For Immediate Release
Animas Announces 2005 Diabetes Heroes Winners
WEST CHESTER, PA, November 1, 2005 – Animas Corporation (NASDAQ: PUMP) and Nicole Johnson Baker announced today the winners of the first annual Diabetes Heroes essay contest, a program designed to celebrate the lives of people who serve as role models for those touched by diabetes.
The program drew a wide range of entries from all over the country. The judges evaluated essays in five categories: Person with Diabetes, Health Care Professional, Caregiver, Family/Friend, and Other.
The winners of the Person With Diabetes category are Bailey and Cassie Roark, a brother and sister, from Port Angeles, Washington. Both have diabetes. Bailey is almost 9-years-old, and Cassie is 5-years-old. Their mother Johnna Roark describes their commitment to each other and their devotion to diabetes causes. The judges found her accounts of simple moments in these young lives to be powerfully moving. Bailey and Cassie sing to each other in bad moments, and often plan how they will celebrate a diabetes cure with a party with balloons, food, karaoke, and table top dancing – which they have practiced.
The winner of the Health Care Professional category is Peggy Hittle, a school nurse in Olathe, Kansas. Beth Ann Kealey, the mother of Jennifer Kealey, praises Hittle's care for her daughter Jennifer. For example, when Jennifer first began using an insulin pump, Hittle wore one for five days to better understand and assist in Jennifer's care. Once, after a bad insulin reaction, she chose to drive Jennifer home herself rather than have her ride the school bus. The judges admired the poignant examples of care and the professional rigor demonstrated by Hittle's actions.
The winner of the Caregiver category is 12-year-old Nick Kaster who lives in Saline, Michigan. His mother, Kimberly Kaster describes Nick's observant and creative care for his 13-year-old brother Zach, who has had Type 1 Diabetes for the last three years. Nick knows the diabetes fundamentals: how to help his brother with his insulin pump or a syringe if necessary. He also deals with Zach's struggles with autism and "mental impairment." Kimberly quotes Nick's frank and insightful essay for a school literature magazine: "He talks louder than most people. He gets nervous when something in his day changes." Nick adds, "I have learned to be patient and to slow down so I can talk to and play with him." In the last year, Nick raised nearly $1,800 for diabetes causes.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) nominated David I. Roos, Jr. (Duke) in the Family/Friend category. The Atlanta, Georgia chapter recognizes Duke for his sincere dedication to finding a cure for diabetes. Duke, age 78, lost his daughter to complications from diabetes when she was 32 years old. He has worked tirelessly as a volunteer for JDRF and has testified before Congress as a representative of the organization. He has received several honors over the years, and Diabetes Heroes is pleased to acknowledge him as a winner in this category. The Atlanta Chapter of the JDRF acknowledges Duke as a "truly an inspirational person. His selflessness to give his time, energy and resources is making a huge impact on our quest for a cure."
The winner of the Other category is Bud Roth of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At 76-years-old, Bud may be retired, but he is still deeply involved in the community. His volunteer work at Children's Hospital puts him in contact with young patients in need. What does Bud do? He spends his time in the hospital waiting room, greeting patients and their families and providing arts and crafts projects for the children while they wait for their appointment. This makes the time spent at the hospital less stressful for both the children and their families. There he met Mary Henning's daughter who calls Bud by her favorite title: Doctor of Art. Her essay describes Bud's talks with her daughter about well-known people who have diabetes who prove that dreams can become real. Mary has the perfect word for Bud Roth: gentleman.
The winners in each category will receive a cash award of $1,000 along with a recognition plaque, a copy of Nicole Johnson's book Living with Diabetes and feature spots in both national advertisements as well as a book honoring all the Diabetes Heroes.
About Animas Corporation:
Animas, a leading maker of insulin infusion pumps and related products, is dedicated to improving diabetes management and making insulin pump therapy easier for patients with insulin requiring diabetes and healthcare professionals through product innovation, exemplary customer support and superior customer education. For more information on Animas, visit http://www.animascorp.com or call Animas Corporation at 877-937-7867.
About Nicole Johnson Baker
Nicole Johnson Baker, Miss America 1999, is an international diabetes advocate. She travels extensively promoting awareness, prevention, and early detection of the "hidden killer," diabetes. Under her consulting firm, Johnson Baker works as a corporate and government affairs advisor for patient groups and biotech companies, including Animas Corporation, Eli Lilly & Company and the American Diabetes Association. She spends much of her time engaging lawmakers at both the state and federal levels on all diabetes-related matters. She has also published four books related to diabetes and co-hosts the CNBC weekly talk show, dLife. For more information, visit http://www.nicolejohnson.com.
Last Updated: Tuesday November 01, 2005 17:36:05
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