By Sara Kirkley, Weekend Anchor / Reporter - email
More than 15,000 children are diagnosed with type one diabetes every year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Last year, one of those kids was Sophie Weakly.
The Grand Island girl takes riding lessons at Lazy K Arena. Sunday, people saddled up with her to support the Weakly family.
It's been a tough year.
They also lost Sophie's dad, Joe, unexpectedly.
But Sunday, her mom said Sophie got to enjoy being a normal kid, instead of dwelling on their loss and how juvenile diabetes has changed her life.
"It was just a really hard adjustment for her. She takes insulin four to five times a day and that's a shot. That's not a pill that she can just swallow," said Amanda Weakly. "She also gets her blood glucose checked in her fingers and that's anywhere from six to 10 times a day."
"That was really a struggle for her and then losing her father has put a very large financial strain on the family, so we decided to organize a benefit and hopefully help them out a little bit," explained Jenna Adam, of Lazy K Arena.
The event featured horseback riding, a mini-train, games and food with all proceeds going to the family.
"[Sophie] really hasn't had any cares today. She's just being a kid and having fun, so that's great to see," said Weakly.
You can help the Weakly family by donating to the Joe Weakly Memorial Account at Grand Island's Home Federal Bank.