“That was the day our life changed,” Florence Elbaz said of August 18, 2016—the day her youngest daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Originally from France, Florence, her husband, Alex Elbaz, and their two girls, Tea, 15, and Chiara, 12, had just returned to their Miami Beach home after a summer vacation. But Florence knew something wasn’t right. “She was skin and bones, drinking water all day, and very tired.”
Chiara’s T1D diagnosis came as a shock. “It’s a lot to learn, but Chiara is so brave and resilient.”
Luckily, they quickly found support in another family at Chiara’s school. That family also had a young daughter living with type 1 and introduced the Elbaz family to the Diabetes Research Institute.
“After we found a little bit of normalcy, we knew we wanted to do something to make a difference. We took a tour of the Diabetes Research Institute and were so impressed. It’s an amazing place!”
Florence and Alex decided to make a generous financial contribution toward the DRI’s cure-focused research, but they didn’t stop there.
“I have never asked my family and friends for money…not even when my girls were selling Girl Scout cookies. I bought all the cookies myself,” she said with a smile. “Shyness went out the door! For the first time in my life, I felt I was dealing with something bigger than me.”
The family got involved with the DRI Walk for Diabetes Presented by Walgreens and created a personal fundraising page online, then reached out to those closest to them for donations. They were surprised and thrilled by the flood of generosity.
“My friends were glad to give—and it was just out of love for Chiara. Now if I have to ask for money until the day I die, I will.” It’s her hope, however, that it won’t come to that.
“I hope someday, with everyone working together, the cure will be found.” Until then, the Elbaz family will do everything they personally can to help the DRI reach that goal—for Chiara and the millions like her living with diabetes.