Travis Epp and his wife, Candice Epp, remember the stress and strain their family felt when their son Zach, who had just turned 14, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April 2021.
The diagnosis was even more challenging since it came during the peak of the pandemic, meaning the Epps had limited interactions with their son at the time.
“We were overwhelmed and scared for our son,” he said. “And we were frustrated at having to be separated because of the hospital’s COVID restrictions. Our family needed each other during those early days, and the forced separation added to our distress.”
It was tough.
“Zach was able to have his mom by his side, but the rest of our family had to learn all about needles, finger sticks and counting carbs from behind a screen,” Travis Epp said.
The Epps also remember this: At their most challenging of times, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation was there for them.
How to give
Zach Epp, 16, and his family will be the honorees at the JDRF New Jersey Metro & Rockland County One Dream Gala, to be held Saturday night at Bell Works in Holmdel.
Please consider making a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Zach’s honor. As of Tuesday, the event was 95% toward its goal.
“Within a week of Zach’s diagnosis, JDRF reached out to us offering support and resources, a lifeline we didn’t yet know we needed,” Travis Epp said. “We were invited to attend a virtual research update, where we not only met an incredible network of passionate and devoted parents like us, but we also learned about the impactful and groundbreaking work JDRF is doing in research and advocacy.
“That night, we knew we had to be part of the solution. With the power of an entire community behind us — a generous, strong, resilient community that has given us the courage to ask for help — we felt a few of our fears dissipate and we could take a moment to breathe.”
The Epps are now asking for your support.
This Saturday, the JDRF New Jersey Metro & Rockland County One Dream Gala will be held at Bell Works in Holmdel. Zach Epp and his family will be this year’s honoree.
The event promises to be a joyful night with family, friends and colleagues, filled with inspiration, hope, purpose and community. All are welcome. And, if you cannot make it, please consider making a donation to the JDRF in Zach’s honor. (As of Tuesday, the event was 95% toward its goal.)
Travis Epp is an audit partner and partner-in-charge of the Manufacturing and Distribution Group at EisnerAmper.