Kaitlyn Mattiello, a high school senior in Oxford Schools Early College (OSEC) program, found a unique way to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes – golf.
She recently organized an outing at Devil’s Ridge Golf Club in Oxford to benefit Type 1 diabetes research as part of her Capstone project through the OSEC program.
For Mattiello, the battle against Type 1 diabetes has been a personal one.
At age 7, she was diagnosed with the condition.
During a vacation with her parents, she developed symptoms such as weight loss and frequent urination.
Following a week-long hospitalization, it was discovered she had acute kidney failure, which led doctors to her diagnosis.
Mattiello said she has not been hospitalized since her initial diagnosis and she now has taken control of her diabetes through consistent monitoring of an OmniPod system, a cordless insulin pump, and a Dexcom sensor, which continuously checks glucose levels throughout the day.
“I basically try to live my life without letting diabetes control me and I hope that (the) money that’s donated today can help other diabetics learn to live in a happier way with diabetes and that someday, we’ll be able to find a cure for it,” Mattiello said.
It was at OHS that Mattiello first developed a love of golf. She said Golf Coach Gretchen Gabler brought a great deal of encouragement to her throughout her time in school.
“After freshman year, I fell in love with golf and I honestly think it’s because of the coach,” Mattiello said. “She’s just amazing. I’ve been on the golf team for four years and I made (the girls varsity golf team) my junior year after (never touching) a golf club until my freshman year… so it’s a bit of an improvement.”
Mattiello started the OSEC program during her sophomore year.
She is part of the first class to graduate through the OSEC program.
The program is a five-year high school experience which allows students, grades 9-13, to take college courses while in school, rather than traditional electives. Each student in the program is required to take a Capstone class focused on service learning.
She says she will graduate with a high school diploma and 60 transferable college credits, as a result of the program.
She plans to attend Oakland University in the fall.
According to Mattiello, there were many donations from businesses in Oxford and Lake Orion that contributed to the fund-raising event’s success. Donors included Tracy’s Boutique Cabi, S&L Auto Body & Glass, Hunter Construction, Harmon Autoglass, Morgan Machining, Ox Bar & Grill, Kroger-Lake Orion, Funky Monkey Toys, ‘Wiches, A&A Flowers, Evergreens Coffee and Bake Shop, Trendy Tz, Vintage Gypsy Garden Market, Tastefully Simple, Thirty-One from Andrea Moore, Oxford 7, Knude Products, Salvage Sisters Boutique, 5-1 Diner and Laura Lee Salon.
She also thanked her parents Don and Tracy Mattiello, Judy Mattiello, Diane Miettunen and Emily Sefcheck for their help with the golf outing.