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10:54 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Achievers: PV teen to serve as ambassador to diabetes association

Brett Soldwedel/The Daily Courier<br>Dominic Garduno, 15, pictured at his Prescott Valley home, will be the youth ambassador for the American Diabetes Association during the 2010 Prescott StepOut Walk to Fight Diabetes on Oct. 16.

Brett Soldwedel/The Daily Courier<br>Dominic Garduno, 15, pictured at his Prescott Valley home, will be the youth ambassador for the American Diabetes Association during the 2010 Prescott StepOut Walk to Fight Diabetes on Oct. 16.

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Dominic Garduno defies the stereotype of a diabetic because he is not middle-aged or older and is physically in very good shape, according to his parents, Gabriel Garduno and Shanna Friedman.

Otherwise healthy, Dominic, 15, ran a half marathon at the Whiskey Row Marathon May 1 in Prescott and participated on the varsity wrestling team at Bradshaw Mountain High School during the past school year. Doctors diagnosed him with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11. He takes insulin injections three to four times a day.

"I have to make it a routine," Dominic said, adding, "I can't just eat when I want to. You can't just eat a bunch of cake and (drink) soda."

He has not had any serious diabetic episodes, his parents said.

"We have never had to take him to the ER," Friedman said.

His parents also support his efforts to play an active role in educating the public about diabetes. Gabriel Garduno said he found out about the American Diabetes Association after picking up a flier at a Prescott Valley restaurant, and met with an association official through his employer, UniSource Energy Services.

Garduno said he urged his son to apply to become a Youth Leadership Council member for the association.

"I gave him the idea about it," the senior Garduno said. "Dominic loved the idea. He thought it was great."

Dominic, an aspiring aerospace engineer, filled out a three-page application with the Phoenix office of the association, and seemed up to the task.

"I would like to be an inspiration to any other individual who has diabetes and to help others in any way possible," Dominic wrote.

His cited his "key accomplishment" as "receiving a varsity letter as freshman for wrestling and maintaining a 4.33 grade point average, while maintaining type 1 diabetes."

His "strong desire" to be an advocate inspired his selection as youth ambassador for the 2010 Prescott StepOut Walk for Diabetes set for Oct. 16, committee member Earle Risdon stated.

"I think he will be able to help because he is such a great role model," Risdon said.

Risdon said the event, which takes place on the Yavapai-Prescott Reservation, drew 443 registered walkers in 2009 and raised about $54,000 through pledges for the association.

Dominic said he will lead a team of walkers, adding he hopes to gain experience, become better aware and "hear stories of other people."

Editor's note: If you have a suggestion of a local person to feature in Achievers, call 445-3333, ext. 2041, or send an e-mail to khedler@prescottaz.com