Significant growth attributed to a close-knit, type 1 diabetes community
Carmel, Ind. May, 1 – Lisa Oberndorfer, executive director and founder of Diabetes Will’s Way (www.diabeteswillsway.com), a nonprofit serving young people in the United States by reducing type 1 diabetes medical costs, is proud to celebrate its Five-Year Anniversary by awarding its 100th Grant.
Diabetes Will’s Way received its 501(c)3 status in April, 2013. The nonprofit organization began after Will Oberndorfer was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of thirteen. Will quickly began fundraising for JDRF Indianapolis. After raising more than $8,000, Will, his mother, and godmother were driven to launch, what was then known as, Will’s Way.
“We started Will’s Way because Will kept saying he was given this disease for a reason,” said Oberndorfer. “He wanted to help others like him. I agreed. We wanted to help families who had insurance, but received the devastating news that it still wasn’t enough.”
Diabetes Will’s Way provides two types of grants; a durable medical equipment grant and an emergency cash grant, to children, under the age of 26, who are suffering from type 1 diabetes and have insurance.
The nonprofit has increased the grants it awards every year by 25 percent since receiving tax-exempt status. Reaching its 100th grant in 2019 and more than $950 per grant, the organization attributes its significant growth to the families it’s served, diabetes advocates and the endocrinologists who tell families that Diabetes Will’s Way exists.
“We heard about Diabetes Will’s Way at a car auction in Carmel [Indiana],” said Kathy Haupert, mother of eight-year-old grant recipient, Gemma Haupert. “Another type 1 diabetes family was talking about them, and we knew we needed to ask for help. We needed a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) covered, but were denied by our insurance company multiple times.”
The CGM would allow Haupert to set an alarm to let her know if Gemma’s sugar levels dropped dangerously low overnight. In 2017, Diabetes Will’s Way awarded the Haupert’s with the funds necessary to purchase a CGM.
“We begin every year with an overwhelming amount of grant requests,” said Oberndorfer. “With the help of the type 1 diabetes community our mission is spreading more rapidly than we could ever have imagined.”