Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Sam, aged 8, becomes diabetes posterchild

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Eight-year-old Sam Murray of Massachusetts has become an official face of type 1 diabetes for the Joslin Diabetes Center. Sam and one other child will appear on billboards throughout his home state. The billboards promote diabetes awareness and that ever-critical (yet never-ending!) task, fundraising.

The ad campaign is a year-long endeavor by Joslin, paid for using $500,000-worth of billboard space donated by ClearChannel. In one of the designs, Sam poses with a glucose monitor in his outstretched hand, a chalkboard in the background, with the slogan "Let's erase diabetes from his future."

Sam Murray was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes only last year. His parents say the diagnosis might have taken longer to secure if not for the fact that another local boy had been diagnosed with the disease not so long before, so Sam's mom and dad were already somewhat familiar with the symptoms.

And, no, he's not shy about taking such a public role: "I thought it would be pretty cool to have my picture all over the place," remarks Sam. Says dad Dan, "Sammy from the get-go has really adapted to this much better than we could have possibly imagined. He's kind of taken on this role as ambassador."

Click here to see a Boston Globe photo of the billboard image.

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