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Junior puts together clinic to fight Juvenile Diabetes

March 3, 2009 01:56 PM

What started as a Bat Mitizvah project three years ago has now turned into a successful annual event. Sara Perelman’s little cousin, Jacob, was only 4-years-old when he was diagnosed with diabetes. In honor of him, and the fight that he will face for the rest of his life, Perelman decided to do something to make a difference, not only for Jacob but for all of those battling diabetes. Using the sport that she is so passionate about, Perelman developed Swing For A Cure, a clinic for children, with all proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The third annual Swing For A Cure was held March 1 at Pittsburgh Citiparks’ Mellon Bubble on Fifth Avenue downtown. With help from seasoned tennis veteran Tom Mercer, and two other elite juniors (Olivia Heim and Ronit Yurovsky), the pros helped teach skills and engage children ages 4-13 years in the sport of tennis.

“I just loved watching Jacob on the courts during the clinics, he was having such a good time,” Perelman said. “He understood that everyone around him was helping raise money towards finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. It made me feel so good to know that in some small way I could be making a difference for him and all the others who are living with this disease.”

Sara Perelman and her friends have certainly made a difference. This year’s event, which raised nearly $11,000 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation brought the total to nearly $30,000 in proceeds raised. Perelman hopes to continue the event and to increase the proceeds each year.

Perelman, nationally ranked in the USTA’s Girls’ 16 singles division and a top-ranked Middle States player, is a sophomore at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. She met the other girls through tennis, more often as opponents on the USTA junior circuit than not. Yurovsky is ranked in the top 50 nationally in Girls’ 16, while Heim is also nationally ranked in Girls’ 16.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is now closer than ever to finding a cure. Donations make a dramatic impact as JDRF moves life altering research out of the lab and into human clinical trials. Typically, more than 80 cents of every dollar donated to JDRF goes directly to worldwide research and education. To stay alive, children with Diabetes must take up to six insulin injections every day.

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