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Team Connor to raise funds for juvenile diabetes research

SAYREVILLE – A fundraiser to assist a young boy from Sayreville and other children affected by diabetes is being held in his hometown.

Starting at noon on Sept. 29, the Tap and Growler Bar, 363 Main St., will collect donations for Team Connor and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Additionally, 25 cents from each drink sold will be donated to the organizations. Food will be provided by borough businesses F & J Italian Specialties, Rustoni’s Pizza and Culinary Classics.

“We are so happy that we can host a fundraiser that can help to research a cure for diabetes,” Tap and Growler Bar owner Alicia O’Neal said. “We are so excited to help Connor to reach his goal for fundraising.”

Team Connor was established after Connor Leonard was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009 at the age of 2, according to his mother, Jillian Leonard. Initially thought to be suffering from a virus, Connor’s condition became apparent after he went into diabetic ketoacidosis, resulting in him being treated at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick.

It was during Connor’s time in the hospital that his parents came into contact with the JDRF, reaching out to New Jersey Metro and Rockland County Chapter, the organization’s local chapter in nearby Woodbridge.

Now 10, Connor is a fifth grade student at Our Lady of Victories in Sayreville. According to Jillian Leonard, Connor receives five shots of insulin and multiple blood tests during the day.

“My husband and I are so thankful that all of these local businesses are coming together for such a wonderful cause that is dear to our hearts,” Jillian Leonard said. “We love our town and we are so glad they are supporting our Type 1 warrior and all of the Type 1 warriors out there.”

In addition to the fundraiser, JDRF will hold its annual walk on Oct. 22 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

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