Downhill ski and snowboard event helps find a cure

Around the globe 382 million people are affected by diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

It is a disease that affects people of all ages. It requires the attention of the afflicted person to monitor blood sugar levels. Diabetes can causes various complications such as kidney disease, heart disease and early death according to WebM.D.

One person who suffers from this illness is eight-year-old Ashley Pratt. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2010.

“Everything she consumes must be weighed and measured,” her mother Lynn Pratt said. “And her blood levels even need to be checked while she sleeps and plays.”

Pratt said that the only way to eliminate the risks of diabetes and the disease itself is to find a cure. In order to aid in this fight, Pratt and her husband created a non-profit organization, called Donations for Diabetes. The organization holds the event “Downhill for Diabetes.”

Downhill for Diabetes is a charity ski and snowboard event in its’ fourth year of existence. The event raises money “similar to a donation walk,” Pratt said. This year the event will be hosted at Pico Mountain Resort in Killington, Vermont on Feb. 9 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Besides raising money for diabetes, the event provides various prizes for those who participate. In order to be eligible for the prizes you must pre-register for the event at

Those who raise $50 receive a half-price lift ticket for the day of the event and a free backpack. For raising $100, the donator receives a long sleeved t-shirt along with the same prizes as the $50 donation according to Pratt.

Raising $250 allows the donor a free day of skiing as well as receiving all the previous prizes. The donors who are able to raise at least $500 get a free one-day ski pass for Mount Pico any day of the 2014 season along with all the lesser prizes.

Depending on their donation amount, businesses can become a sponsor of the event and have their logo featured on the event’s website, t-shirts and posters.

Other prizes will be raffled off throughout the day including a stay at the Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden, VT and a one-night stay at The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa.

“Last year we had over $1,000 worth in prizes and plan to have even more this year!” Pratt said.

In 2012 the event raised over $20,000 with 100 percent of the money going to diabetes research.

“We hope to make a difference by raising funds to help support diabetes research and ultimately find a cure for this disease,” Pratt said.