On a recent weekday afternoon, 8-year-old Luca Polizzi proudly walked into his visit with pediatric endocrinologist Kristen Williams, MD with a large black shoebox in hand. He handed the box to Dr. Williams and told her that with the help of his “bike gang”, he raised money for the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center to help cure type 1 diabetes (T1D).
It all started one afternoon when Luca and his friends had nothing to do. His friend Dylan thought they should put their energy to good use and raise money for diabetes. Soon after, Luca and his squad (including older brother Matteo and eight friends) rode around their Howell Park neighborhood in Larchmont, NY and asked friends and neighbors to support the cause.
“We made a biking squad named ‘RBS’ which means RAD biking squad,” said Luca. “All of my friends in RBS helped to go around the neighborhood with the box raising money for diabetes research. Everyone is very supportive and anyone that wants to join RBS is welcome to!”
With his proud father David by his side, Luca presented the donation to the Berrie Center’s Co-Director, Robin Goland, MD, the J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes at Columbia University (pictured below).
Luca is in second grade at Central School and has been living with T1D for almost two years.
“We love the Berrie Center,” said David. “After the whirlwind of the diagnosis, the Berrie Center has been an oasis of calm that has seen us through those crazy early days. We know they will guide us through the ups- and-downs associated with diabetes. Luca enjoys his visits with Dr. Williams and especially loves when he can see Pushkin the pet therapy dog and do art therapy with Cara. The boys group has also been a godsend as Luca enjoys to be with other boys “who just understand what it’s like”.”
Thank you, Luca and the RBS!
To contribute to Luca's effort click here.