Richard Martucci spends more time in the doctor's office than most other four-year-olds.
One year ago, Richard's family learned he has juvenile diabetes or Type One. His body produces little or no insulin. So, they sought out Dr. David Zucker, and not just because he's been in practice 30+ years. "I'm a pediatrician. I take care of kids with diabetes. And I have two diabetic children of my own."
Now adults, Dr. Zucker's son, Jacob and daughter, Annie both learned their bodies couldn't regulate blood sugar at an early age. "No parent ever forgets the day their kid was diagnosed. It's just as important as a birthday because your life changes."
But, Dr. Zucker will be the first to tell you kids with Type One can live full and active lives. "Except for the fact that you find insulin syringes that aren't put away, tops of insulin syringes and bloody test strips left behind. It's the same as any other kid."
His daughter's a perfect example - although Annie relies on an insulin pump, she just gave birth to a healthy baby boy. All the more reason she and her mother, Maryann, who's a founding board member of the local branch of JDRF are working to find a cure. "Going to research, somebody will figure it out before these guys come along and have to deal with it."
In the meantime, Dr. David and Maryann Zucker will continue to educate and support many young families like the Martucci's until there's a cure.
And both believe one day there will be. "Yeah, I really do."
With their help, last year the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation raised more than $1.5 million at its annual fundraising dinner.
This year's gala will honor Dr. David Zucker and Maryann Zucker and the families of JDRF. Proceeds benefit diabetes research.