Amateur golfers showed their support of the Diabetes Research Institute by playing through the rain alongside professionals, such as LPGA’s Michelle McGann, at the first-ever Randi Fibus-Caster Pro Am Diabetes Golf Classic on April 18.
The event, which drew 120 golfers to the Polo Club of Boca Raton and raised more than $140,000, continued with a cocktail reception, silent auction and dinner. Chairpersons Ken and Jeanne Fibus and Howard and Carolyn Leemon, as well as 240 other guests, were on hand when DRI Foundation President and CEO Robert A. Pearlman made a surprise announcement.
“For a first-time event, this is really spectacular,” said Pearlman, recognizing the support from Randi’s family and friends. “We’ve decided to commemorate it by naming a room at the DRI after Randi Fibus-Caster. We are truly honored to do so.”
With no memory of a being “normal,” Randi told the audience what it’s been like for her to live with Type 1 diabetes for 47 years. She explained the daily challenges that her family, friends, and husband, Ron, have helped her get through. And she recounted her introduction to the DRI, where she and her family found hope.
“Her courage inspires all of us to be better and to be braver,” said Amy Hendricks, one of Randi’s sisters, who coincidentally won $3,050 from the event’s money board and immediately donated it back to the DRI.
In 2005, Randi received a transplant of new insulin-producing islet cells at the DRI. Since then, her blood sugars have stabilized, but she continues to maintain a very rigid schedule of diet, medication and exercise. Scientists are now addressing the remaining challenges that limit the widespread application of islet cell transplantation.