Family Celebrates to “Chase Away Diabetes”
Chase DuPont, 6, thrives by bringing a wise heart to helping others
There’s a young man you should meet: Chase London Taylor DuPont, 6. When asked why he has type 1 diabetes, Chase says because “that’s the way God made me!”
While Chase and his family, of Philadelphia, have adjusted to the finger sticks and an insulin pump, they’ve also tried to make a difference in the lives of others. They’ve given new significance to Chase’s birthday by throwing “Chase Away Diabetes” celebrations, raising money to fight diabetes.
As is true for any child dealing with this chronic condition, Chase’s diagnosis at age 3 meant his entire family was affected by diabetes, too. In the hospital, his mom, Courtney Taylor, couldn’t stop crying. “I cried every time they came to check his sugar,” Taylor says. “But he was better with accepting it all than I was. He was comforting me!”
Making a Difference
Chase’s fourth birthday drew near, and Taylor asked what kind of party he wanted. As Taylor recalls, “Chase said, ‘I want to have a danceathon with only Michael Jackson music. For kids who have diabetes.’ ”
And so the family—including Chase’s dad, Jeremiah DuPont, baby sister Carter, and grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends—put on a “Chase Away Diabetes” fund-raiser. They held the marathon dance celebration at Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School and raised nearly $2,000, which they donated to the American Diabetes Association.
In 2013, Chase, nearly 5, asked for another danceathon, but bigger and held outside. Oh, and he wanted to raise more money. The danceathon, held as a South Philly block party, raised more than $3,000. That fall, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson recognized Chase and his family with a community service award.
As for any family, those first months after the diabetes diagnosis were tough. “I stopped praying. I didn’t go to church,” Taylor says. “I was angry. Why, of all kids, why, of all people, why did my child have to be the one?”
Then a good friend told Taylor she would figure out her purpose. Perhaps God was trying to get Taylor to do something for someone else. Taylor found her passion, as a mom raising healthy, happy, spiritual kids, and as a fierce advocate for diabetes families. She corrects misconceptions about type 1 diabetes—yes, Chase can have a cupcake as long as he takes insulin. And she demonstrates the realities of taking care of diabetes as a family, from the frustrations of tracking down scarce nutrition information at a restaurant to explaining the expenses of insulin pump supplies. Taylor says she wants Chase to know he’s a special, beloved person, yet doesn’t want him to feel different or limited by diabetes.
Taylor hopes that kids and parents who face diabetes realize that they are not alone. Instead, they are part of a big, extended family—a family that’s chasing away diabetes.
Read more about Chase and his family at chaseawaydiabetes.com.