Lufkin 1st grader refuses to be defined by diabetes, leads fundraising campaign

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin first grader is choosing not to be defined by Type 1 diabetes or let the challenges that come with managing the disease get in the way of the things she loves.

East Texas News' talked with the 6-year-old, who is campaigning to "paint the town yellow" to raise money to find a cure for juvenile diabetes.

Corynne Barone was diagnosed with diabetes when she was just 21-months-old. It's a day her mom says she'll never forget.

"Worst day of my life," said Corynne's mom, Shelly Barone. "We didn't know a lot about diabetes."

And now the disease is a 24-7 responsibility for the 6-year-old and her family.

"She'll never know life without diabetes," Shelly said. "She has to check her blood sugar from 5 to 10 times a day."

"My momma changes my pump every 3 days and it hurts sometimes," Corynne said.

When asked how she deals with having to do things like prick her finger, check her blood sugar, and take her insulin at school, Corynne said, "It's a bunch to do."

Even with all she has to do to manage the disease, she's taken on more by organizing a diabetes walk at Dunbar Primary in Lufkin to raise money for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.

Corynne said she came up with the idea for the fundraiser, "So we can raise money, and they can find a cure."

A cure would mean that "nobody else would get diabetes," Corynne said.

Corynne has raised $5,000 dollars on her own.

But with a $10,000 goal, her school and the community have stepped up to support her.

"I thought that would be a great time to show awareness for the cause and let the kids get involved, kids helping kids," Shelly said.

In response to a question about the shirt she was wearing, Corynne explained, "It has a fingerprint, and it has a blood drop. We're selling them to raise money. They're $15."

Corynne said she wants people to wear the T-shirts on Nov. 26 to "paint the town yellow." She said it would mean a lot to her if everyone showed up wearing the shirts.

Dunbar students will be collecting sponsorships for the next 2 weeks but donations can also be made online right here:

If you want to purchase a yellow shirt to help paint the town yellow, email Shelly Barone at:

They are $15, and everyone wishing to receive a shirt needs to place their order by Friday, November 15. The diabetes walk is Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at Dunbar Primary.

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