30 Stories of Diabetes Education: Cooper Reif

Cooper Reif:
Diagnosed at 12 months old
Cooper Reif, 12, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 12 months old.  Taking interest in ADA’s summer Camps since the age of four and participating for the last two years as a Junior Counselor, Cooper is a well experienced camper.  To top off his knack for leadership roles and public speaking Cooper Reif will be honored as this year’s 2013 Youth Ambassador.  Being a well structured student Cooper participates in a number of school clubs and extracurricular activities such as volleyball and the Teen Advisory Board at Westfield Elementary.

  Reif is also very proud in being one out of the four officers for his schools Builders Club.  The club is a service club with 70 members providing help to food pantry’s, cleaning up forest reserves, and many more seeking a hand.   He states “I try not to let T1D stop me from anything I want to do, and I hope to pass on that message to younger kids.”  The teen leaders of past camp experiences inspired him to make a change and spread the knowledge that he had absorbed to those campers who are looking up to him now. The memo or motto he wants to give the campers this summer is that “diabetes cannot really stop you from anything”.  In which he will give himself as an example and explain to the kids never hold back or think you can’t do it because of diabetes.

When asked how the role of being the ambassador made him feel he replied, “It feels nice, I feel more responsible without it being overwhelming, which is nice”.  Being around a larger group of kids to talk about his own experience with diabetes does not intimidate Cooper in any way.  The day of the interview Cooper had prepared a book talk at Westfield in which afterwards his peers inquired “how are you so good?” in regards to his public speaking.  Cooper explains he just feels comfortable and never fear or anxiety while faced with a crowd.  It is safe to say Cooper is cut out for the job of Youth Ambassador!

Looking further down the road at his next steps and goals Cooper wishes to travel to Manchester, England and the UK someday.  Being a huge Manchester United soccer team fan and taking interest in castles of any sort, it is the one place he would travel out of the entire world.  As for a favorite food he could not decide! “It really depends on what I’m feeling like” Cooper tells us, “but my favorite breakfast food is cinnamon toast”. Looking forward to the summer, this ambitious lad will come ready to guide and help his fellow campers with motivation and confidence.  But most of all have a fun and exciting experience once again at Camp!