(July 2014) — Florida Region Board member Crystal Blaylock Sanchez wears many hats—head of a family-owned business and a major, annual fundraising event, plus mother to two boys, Cameron and Matthew. Possibly the most important and challenging job she handles is “backup pancreas” for Matthew, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2005 at age 5.
As president of Blaylock Oil and executive director of the Shell Key West Challenge, which has raised more than $500,000 for the Diabetes Research Institute (see page 19), Crystal could easily rest on her laurels and avoid adding anything else to her very full plate. Her drive, however, to find a cure for her son and millions more is always at the core of every step taken and each decision made.
“Bottom line is I want a cure for Matthew and everyone else who suffers with diabetes, and we believe in the DRI” she said with conviction, which is exactly what motivates those around her to support her cause.
Surrounding her personal efforts is an impressive grassroots fundraising circle of friends, colleagues, vendors and other wholesalers who have contributed additional dollars to the DRI. From programs like Pump for a Cure, Dollars for Dolphins, and Pucker for a Cure to church and restaurant fundraisers, “Cure” ring sales and a Fish Skinz tournament, Crystal has inspired so many others to commit to fundraising projects for the DRI. Furthermore, she always steps to the plate when asked to participate in the DRI Foundation’s campaigns, photo shoots, videos, and special events.
“The support I’ve received from family and friends is very humbling. But it’s because we know that whether its $5 or $500, it goes to research for a cure. No fundraiser is too small or insignificant. Every amount helps, and we can all contribute to the end result that I’m very much looking forward to—a cure.”