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Gilbert Firefighter Inspires Bravery in Young Activist

Post Date:07/08/2019 5:30 PM

Gilbert, Ariz.- Five-year-old Grant Leonard knows how to check his own blood sugar. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at just one year old and now wears an insulin pump that proudly displays the words, “This is my pancreas.”

He’s always wanted to be a firefighter. Now, Grant has a new friend at his local fire station who didn’t let Type 1 Diabetes get in the way of his goals. When Mike Tucker met Grant, they compared glucose meters and talked about fire trucks. Tucker is a firefighter with Gilbert, Arizona who manages his own Type 1 Diabetes every day throughout the rigorous training and operations that come with a career in public safety.    

“This disease isn't going to stop him from achieving whatever goals he wants to achieve,” said Tucker. He’s already impressed with Grant’s strength and bravery as a youth ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).  

Grant is speaking with members of Congress to promote awareness and legislation that could make a difference to people with Type 1 Diabetes. Grant’s mother, Faith Leonard, says meeting a local firefighter who truly understands what it’s like to live with Diabetes gives him something she can’t.  

“There's many times I think I wish I could understand what it felt like and I can't,” she said. “Having him have other people that really understand that element of it; that makes my mom heart happy.”

Grant joins more than 160 children across the country who will attend the JDRF Children’s Congress to speak on behalf of millions living with diabetes. To learn more about JDRF, click here.

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