GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Roman Alcorta, a student at Wilder Elementary in Green Bay may only be 10, but he is ready to make a big difference for youth with diabetes.
Last summer, Roman was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, otherwise known as juvenile diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. The body of those with type 1 diabetes is unable to produce insulin.
Despite his diagnosis, Roman earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do last October. One month later, his condition took a turn.
“My son went into full DKA on November 28, 2018, at nine years old” – Roman’s mother, Amber
“My son went into full DKA on November 28, 2018, at nine years old, one month after earning his 1st-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do,” said Roman’s mother, Amber.
DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis, “is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones,” Mayo Clinic explains. If left untreated, DKA can be fatal.
After some time in the hospital, Roman came out ready to help others with diabetes.
Roman started his mission by rallying his friends and family to participate in research studies focused on understanding diabetes.
“These studies will help identify what impact diabetes has on kids,” Amber stated, “He basically put my hand on the form and told me to sign it so he could participate.”
But Roman did not stop at simply participating in research.
“For his second degree [black belt], he had to come up with a goal that would help the community, so he decided what better place than the JDRF” – Roman’s mother, Amber
Amber says, “For his second degree [black belt], he had to come up with a goal that would help the community, so he decided what better place than the JDRF.”
JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, is dedicated to funding research related to type 1 diabetes.
Roman’s elementary school, Wilder Elementary, hosts a JDRF walk for students to participate in to help raise awareness about living with diabetes. This year, Roman Renegades (the name of his walk team) are moving full speed ahead in helping further this cause.
According to his mother, Roman and his team of 22 walkers have already raised over $1700 for the JDRF walk.
Roman has also designed a shirt based on his experience. Currently, Roman has sold almost 200 shirts, with proceeds intended to benefit JDRF.
Thursday, Global Recognition invited Roman to see how the shirts are printed. He also received the honors of wearing the first printed shirt.
Roman’s Renegades will participate in the De Pere JDRF One Walk on May 11.
Roman will have the honor of speaking in front of his peers during the JDRF event kick-off at Wilder Elementary on May 16.
On May 24, Roman and his fellow Wilder Students will walk around the school to raise awareness for JDRF and diabetes.
To support Roman and his renegades, click here.