Gala raises money for diabetes

Courtesy photo Kailyn Pater (left) and Sophia Blescia are the daughters of the co-founders of the Blair Type 1 Diabetes Foundation.

Mardi Gras event nets $24,000

The Blair Type 1 Diabetes Foundation (BT1DF) held its inaugural fundraiser, a Mardi Gras-themed gala, on Feb. 25 at The Casino at Lakemont Park, Altoona.

The sold-out crowd enjoyed dinner, raffles and silent auction items.

The master of ceremonies was retired Col. Cedric Leighton, military analyst for CNN, who shared stories about the fall of the Berlin Wall to parenting a child with Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Special guest was Miss Idaho 2014 Sierra Sandison, who touched everyone with her life story and how she has learned to overcome obstacles, including T1D.

She was the first pageant girl to wear her insulin pump visibly on stage.

This year, BT1DF donated $24,000 to Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, specifically designated for T1D cure-based research.

Joslin is currently in the lead for the cure.

BT1DF was founded in 2016 by Dr. Jill Blescia, M.D., and Susan Pohl, both with daughters living with T1D.

The foundation’s goals are to raise money to donate to T1D cure-based research, to increase awareness and education about this deadly disease and to create community support for those living with and supporting those with T1D.

The Central Pennsyl-vania Community Founda-tion currently manages the foundation, a registered 501(c)3 organization.

For more information about the BT1DF, visit or