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Name: Evie & Lilly Tucker
Age: 15 & 13, diagnosed with T1D at age 8 & 6
Architecture team:
Ankrom Moisan & Chef David Mestl

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
Lilly was diagnosed at 6 years of age on Thanksgiving day after slipping into a coma. She had been misdiagnosed the previous day with the swine flu and put on antibiotics. Lilly was in a coma for 14 hours and spent 3 days in the ICU while the doctors and family waited to see if there would be any complications from her extremely high blood sugar (over 1000) and a highly acidic blood pH.  Lilly was lucky, and there were no long term effects due to her DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).  Six months after Lilly’s diagnosis, Evie started showing signs of an illness that she just couldn’t "shake". After several abnormal blood sugar readings it was advised that Evie be enrolled in TrialNet. Evie came back positive for 2 out of the 4 autoantibodies that signal Type 1 onset. Evie was official diagnosed with Type 1 10 months and 2 weeks after Lilly.
 
Why are you excited to be a Gingerbread Village Elf and represent JDRF?
We love seeing the Gingerbread Village every year. We are especially excited to have a chance to work alongside the architecture firm and chef to help construct this year’s creation.
 
What would a cure for type 1 diabetes mean to you?
It would mean being a normal teenager, not having to explain why I am poking my finger, or answer constant questions about our diabetes. We would also be able to get a driver license without needing doctor permission, and without worrying if  blood sugars are going to impair our ability to drive. More than anything, it would mean we could EAT WHAT WE WANT! Seriously, do you know how terrible it is to have to do complicated math equations with every bite of food and analyze everything you put in your mouth?
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
We swim. 6 days a week, 3 hours a day.  When we aren’t in the pool Lilly likes to read, Evie likes watching Netflix, texting with friends and she loves being in choir. Both girls also enjoy baking, shopping and hanging out with friends.

 
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Name: Gabe Zapf
Age: 11, diagnosed with T1D at age 9
Architecture team: Bailly & Bailly with Chef John Armstrong

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
I started eating and drinking more than I normally did. On the morning I was diagnosed I had a big breakfast and my mom took me to the doctor. The doctor did a couple of tests and sent me to the hospital because I had type one diabetes. I felt a little bit nervous because I didn’t know what was going on. I stayed in the hospital for about 3 days so I could learn to check my own blood sugar and give myself shots. When I got home it was my brother’s birthday so I got to see all my relatives. They were all curious and excited to see me.
 
Why are you excited to be a gingerbread village elf and represent JDRF?
What I am most excited about being an elf is that I get to help earn money for JDRF research for type one diabetes. I would like to support all new type one diabetes children.
 
What would a cure for T1D mean to you?
A cure for diabetes would mean no more shots or pricks for me or my sister. My sister and I are very athletic and no diabetes would mean our blood sugars would always be on target. It also would mean my mom doesn’t have to walk up every night to take blood sugars.
 
What are your favorite hobbies/sports?
 My favorite hobby is sports. I love playing lacrosse and soccer. I also enjoy reading and writing!

 
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Name: Maggie Zapf
Age: 6, diagnosed with T1D age 4
Architecture team: Bailly & Bailly with Chef John Armstrong

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
My older brother was diagnosed in March 2014 so my parents had me and my brothers tested. The genetic screening showed that I had an increased risk of acquiring type one diabetes. We monitored my blood sugars for the next 6 months until the doctor determined that I had diabetes. I spent 1 night at the hospital because my mom and dad already knew what to do.
 
Why are you excited to be a gingerbread village elf and represent JDRF?
Making a candy house with my brother!
 
What would a cure for T1D mean to you?
No more shots! No more play or sports being interrupted because I have to check my blood sugar. No more carrying around my diabetes kit.
 
What are your favorite hobbies/sports?
I love soccer, swimming, lacrosse, reading, and playing with my twin brother Gus.
 

 
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Name: Emily Langdalen
Age: 13, diagnosed with T1D at age 7
Architecture team:
4D with Chef Jay Sardeson

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
I was camping on Memorial day weekend and had been feeling really sick so that Monday night- very late, my mom decided I needed to go to the emergency room. IJ was later taken to Seattle Children’s Hospital where I spent a week. I was familiar with the hospital and the diabetes language because I had been to my cousin’s diabetes appointments with him. I think its special we share this bond.
 
Why are you excited to be a gingerbread village elf and represent JDRF?
I want to be able to work with the teams constructing the village. Also meeting other kids with diabetes. In my current school I am the only student so it can feel lonely.
 
What would a cure for type 1 diabetes mean to you?
Freedom! I can eat what I want without carb counting and also being a teenager.
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
I love art and painting. I swim a lot and just learned how much I love volleyball

 
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Name: Clea Pfeifer
Age: 11, diagnosed with T1D at age 10
Architecture team: Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties & Gelotte Hommas with Chef Jay Sardeson

My T1D Story
I was feeling very thirsty, and going to the bathroom a lot. I thought nothing of it, and went along my business. Then, 4 days after Christmas, December 29, 2015, my mom said my breath smelled like fruit or sugar. I had a 50% chance of getting diabetes when I was born, so she studied the symptoms, but I never knew this. She took me to the walk-in clinic and then they checked my blood sugar and found it to be too high for their meter. They said to go to the ER. I was very scared because I had no idea what was going on, as my mom never told me. On the ride there she briefly summarized what diabetes is. The next 3 days we spent in the hospital while my mom and dad took classes. I spent my New Year’s holiday in the hospital. I felt scared about diabetes then but now I am doing my own shots and check my blood sugar.
 
Why am I excited to be a gingerbread village Elf and representing JDRF?
I am excited to show that just because you have diabetes, doesn’t mean you can’t do amazing things and be happy!
 
What would a cure for T1D mean for me?
It would mean stopping eating food when I am not hungry and poking myself with needles at least 5 times a day as well as checking my blood sugar at least 4 times a day.
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
My favorite sport is basketball. I really like to cook pancakes and cookies and I want to be a chef when I grow up. I also like art and architecture, so it is fun working on the Gingerbread house!
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Name: Quinn Taylor
Age: 15, diagnosed with T1D at age 12
Architecture team:
MG2 with Chef Joleen Anderson

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel?
I was 12 years old when I was diagnosed. My parents had noticed that I had been really tired and thirsty. I had just come home from swim team and I was REALLY hungry and thirsty. I ate at a big dinner and had lots of Gatorade and went to bed. The next thing I remember is my mom poking my finger in the middle of the night (she is a nurse). She told me to get dressed and we were going to the hospital. I didn’t know what was going on and was asking her why. She said “I think you have diabetes Quinn.” My time in the hospital seemed overwhelming. One funning thin was people trying to come visit me but the bridge was closed because of Beat the Bridge!
 
Why are you excited to be a Gingerbread Village Elf and represent JDRF?

I want to get information out to people about T1D. I think there are many myths about it and I want people to see how normal my life is even though I have diabetes. I am excited to work with the architects and see my ideas come to life. I want to show the community that diabetes doesn’t define what I am but is a part of what make me who I am! I love being a Youth Ambassador and representing JDRF at events. I see this as another opportunity to share my story.
 
What would a cure for type 1 diabetes mean to you?
No more pokes and caring about my blood sugar. I wouldn’t need to worry about anything. I could eat whatever and whenever. I can still eat whatever I want now, but it takes planning. I am really excited about the closed-loop system and the beta-cell encapsulation trials. These are the closest things to a cure for me right now.
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
I love anything to do with video games and computer gaming. I am also very involved in my school’s music department. I play in both advanced band and jazz band while also doing choir. I play the saxophone: alto and baritone. I am looking forward to high school next year when I can do marching band. This year I also was in the Satellite Club.
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Name: Ella Pressnall
Age: 10, diagnosed with T1D at age 8
Architecture team:
CallisonRTKL & Hargis with Chef Lee Baldyga

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
It was the summer of 2014 and my family and I went to a lake near Spokane for vacation. I hadn't been feeling great. I was really tired, always thirsty, and last year's bathing suit was nearly falling off. On the 4th day of the trip, I had one bite of my waffle and felt like I was going to throw up. My Mom found me sitting in the bathroom, and she and my Dad decided that we should go to the emergency clinic to get a blood draw.

The results showed that my blood sugar was 350 (normal morning blood sugar is under 100), so we went straight to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane. After we arrived I got put in a hospital room, hooked up with all sorts of cords and wires. There in the ER they confirmed the test results and the Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis. My parents told me that I would not be going to Girl Scout camp the next week, and I felt awful and cried for a while. I had come into the hospital feeling weak and shaky, but after a night of insulin I was starting to eat again and feeling much better. But when they were teaching us all these crazy things about diabetes, I was terrified. I had always been scared of needles.

Why are you excited to be a Gingerbread Village Elf and represent JDRF?
I am excited to share my story so other kids with Type 1 Diabetes don't feel as lonely. I love baking and building things, so working on the Gingerbread house with the architects, engineers, bakers, and decorators is really, really fun.


What would a cure for type 1 diabetes mean to you?
A cure would mean so much to me because I would get to be normal again. I'd be able to eat anything, at any time, with no planning. I wouldn't have to carry a supply bag with me everywhere, or have devices all over me. And there would be way fewer needles in my life. I wouldn't be late to school because of a pulled-out set, or miss lunch/recess/class time because my blood sugar was high or low.
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
I play piano and love to build with Legos or Minecraft. I also swim and do gymnastics, and read at least 500 pages a week - especially realistic fiction or fantasy. I also love training and playing with my puppy Shadow.