The latest New Yorker of the Week runs an East Village thrift shop that gives new meaning to getting a good bargain. NY1's Molly Kroon filed the following report.
On a family vacation 14 years ago, Liz Wolff suddenly lost 20 pounds, was dehydrated and fatigued. Her doctor diagnosed her with Type 1 diabetes, an auto-immune disease where the body stops producing insulin.
There is no cure, but Wolff is trying to change that by donating all of the profits from her thrift shop to diabetes research.
"This shop is making people more aware of diabetes and the Diabetes Research Institute," says DRI Northeast board member Diane Cohen. "All it takes is one dollar in the right hands of the right researcher at the right time to make the right breakthrough that will hopefully get us there."
Since she was a child, Wolff says she can remember going with her mother to garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores. After two years of working in thrift stores around the city, she decided to open her own.
"I decided that I wanted to open my own thrift shop to benefit a cause that was close to me, and, of course, diabetes came naturally, so I just wanted to combine the two things I cared so much about," she says.
With her own money, Wolff opened Cure Thrift Shop last summer, with profits going to the Diabetes Research Institute foundation. The organization's sole mission is to find a cure for diabetes. Wolff says she has donated more than $200,000 so far.
"She took the bull by the horns and she said I am not just going to settle for me having diabetes. I am going to take this and make this a positive," says DRI Foundation Vice President Tom Karlya.
As a child, Wolff says she wasn't as diligent as she is now about monitoring her diabetes. Now she tests her blood sugar eight to 12 times a day and takes six to eight injections of insulin. She says she wants to start a support group for teens with Type 1 diabetes.
"I want to help other teenagers, and young adults and older people with this disease to get together, and not in a hospital setting or in a community room, but in the setting of the thrift shop, where it's friendly and where there are not judgments," she says. "And we can just speak freely about it and I just really want to help teenagers before its too late.
And so for giving her time and money to find a cure for diabetes, Liz Wolff is our New Yorker of the Week.
For more information about Cure Thrift Shop, call 212-505-7467 or visit CureThriftShop.com. And for more information about the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, go to DiabetesResearch.org.
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