Proceeds from Shady Side Academy students' tennis event benefit juvenile diabetes research
There's no cure for juvenile diabetes just yet, but three Shady Side Academy students keep swinging for it.
Emma Perelman, Amanda Murphy and Madison Mordoh, varsity tennis standouts, will hit the courts on Sunday to raise money for the disease that strikes an average of one in every 400 children.
Swing for a Cure will see a full day of tennis clinics for children ages 4 to 13, all to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
It will be held at the Mellon Park tennis bubble in Pittsburgh's East End section.
“I have family members with diabetes so I know exactly what they go through,” said Murphy, a junior from Fox Chapel who first picked up a racquet when she was just 6 years old.
“I want to do my part to help and what better way than with the sport I love?”
In the event's sixth year, the trio is hoping to break previous fundraising totals of about $6,000 a year.
So far, they've aced it.
With about $8,000 already pledged, this year is the most successful since the event was started by Perelman's sister, Sara, who now plays NCAA Division I tennis at Cornell University.
“Their cousin was diagnosed at 4 years old,” said the Perelmans' mother, Susie. “Sara was looking for a way to give back and that was within her passion.
“The event was a hit and it felt so good. It's been nice to watch it grow.”
Juvenile Diabetes, or Type 1, is suspected to affect as many as three million Americans.
It is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin, which is needed to transform food into energy.
People with diabetes have to test their blood sugar several times a day and balance the levels with insulin.
Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults — about 80 people a day — are diagnosed.
The rate of Type 1 Diabetes among children is estimated to increase by 3 percent a year, according to the JDRF.
Since it was founded in 1970, the JDRF has given more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research and awareness.
Emma Perelman, a freshman, loved the idea of taking the event reins.
“It's very meaningful for me because of my cousin. I want to help him,” said Emma, ranked in the Top-12 players in the Middle States region and No. 1 player on the SSA team this past fall.
“I'm glad this event can be a continuous thing.”
Madison Mordoh, a junior from Fox Chapel, said working with the children is rewarding.
“It is a great way to teach them and to get involved with the community,” she said.
On March 3, the girls will impart their love of the game to more than 40 aspiring athletes and they hope that their off-the-court work will be just as inspiring. The trio plan to hand out educational materials to parents and visitors in hopes of raising diabetes awareness.
“We'll give out information to the parents but we keep the clinic strictly fun for the kids,” Emma said.
Pittsburgh Citiparks donated the courts at Mellon Park along Fifth Avenue to offset costs of the event. Tennis veteran Tom Mercer will be on-hand to assist with the sessions and local tennis pro Aldene LaCaria has secured an autographed Roger Federer cap from the 2013 Australian Open to raffle.
“I'm hoping the kids learn to love the sport,” Emma said. “It's something you can play throughout your life.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.