The South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association (STJDA) was founded only three short years ago in an effort to provide resources and support to families of children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Prior to its inception, there was very little assistance for families of newly diagnosed children in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. STJDA offers an array of programs and support: care boxes for the newly diagnosed, a yearly summer camp for children with diabetes, transportation assistance for medical appointments, and community education for schools, churches, youth clubs and more on the disease and its management.
STJDA has been the recipient of funding from an annual "Walk N Rolla" fundraiser sponsored by the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization to further its cause. The event promotes STJDA's services, holds free diabetes screenings and educates the community on the importance of getting active and being healthy. This year's walk sported an 80's theme and had over 600 participants who either biked, walked or ran for the cause. STJDA was the recipient of a one by oner grant from promotional products retailer 4imprintr. It used the grant to provide 80's style sunglasses to event participants. "We were really excited to find out we were chosen for a grant," said Debra Franco, STJDA president. "The glasses added a lot of excitement to the event and its theme." Debra co-founded STJDA after her eight-year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in an effort to make sure other families didn't have to go through the adjustment to living with this lifelong condition alone.