On a recent Saturday, 17-year-old Logan Gregory dressed up as a princess and ran three two-hour birthday parties for little girls at Party Princess, the business her mother runs off Southland Drive in Lexington.
Add in a few hours of studying to maintain her 3.8 GPA and preparing applications for college, and you have one busy senior at Dunbar High.
A typical hard-working teen, right?
There’s nothing typical about Logan.
How about the hours she spent lobbying (yes, lobbying) the Kentucky General Assembly last year to successfully pass Senate Bill 71?
That law requires all medical professionals from doctors to nutritionists to be licensed in order to specialize in diabetes care.
In February, she returned to Frankfort to speak as part of Diabetes Day and advocate for House Bill 110, which stresses the importance of exercise in school.
In January, she flew to Los Angeles to appear in a promotional campaign for a Johnson & Johnson diabetes product.
In the Bluegrass for the past 10 years, Logan has served as a Youth Ambassador for American Diabetes Association, Bluegrass Chapter.
She helps with the “Step Out Walk,” an annual fund-raiser scheduled for June 2 this year.
“The Walk is the biggest day of the year for me,” Logan said. “You see all these people who know exactly what you’re going through and have the same goals.”
The biggest goal of course is to find a cure.
She’s doing her part to help. That’s why the American Diabetes Association has named her the 2012 National Youth Advocate, a prestigious honor that makes her the face of the organization for one year.
She traveled to Washington, D.C. in January for orientation before she spends the rest of the year speaking around the U.S. about diabetes.
She’s heading back to Washington in March to participate in the national Call to Congress for Diabetes event at the Capitol.
With all those accomplished, who wouldn’t be impressed by Logan?
The local American Diabetes Association chapter has taken notice, awarding Logan with its Public Policy Award.
In addition, the American Association of Diabetes Educators presented her with the National Advocacy Award for her work on Senate Bill 71.
Accepting the award last summer, Logan spoke to a crowd of 2,000 people in Las Vegas.
Why is Logan so passionate about combating diabetes?
Because she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 2 years old.
It was a life-changing diagnosis for Logan and for her family. She began a routine that will continue the rest of her life.
She injects herself with insulin four to six times a day and sticks her fingers to check her blood sugar level another six to seven times daily.
Meanwhile, she meticulously calculates the amount of carbohydrates she eats at every meal – an exhausting process.
“I’m tired of diabetes,” Logan admits.
But Logan is not asking for a pity party.
When she was young, her mother, Deata, advised her, “Take this gift and do something with it. Do what you can. Own it.”
And Logan certainly has. She maintains a busy speaking engagement calendar, including the annual kick-off luncheon for the Step Out Walk.
She also speaks at area elementary and high schools, sororities and even at the Japanese-American Society in Lexington.
“I like to talk,” says Logan, “I feel like I help people.”
Her mother agrees. “She’s a very articulate, passionate young woman. She likes feeling that she’s really making a difference.”
That’s more than a feeling. It’s a fact.
Several other states now embrace the Kentucky licensing law that Logan helped to pass.
The Step Out Walk in Lexington is one of the most successful diabetes walks in the country, generating the highest amount of donations per capita in the country.
Logan plans to major in political science when she heads off to college next fall so she can continue the work she has begun as a teen.
And there’s much work to be done. 21.6 million Americans have diabetes, including 44,000 in Kentucky.
“I didn’t choose to have diabetes,” Logan said. “But what’s important is what I choose to do with it. I can make a difference.”
You can say that again.