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Name: Emilie Svensson
Age: 17, diagnosed with T1D at age 14
Architecture team:
4D with Chef Jay Sardeson

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
When Emilie was diagnosed with type one diabetes she was really sick and didn't know what to do. She was scared of what people would think and say about her type one diabetes. Emilie remembers crying herself to sleep in her hospital becuase she didn't know what diabetes would bring to her life. 
 
Why are you excited to be a Gingerbread Village Elf and represent JDRF?
Emilie is interested to share her story and feelings about type one diabetes and what finding a cure would mean to her and her family. 
 
What would a cure for type 1 diabetes mean to you?
A cure would mean she would have a "normal" life again. Emilie believes that a cure would mean not having to worry about her life and she could be free. 
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
Emilie loves karate, crafting, and hanging out with her local Girl Scout troop. 

 
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Name: Colby Heard
Age: 8, diagnosed with T1D at age 6
Architecture team: Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties & Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl with Chef Jay Sardeson

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
When Colby was first diagnosed he couldn't eat or drink because he was so sick and in the ICU. When his mother told him that he had type one diabetes he felt lonely and wanted to make sure that other kids don't feel lonely. 
 
Why are you excited to be a gingerbread village elf and represent JDRF?
Colby wants people to learn about diabetes so that if they get it, they can catch it early and not get really sick. He is also excited to see people donate to help improve his life and the lives of others with T1D. 
 
What would a cure for T1D mean to you?
Colby would be really happy! He wouldn't have to leave in the middle of recess to go to the nurses office. 
 
What are your favorite hobbies/sports?
Colby's favorite hobbies are basketball, karate, reading, and Legos! 

 
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Name: Eli Overa
Age: 8, diagnosed with T1D age 1
Architecture team: Bailly & Bailly with Chef John Armstrong

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
Eli was diagnosed at 13 months old and doesn't remember much. His parents were worried because he wasn't meeting his developmental milestones. He was diagnosed after a trip to Seattle Children's and once he was diagnosed with T1D it was like he was a whole new infant and meeting all of his milestones. 
 
Why are you excited to be a gingerbread village elf and represent JDRF?
Eli loves seeing the Gingerbread houses every year and is thrilled to be an Elf this year! He loves to volunteer and educate others about T1D. 
 
What would a cure for T1D mean to you?
Eli thinks it would be nice to live like his brother who doesn't have T1D. He wants to be able to take his insulin pump off forever. 
 
What are your favorite hobbies/sports?
Eli loves to play baseball, soccer, and football. His favorite athlete is Jordan Morris because he also has T1D and has shown Eli that he can manage his diabetes and follow his dreams. 
 

 
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Name: Madison Grandt
Age: 13, diagnosed with T1D at age 9
Architecture team:
CallisonRTKL & Hargis with Chef Lee Baldyga

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel:
When Madison was diagnosed with type one diabetes her 9 year old self couldn't comprehend what was taking place. She feels that she has grown stronger mentally since being diagnosed and that she can take on any challenge that comes her way. 
 
Why are you excited to be a gingerbread village elf and represent JDRF?
Madison is excited to educate people in a way that makes them want to educate others. She feels lucky to have the experience so she is able to help others learn more about type one diabetes. 
 
What would a cure for type 1 diabetes mean to you?
A cure would mean that people around the world don't have to worry so much and have a huge burden lifted from their lives. 
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
Madison is a catcher for the Bainbridge Island juniors softball team. She also loves to read, write, and play with her brother. 

 
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Name: Alexa Nowoj
Age: 15, diagnosed with T1D at age 11
Architecture team: MG2 with Chef Joleen Anderson


Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel?
Alexa was actually "diagnosed" at dance class by some fellow dancers. She hadn't been feeling well and there were a few other dancers with T1D. After they saw her blood sugar was high her parents took her to the hospital where she got her official diagnosis. Alexa and her parents cried and didn't know what to expect. December 11, 2003 was definitely the worst day of her life. 
 
Why am I excited to be a gingerbread village Elf and representing JDRF?
Any time Alexa volunteers with JDRF she feels like she is making a difference and contributing towards a cure. 
 
What would a cure for T1D mean for me?
A cure would be an answer to her and her family's prayers. Alexa says it would mean a life free of testing, needles, and worrying about the highs and lows. 
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
Alexa loves to dance! She has been a dancer for over 7 years- everything from jazz, lyrical, point and ballet. 
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Name: Riley Hales
Age: 10, diagnosed with T1D at age 8
Architecture team:
Mackenzie with Chef David Mestl

Tell us your T1D story, what happened when you were diagnosed, how did you feel?
Riley at first she didn't know she was sick. She had lost her desire to do any activities and would cry all the time to her parents because she didn't feel well.
 
Why are you excited to be a Gingerbread Village Elf and represent JDRF?

Riley is looking forward to sharing her T1D story with the community and to educate people about the importance of finding a cure. 
 
What would a cure for type 1 diabetes mean to you?
To Riley a cure would mean that she gets to live a "normal" life and to be able to be spontaneous. 
 
What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
Riley loves to dance, play soccer, and help others in the kitchen.