Hearing that your child has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition is something a parent hopes never to hear. But for parents who do hear such words, Steve Church offers personal advice: work hard to uncover the positives within a world of negatives. Molly Church was diagnosed with Type I diabetes nine years ago at the age of 4 ½. Since then, Steve has worked to create a world of positive change in the hope of raising awareness and funds for diabetes.
Church recently received the President’s Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, also known as JDRF, for his contributions to the leading global organization focused on Type 1 diabetes research. “I am a board member for the Indiana State Chapter of JDRF and I helped establish the Annual Walk to Cure Diabetes held each year at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., which has become an extremely successful and important fundraiser for the Indiana State Chapter of JDRF,” he explains. Church, along with his wife and two other families who have been similarly affected by Type 1 diabetes, established the annual walk at Holiday World eight years ago.
The walk, which focuses on the search for a cure for Type 1 diabetes, has raised more than $2 million dollars since it was established. “Every parent with a child who is living with Type 1 diabetes wants nothing more than to find a cure for their child,” Church says. “If you ask my daughter Molly what one wish she would want granted more than anything else in the world, she would say without hesitation, ‘a cure for diabetes!’”
Church is the president of Gibbs Die Casting in Henderson, Ky. He and his wife, Stacey, have four daughters, Claire, Ellen, Molly, and Sarah. In addition to his accomplishments with the JDRF, Church currently serves or has previously served on the Deaconess Health System Board, the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Christ the King Parish Council. “It’s always nice to be recognized for doing good work,” Church says. “However, the best feeling comes from knowing that my efforts, and the efforts of many others like me, are bringing greater awareness about Type 1 diabetes, helping families who live with Type 1 diabetes, and raising money to fund research to find a cure.”.
For more information on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, call 800-533-CURE or visit jdrf.org.