how we work

Juvenile Diabetics

The Lift a Life Foundation founder Wendy Novak, was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at the age of seven. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic disease that impacts the daily life of the patient and his or her family.  T1D impacts not only the physical well-being of a patient but also their social and emotional health. The families that struggle with this disease need outstanding clinical care, education, and research.

Through the visionary leadership of Dr. Kupper Wintergerst and the support of Norton Children's Hospital and the University of Louisville, the Lift a Life Foundation is focused on building a world-class diabetes center to help more children and families manage the disease with excellence so that they can reach their full potential. Through the clinical, education, and research programs and services of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, we will build confidence in families touched by T1D, empowering them to live long, healthy, active lives and providing them with hope for a future without diabetes through health outcomes research.


Did You Know? 


30.3 million people

have some type of diabetes (9.4% of the U.S. population) including 7.2 million people (23.8%) who are undiagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

1.94 billion

Total children population 0-14 with type 2 diabetes.


Number of newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes per year.


Number of children with type 1 diabetes in 2017. 


1 in 3 adults

could have diabetes by 2050, as projected by The CDC.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for around $245 billion in medical costs and lost productivity each year.

Gray Divider.png

Kentucky ranked 5th

in diabetes rates in the U.S. (13.1%). All of the top 10 were in the south (West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma).


Warning signs of type 1 diabetes often appear suddenly and may include:

  • Drowsiness or lethargy

  • Extreme thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Fruity odor on the breath

  • Increased appetite

  • Heavy or labored breathing

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Sudden vision changes

  • Sugar in the urine

  • Stupor or unconsciousness