This year, we are very excited to introduce you to Santa’s Elves. Santa’s Elves are T1D kids and their families who have been working with the architects to design and build the Gingerbread Houses.  We encourage you to read about each elf and be sure to vote for your favorite!  After you vote, you can also donate via text as well.  Show your support of your favorite elf this holiday season.  All proceeds benefit JDRF Northwest Chapter. 
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 Jackson Cole
Age 11, Diagnosed with T1D at age 2
Assisting DLR Group with The Old Woman and the Shoe

HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
It has made me a stronger person and inspired me to teach others about diabetes.
 
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ELF?
I was excited to see the process of how the gingerbread houses are made and I wanted to make a difference.
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
I love soccer and play on a select team.  I also play baseball, basketball, and really like football too.  I love snowboarding and riding my dirt bike and playing video games too.
 
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH JDRF (AS A FAMILY)?
Since I was diagnosed so for almost 9 years now.
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GINGERBREAD VILLAGE? Yes almost every year.  I think we had to miss a couple once because of the bad snowstorm.
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?
I really liked the “Grand Central Station” but I don’t remember the theme but I remember it was awesome.
 
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
I want people to know Type 1 Diabetes does not come from eating too much or eating too much sugar.  I also want people to know it does not have a cure and insulin is used to keep me alive.  I think Gingerbread Village is really fun and I especially liked being an elf so I could help create the gingerbread house.  Also please make a donation for help for a cure for me and lots of others living with T1D and to show appreciation for all the hard work that went into designing and creating the gingerbread houses. 

 

 

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 Amelia Nash
Age 10, Diagnosed with T1D at age 6
Assisting MulvannyG2 Architecture with London Bridge is Falling Down

 
HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
It has changed my life and my family’s life. It is a lot of work to always check myself and make sure that I am making (or trying to) good choices. I miss out on things like going to horse camp and other activities because I need someone around to help me and my blood sugars. I get poked and pricked every day and feel yucky at least once a day from high or low blood sugars. 
 
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD ELF?
I love helping out at Gingerbread Village every year and am excited to have a more active role this year. I also want to do anything I can to help raise money to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
I play soccer on a team called The Ligers. I love swimming, art and volleyball. I also enjoy drama and writing. I would love to be famous one day.
 
HOW LONG HAVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BEEN INVOLVED WITH JDRF?
 Since I was diagnosed. My family always has a team for the Beat the Bridge, The Prancing Pancreases. Every year we raise a little bit more money to find a cure. Every year I volunteer with my dad and brother at the Gingerbread Village.
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
Every year my family helps out.
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?
I liked the Disney theme from last year a lot!
 
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
I really hope there is a cure for Type 1. I would love for people to know that there is a difference between my diabetes and Type 2. I get tired of people thinking I drank too much juice or had too much sugar when I was little. My pancreas just stopped working and not because of anything I did or didn’t do.
 
 
 
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Sam Holman
Age 12, Diagnosed with T1D at Age 5
Assisting 4D Architects, Inc. with I Saw a Ship A-Sailing

 
HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
My family and I have to think about diabetes 24/7 to keep me healthy. If I'm with my friends, I have to remember my testing supplies and a quick-acting sugar in case my blood sugar goes low. I can go on sleepovers, but I have to set an alarm for 3am to check my blood sugar and call my parents. It's just a lot to think about, and sometimes it's hard to break away from my friends to take care of it, but it doesn't keep me from doing whatever I want.
 
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ELF?
We visit the village every year and it will be fun to see how it all comes together, from beginning to end.
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
I read a lot, I play kendama a lot, I play the usual X-Box games, and I love to hang out with my friends. I have great friends. In the summer, I love to swim and go sailing. My favorite sports are cross country, soccer and basketball. I also play the trumpet.
 
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH JDRF (AS A FAMILY)?
Since 2008 when my parents toured the Benaroya Research Institute.
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GINGERBREAD VILLAGE? Many times.
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?
The year of the train.
 
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
We visited the Gingerbread Village before I was diagnosed, and it was cool to find out AFTER diagnosis that it was a fundraiser for my own cause.
 
 
 
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The Spencer Family
Assisting Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties & Gelotte Hommas Architecture with Hickory Dickory Dock


Zachary Spencer
Age 15, Diagnosed with T1D at age 12

 
HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
Diabetes initially impacted my life when my sister got it 3 ½ years before I did, but then it impacted me even more, of course, when I got it myself.  Diabetes effects everything that I do, it requires more planning and responsibility, it’s a hassle, and I pray for a cure.  Thankfully, diabetes has not stopped me from doing everything that I want to do, and has made me stronger in many respects.
 
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ELF? 
I am really excited to help the architects to design the gingerbread house.
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
Crew rowing, baseball, biking, kayaking, and reading.
 
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH JDRF (AS A FAMILY)?
4+ years
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GINGERBREAD VILLAGE? Yes, I have volunteered at GBV.
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?
The Grand Central Station New York City.  We had been to NYC for Thanksgiving right before volunteering at GBV, so that was my favorite one!
 
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
I hope that GBV raises a lot of money for diabetes research!

Cassidy Spencer
Age 10, Diagnosed with T1D at age 4


 
HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
It made me grow up faster than I would have, it made me really good at math, and it makes me count carbohydrates for anything that I eat.
 
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ELF? 
Because I get to design the house.
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
Soccer, dance, softball, basketball, and crafts.
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GINGERBREAD VILLAGE? Yes, I have volunteered at GBV.
 
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?
Despicable Me.
 
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
Diabetes is annoying and Gingerbread Village is fun because you get to look at the gingerbread houses and help raise money for diabetes research.

Emily Spencer
Age 13


 
HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
It affected my life by having a lot more things to worry about with my brother and sister.
 
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ELF?
Because it will be fun, and I get to do it with my siblings.
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
Soccer, dance, volleyball, and drawing.
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GINGERBREAD VILLAGE? Yes, I have volunteered at GBV.
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?
I liked the Polar Express.
 
 
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
I hope that they find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes soon!
 
 
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Matty Campbell
Age 13, Diagnosed with T1D at age 10
Assisting Weber Thompson with Hey Diddle Diddle

 

HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?

It has been very frustrating and difficult to deal with T1D. It is hard when I am with my friends and I have to stop and check my blood sugar or give myself insulin. It is hard that I feel different a lot of the time. 

 

WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ELF?

I remember coming to see Gingerbread Village on a field trip when I was in preschool before I had T1D. I really love to build things and was excited to help put some of the village together!

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?

I play soccer, basketball and baseball. I really like to snow ski in the winter and water ski in the summer. Also--I love to play video games.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH JDRF (AS A FAMILY)?

My dad joined the board of JDRF right after I was diagnosed so I guess--right from the start.

 

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?

Not that I can remember.

 

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?

I think it is really cool that the architects and chefs work together to create all the great displays. It was super fun to go behind the scenes and help put the house together. Also, I thought it was great that the architects asked for my opinions about how things should be decorated.

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Maddy Fletcher
Age 12, Diagnosed with T1D 1 year ago
Assisting Callison with Jack and the Beanstalk
 
 
HOW HAS DIABETES AFFECTED YOUR LIFE?
It has made me be more careful with everything I do. I have to count carbs, think about my exercise and how it might affect my blood sugar. It is hard to be spontaneous.
 
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ELF?
I am excited to be a GBV elf because I love to bake and this looked fun to me. I liked being part of a team and I hope to help JDRF raise awareness. 
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
I love to bake/cook, play basketball, listen to music, and hang out with friends.
 
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH JDRF (AS A FAMILY)?
Since I was diagnosed. We formed a team for the walk and enjoyed raising money for it.
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
We have never been to GBV.
 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THEME OR GINGERBREAD CREATION FROM THE PAST?
My favorite theme was Super Heroes.
 
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES OR GINGERBREAD VILLAGE?
I want people to know that diabetes is a tough thing to deal with and it can be cured if we all come together to cure it.