Ray Allen Golf Classic takes place Monday

Fundraiser gives back to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor , Laurie Jennings - Anchor
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MIAMI, Fla. - Miami Heat guard, Ray Allen and his wife Shannon will be headlining the Ray Allen Golf Classic Monday morning along with the Holtz family.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

Recently, Javier and Andria Holtz, of Holtz Children's Hospital, accompanied the Allen family on a tour of the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami. Both are power couples who often feel powerless to fix what ails their sons.

"Andrew was seven. He was very lethargic, he was urinating a lot, he wasn't Andrew," said Andria Holtz.

Ray Allen says he and his wife discovered their 6-year-old son, Walker had type 1 diabetes when he was just 17 months old. 

"I didn't know what type 1 diabetes was, we had no family history and I had no idea what insulin was," said Shannon Allen. "It was scarier than bringing home a newborn baby because we knew that if we did it wrong we could kill him."

Walker needs five to seven insulin shots a day starting at 3 a.m., and that means at least 10 pricks to his fingers a day to test his blood sugar.

Ray and Shannon Allen say touring the institute has given them new hope. Currently 140 scientists work in the labs there to find a cure for the disease.

"The greatest thing that I've learned today is that the technology and the information is shared. It's going from all the way in Asia to Europe and all over America," said Ray Allen.

Type 1 diabetes does not allow the body to produce insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

The Ray Allen Golf Classic begins at 10 a.m. at La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach.

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