Texas High School Student Kayce Welch is One of a Kind
Texas High School student Kayce Welch is at it again -- coming up with more great ideas for her community in order to help kids and young adults find a cure for juvenile, or Type 1, diabetes -- a condition she also shares.
As a matter of fact, Kayce has been recognized for her efforts to create a diabetes office in Texarkana by being named a Prudential Spirit of Community State Finalist, a Presidential Volunteer Service award winner, and a Patient Advocate for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Capitol Hill Research Days.
"I never dreamed we would have the success we've had. It reinforces my belief that I am the 'one of a kind' who can make a change and help find a cure for diabetes."
On Saturday, April 25, the first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Black and White Soiree will be held at Northridge Country Club at 7 p.m. There will be live entertainment from Dueling Pianos: 176 Keys Fun Piano from Dallas. Money raised will be used to help fund a cure for Type 1, diabetes. A portion of the proceeds will be used to fund activities for school age children with Type 1 Diabetes. Please contact Jessica Rich, 903-733-0847 for ticket information.
In addition, on April 30, Painting with a Twist will host a “Painting with a Purpose” event. The money raised from this event will be used for the K.I.D.S. Day Camp and other diabetic activities in the area. There will be two separate painting times kids paint: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and adults paint 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The cost is $35 each per person. Please call 903-244-7879 to reserve your spot today.
The Kayce Welch Story
In 2007, Kayce Welch underwent a four hour back surgery for scoliosis. The nine year old had a 48 degree curve. A year and a half later, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Her life would never be the same.
She recalls one night in Arkansas Children's Hospital when both she and her mother cried. "I remember asking, 'why?' What else was I going to have to deal with?"
It was that summer she attended the K.I.D.S. Day Camp for the first time. The camp is free for kids ages 6-18 with diabetes. "I felt normal again. Through the week at camp I learned how to live with the disease."
In 2012, at age 15, Kayce had a surgery to remove the first rods that grew as she grew, and put in permanent rods. Kayce's orthopaedic surgeon told her that traditional surgeries would have required a surgery every six months until she stopped growing, which would have been 20 - 30 surgeries. Unfortunately, she developed a staph infection - a complication of diabetes following the surgery. Through the next 10 weeks she would undergo two additional surgeries. In addition, she took 3,000 mg of antibiotics for six months to combat the infection.
In November, 2013, Kayce said she finally came to realize that something needed to be done in Texarkana to increase awareness and education about Type 1 diabetes in the area. "I named my program 'One of a Kind' because I truly believe God has allowed me to have diabetes to be the one of a kind who does something to find a cure for diabetes."
On July 19,2014, the first annual "One of a Kind" Walk for Diabetes was held at Bobby Ferguson Park. Over 100 people participated and more than $3000 was raised. "We were able to give money to K.I.D.S. Day Camp to help them buy food for camp."
I was happy to be a part of that walk. Kayce is an amazing person with a huge heart!