Ryan Mozzone was once your average kid who loved to play soccer, hang out with his friends and family, and water ski on the lake. But on January 12th, 2007 his life changed forever when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. At the time Ryan was just 12 years old and when he’d much rather be battling it out on the soccer field, instead he was in a fight against his own body. His white blood cells decided that his beta cells in his pancreas did not belong and his body quit producing insulin which in turn led to his diagnosis. In the following 32 months he went on to endure over 4000 injections and almost 8000 finger pricks. Can you imagine?
It’s because of Ryan’s willingness to fight that his mom, Nancy, and so many others put many hours into organizing the Lake Country Freedom Festival, held July 4th at Crooked Creek Marina. They are a non profit organization and all proceeds from this years event will go towards Freedom From Diabetes Fund-The-Cure, Freedom From Daily Worry-Educating Families, Camp Kudzu, & Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
” I never even knew there was a Type 1 Diabetes until Ryan’s diagnosis and it was like a slap in the face. I also never knew I could be so passionate about anything in my life but you go where God takes you,” Nancy told me on the phone, “and this is where he’s taken us.”
“Our sole desire in working so closely with organizations such as JDRF and Camp Kudzu is to educate,” Nancy says. “Educate people so that hopefully they realize Type 1 Diabetes is not a result of not taking care of yourself which is a big misconception people tend to have. My son was a happy, healthy, active child when he was diagnosed.”
We as a community can help in their efforts to educate by attending this years Freedom Festival. Whether you bring your family out for a day full of fun, donate, or volunteer, every little bit will help. New this year to the festival is a 5K and fun run which will take place that morning at 8:00 a.m. Registration is only $15 until June 25th and $20 thereafter up until the day of. Online registration is open until Friday, July 1st and day of registration will begin July 4th at 6:30 a.m.
The children are sure to sleep well that night after they spend the day playing in the KID ZONE which will have water slides, a bounce house, and much more. There will be crafts, food vendors, prizes, and live music for the adults and the whole family can wind down the day with the fireworks presented by Crooked Creek and Sinclair Marinas.
The Freedom Festival staff is desperately in need of volunteers to make this years event a success. It is the perfect opportunity for you to get out and show case your support for the community all while having a great time and raising money for a terrific cause. They need at least 100 more people and they’re asking just 2 hours of your day. For volunteering you get a free t-shirt, a free meal with a drink, a Freedom Festival drawstring backpack full of goodies, and parking reimbursement.
For more information on how to volunteer, donate, or become a sponsor go to http://lakecountryfreedomfestival.shutterfly.com/. For general information you can contact Nancy Mozzone at email@example.com.