People to Know 2014: Rachel Tobin
When we finally find a cure for diabetes, there’s a good chance at least a small bit of thanks will be due to Rachel Tobin. After her type 1 diabetes diagnosis in 2005, Rachel went to a number of local JDRF events for newly diagnosed children and their families, finding inspiration in the fact that the majority of the money raised went to type 1 diabetes–focused research. That stuck with her, so in 2007, when Rachel’s grandmother started taking a beading class, the then 15-year-old had an idea: She’d raise funds—maybe a few hundred dollars, she thought—by creating and selling jewelry.
Fast-forward six years, and Rachel’s Cure by Design has donated almost $70,000 toward diabetes research, and the company’s current goal of donating $100,000 seems to be well within reach. By partnering with additional organizations, Rachel’s message of hope is spread further and further.
Now 21, Rachel is a senior at Emory University majoring in biology and getting ready to apply to medical school. Despite the demands of college life, medical school applications, and diabetes management, Rachel still does most of the design work for Rachel’s Cure by Design. She relies on help from her mother and a family friend to handle the assembly and day-to-day management while she’s at school.
When I asked Rachel about the hardest part of running her business, she mentioned the challenge of coming up with fresh designs each season. She clearly finds a way, since there are more than 160 different styles in her online store, including bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and a just-launched medical ID line. Despite the many different materials she uses, each of her bracelets and necklaces is easily identifiable as one of Rachel’s designs by her signature silver “hope” charm, a reminder of her belief that a cure is coming, and her commitment to helping to bring it here as soon as possible.
Chris Angell was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 30. He founded GlucoLift, an all-natural glucose tablet company, after searching in vain for great-tasting ways to treat low blood glucose.