch of Naomi Berrie flyers, and we explained to people that we were collecting money to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes.”

Judging by the size of the envelope (stuffed with paper currency and coins) presented to Co-Director Dr. Robin Goland, the J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes, during Jake’s last visit to the Berrie Center—his efforts were successful. “I’m very proud of Jake,” added Natasha Leibel, MD, his doctor. “And he does a great job of managing his diabetes too.”

Indeed he does. When his blood sugar is low—he asks for cookies and milk, a favorite snack. His advice to kids who have recently been diagnosed: “Always pay attention to how your blood sugar feels because things happen fast.” How does he explain his diabetes to new friends? “My pancreas doesn’t make insulin, so I get it from my pump.”

How did it feel to hand Dr. Goland an envelope of cash for a cure? Said Jake, “It was great.” Will there be another fundraiser in Jake’s future. “Maybe.” 

Jake, who can’t remember life without diabetes, is looking forward to a day when he may no longer have it.