Montgomery teen uses illness to inspire others

Montgomery teen inspiring others after diagnosis

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s never easy when a loved one gets diagnosed with an illness, especially when the loved one is a child. One Montgomery teen is taking her illness and using it as a platform to help others

Richelleng Ramirez Pieruccini looks like your average teenager, but when she was only eight years old she received a diagnosis that changed her life forever.

Six years ago, Richelleng was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She faced a lot of challenges, being the only one in her family to ever have this diagnosis. But instead of being sad, Richelleng decided to be strong. She started the Heart of Gold Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping and inspiring other kids dealing with diabetes.

"When I was diagnosed, it made me feel like I could do more in the community as well and it also made me feel like diabetes doesn't necessarily have to be a burden," Richelleng says. "That you can turn something good out of something many would consider bad. So that's sort of what I did with my organization. I started it to really inspire kids that have diabetes like me as well so that they can know that you don't just have a disease and that's it, you can do a lot of good things in your community too."

In addition to reaching out to kids with diabetes, the Heart of Gold Foundation donates to diabetes research. Her foundation is mostly active on Facebook. That’s where you can find ways to donate.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.