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Samantha Merwin

PRESIDENT

I'm Samantha (Sam). My son Logan (Elbowbumpkid) was diagnosed with T1D when he was 17 months old. Since then, our family has been fundraising and raising awareness about Type 1 Diabetes, and celebrated 10 years thriving with Type 1 in July 2018. We also love traveling to explore new places, running races together and binge watching Netflix.

Our family has always been active in the diabetes community. Since 2008 we have fundraised over $100,000 for various T1D nonprofits. I also love planning social events to connect the the Type 1 community and support the nonprofits that help these kids thrive with T1D.

Kathleen Brown

VICE PRESIDENT

I have two kids: my son Connor recently graduated with his MBA and lives in Salem, MA; and my son Russell who is a Junior in high school. Russell was diagnosed with T1D in August 2007 at the age of 3. Russell is an active teen, playing soccer, basketball and golf in high school - he doesn't let T1D slow him down. The first real connections I made with people also living with T1D were through the message boards of the Children With Diabetes website (social media wasn't really a thing at that time!). I was thrilled to attend our first Friends For Life conference in 2014. We have attended each year since then - learning from the best researchers, educators and other families. The friendships we have created are truly Friends For Life. I love being a part of Elbowbumpkid Inc and supporting families living with T1D.

Jill Benn

SECRETARY

I’m Jill, mom to Aiden age 11 and Aliveah age 12. Aiden is my Type 1, diagnosed April 21, 2012 at the age of 3. I have two full time jobs, I work at Connecticare in Farmington, CT and I am a full time “pancreas” for Aiden!! In between working and school we are huge soccer fans and spend a ton of time at the soccer fields! I am thrilled to be part of the #ElbowBumpKid family as the Secretary and I am committed with helping fundraise to send as many families as possible to Friends for Life in Orlando, FL.

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Joanne Lund

MEMBER

I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 37 years. It’s difficult to look back to when I was first diagnosed at age 13. I didn’t understand the disease and certainly wasn’t at an age of embracing it. I didn’t have any diabetic friends and don’t recall much education around the disease. I do remember the difficulty adjusting to an active lifestyle, constantly changing hormones, and the social adjustments. There were years when I was taking 4+ shots of insulin a day based on my schedule. I had a choice of 2 types of insulin, a fast acting and slow acting – neither one was ideal so I had to take a shot each time I ate. I remember people thinking that I must be so out of control if I had to take insulin that many times a day. Another example of the lack of education and awareness.


The improvements in diabetes management and education continue to inspire me. In the early 90’s when I began using an insulin pump, I started to feel like a normal person and again in 2015 when I began wearing a continuous glucose monitor. I eliminated the need to check my blood sugar over 10 times a day!


I recently joined ElbowBumpKid, Inc, an organization providing diabetes awareness and the opportunity for families to thrive despite the Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis. I am amazed at what I continue to learn about managing diabetes and love how there is good that comes out of every situation!

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Virginia Coleman-Prisco

TREASURER

I'm Virginia (or Ginger to my friends, and Dr. Coleman-Prisco to my students). I live in Norfolk up in the Northwest Hills of CT. I'm an Assistant Professor at Mercy College in NY and Board of Education member in Norfolk. My spouse Ralph and I have three offspring and three cats: Lucas, John and Michael, along with Ruby, Lincoln and Biscuit. Our middle kid was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was in Kindergarten in 2015. Shortly afterwards we were lucky enough to meet the Merwin family and find connections with local CT T1D families. I am passionate about making sure insulin and T1D medical supplies are available and affordable to all T1D families, but more importantly, I love connecting with T1D community members who share the same experiences that we do. I'm happy to join the board of #Elbowbumpkid and serviette T1D community in new ways.

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Amy Stevenson

CHAIRPERSON

I’m Amy. I have two kiddos: My son Sam is a recent college grad who has flown the nest and lives in Nashville, TN. My daughter Grace is a senior in high school. Grace was diagnosed with Type 1 in 5th grade, and watching her navigate the ups and downs of T1 both inspires and amazes me every day. We live in West Hartford where I am also a teacher. Our family is passionate about helping to fund research to cure T1D, and I love being around other families who are committed to that same mission (and helping each other out along the way, as well!). Being a part of #Elbowbumpkid and working to help others enjoy the special opportunity that Friends for Life offers to T1 families is one of my greatest joys!

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Lisa DeGroff

MEMBER

I'm Lisa, my son Josh was diagnosed in DKA with T1D when he was 13 years old on 6/22/2015, he is now 19 and our family has been living with T1D for 6 years. Josh will be a sophomore at CCSU. I live in Kensington with my husband David, and sons Tom who is 26, Rob who is 24 and our Golden Retriever Cooper who is 4.

I have been a Pre-K 4/5 teacher in Kensington for 15 years and also enjoy quilting, jewelry making, reading and serving my church family at Kensington Congregational. I am also a volunteer for the MS Society.

I have been an outreach volunteer for JDRF for 5 years. Josh and I, along with Dr. Dunbar, have done a PSA for CCMC, and Josh has been very involved in the #neverstopgrowing campaign for CCMC. 

I am so looking forward to serving on the #Elbowbumpkid board. I am very excited to help make this T1D journey and all it entails easier for families.

Stacie Kress

MEMBER

My name is Stacie. I live in East Lyme, CT and I am a mom of 2 daughters, Emily and Isabella. Emily, 22, lives in Washington DC since graduating American University. Isabela, 9, was diagnosed with T1D in the summer of 2017.  Isabela is a superstar when it comes to T1D, advocating and educating among her peers. She is involved in soccer, tumble, Girl Scouts and cheerleading, and has participated in several closed-loop studies at Yale.

I have also become an advocate for T1 technology education within our local school district and have succeeded in creating policy changes as a result of our efforts in passing legislation in CT requiring schools to acknowledge and educate using these technological advances. 

 

Our family attended the Friends For Life conference for the first time in 2019... and it was life changing. It is my aspiration to help other families attend the FFL conference as well as local T1 activities. I'm committed to being a supportive resource for other T1 families in our community, and am honored to be a part of the #Elbowbumpkid family.

 

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