The toughest issues average 11-year-olds face on a daily basis involve choosing an outfit or completing homework. Madeline Tallman is not your average 11-year-old. Koons Lexus of Wilmington, a longtime supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), recently sponsored her as a Youth Ambassador.
Madeline, a bubbly sixth-grader, was diagnosed with Type I (Juvenile) diabetes when she was just eight years old. Not one to succumb to her new reality as a diabetic, she almost immediately became involved with JDRF. She was the 2010 Gala ambassador, created a family walk team named “Maddie’s Mob,” and established “Tween Girls”—a group which brings other Type I diabetics together for social events.
And Madeline has continued her work to end Type 1 diabetes. She submitted the winning essay out of 25 applicants in Delaware to represent the state as their JDRF Youth Ambassador.
Leigh Encarnacian, Customer Relations Manager at Koons Lexus, believes that Madeline is a truly worthy recipient of that honor. “She is a wonderful girl. She’s a typical 11-year-old with hope in her eyes living her new normal,” Encarnacian said. “It tugs at your heart, because she lives with a pump.”
As the Ambassador, Madeline will attend the Children’s Congress in Washington, DC in June. Koons Lexus of Wilmington’s contribution to the JDRF will not only help defray Madeline’s cost for the trip, but will also make a concrete impact on the fight to find a cure for this disease.
“A cure would mean everything to me and so many other people,” Madeline said. “This is so important because that would make my life more care free like other kids my age. I could wake up and not worry about feeling awful in the midst of the day. I could be at lunch and not be worrying about not finishing everything…and neither would any other diabetic.”
The Lexus Corporation matched the Koons Lexus of Wilmington donation through their Pursuit of Potential program.
Koons wishes you all the best Madeline and we look forward to hearing about your trip to the Children’s Congress.