BROOKVILLE — On Feb. 9, the Brookville YMCA Barracudas Swim Team held a successful swim invitational to raise money for juvenile diabetes research.

Six YMCA teams and 180 swimmers came together for ‘Let’s Dia-BEAT-This’ Swim for a Cure, including Clearfield, DuBois, Jersey Shore, Lock Haven, Ridgway and Brookville.

Multiple members of the community including State Representative Chris Dush, volunteered their time to run the invitational. In addition to swimming, the team sold t-shirts, swim-themed cookies, candy, snacks and exclusively designed stickers and bracelets. The team also held a basket raffle in which all items were donated by local businesses and community members. All together, the team raised $5,098 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

A check was presented last week to two local families affected by Type 1 Diabetes. Victoria Hill, daughter of Brooke and Mark Hanes is a member of the YMCA team. Kamryn Himes, daughter of Amy and Mike Himes is the sibling of Kendra Himes, also a team member. Both girls were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just nine months apart.

Like most people, the two families did not understand the complexities of the disease. Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar or bad lifestyle choices. The body’s own immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter the cells to produce energy. Over time, Type 1 Diabetes complications can affect major organs in your body, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Maintaining a normal blood sugar level can dramatically reduce the risk of many complications. T1D can be life-threatening. Common symptoms of type one diabetes include excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, bed-wetting and unexplained weight loss.

The Barracudas have watched these girls battle everyday with courage beyond their years. They also know what the families go through on a daily basis and wanted to do something to make a difference. The team stood beside these girls and did their part to help find a cure for T1D by raising an amazing amount of money. The coaches, board members, parents, swimmers, and many volunteers, worked countless hours to make this donation possible. The Hanes-Hill and Himes families would like to thank the community, not only for the donation to research but also for the opportunity to raise awareness and educate others.

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