Billerica woman still driven to help find cure for diabetes


DRACUT — When she was 9 years old, Tiffany Carlson was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin.

“It certainly wasn’t easy, but I don’t think I’d be a nurse today if I didn’t have a diagnosis of diabetes,” Carlson said.

In an effort to help those who have walked in her shoes, Carlson is planning to raise money again this year for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a global organization that funds type 1 diabetes research. Her fundraiser, which includes raffling off items, will be held from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. Friday at the Lo Kai, 1655 Lakeview Ave., Dracut.

Carlson, 27, of Billerica, has been raising money for the cause since 2012.

“The funds go toward helping essentially find a cure for Type 1 diabetes,” she said. “Our goal this year is $6,000 but in the last six years we’ve raised $29,000 total. Each year we basically exceed our goal and, in the last two years, we doubled our goal.”

As of Wednesday, over $1,800 had been raised.

Carlson’s father, John Carlson, is flying up from Florida for the fundraiser. He recalled feeling devastated when she was diagnosed and said the subject is still an emotional one for him.

“She’s (Tiffany) turned this into her idea of trying to help people understand… everybody, somehow or other, knows somebody who is affected by diabetes,” he said. “People have lost limbs. It’s a devastating disease. She’s amazing at the things that she’s done.”

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, visit the Facebook page titled ‘PosiTiffy Diabetes.’