Swimming to raise money for diabetes research

Carly Lenett is a competitive swimmer with Type-1 diabetes

(CNN) – Imagine living with Type-1 diabetes your whole life and then learning you’ve passed the condition on to your child. It’s a pretty tough scenario, but not for a Pennsylvania father who took his little girl’s diagnosis and turned it around, using her talent to help find a cure.

Carly Lenett was born to be in the water. A competitive swimmer since she was four, this spunky little gal, from outside Allentown, Pennsylvania, has her eye on the Olympics. Pretty impressive goal for a nine-year old with Type-1 diabetes. Her upbeat attitude helps.

“I’m no different from any other kid. I just need to watch what I eat sometimes.”

Type-1 diabetes isn’t a stranger to the Lenett family. Carly’s dad, Mitch, also has it. The family was told their daughter had a 7% chance of contracting the disease. The odds weren’t with them.

“It was really hard for me, because I felt responsible.”

But Mitch and Carly decided to turn a negative experience into a positive one.  Two years ago, they began to raise money for the American Diabetes Association by starting a swim-a-thon. Carly swam 100 laps and collected more than $9,000. Last year, 110 laps.

Later this month, she will attempt three miles and hopes to add to that goal of $100,000 in five years. And when she’s not in the pool, both dad and daughter do speaking engagements to bring awareness to the condition they share.

“I’m really proud of myself, because I know I am doing the right thing.”

“Words can’t describe how proud we are of Carly and her dedication and commitment in empowering herself.”

On September 20th, Carly plans to swim her three mile swim-a-thon near her home.

If you’d like to donate to the Diabetes Association, through Carly’s event, you can make a pledge on:  www.diabetes.org/carlyrocks

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