Curing Type 1 Diabetes

Below is a personal story of our family.

On August 31, 2015... on the 1st day of 3rd grade (Thanks to Bridget’s quick thinking) Mason was rushed to Children’s Hospital and diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  He was 9.

We were told there was no rhyme or reason as to why he contracted the disease, that there was no cure, and that we would essentially need to become his pancreas for the rest of his life.  Without synthetic insulin... he would die, and if we did not administer the insulin correctly... he could die.   To further complicate the situation... the right dose yesterday is not the right dose today, and no one can tell us why.  Even further, bedtime is the scariest time because of something called “dead bed syndrome” where kids just never wake up... so Bridget or I (mostly Bridget) would need to get up at 2am to check his blood sugars to ensure he will survive the night... forever.  Imagine having to control your child’s heartbeat or how their lungs worked 24 hours a day... that’s kind of what it is like to have a child with T1D.

It was overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do except not cry in front of people.

Almost immediately Bridget and I found a local Non-Profit organization, that was just getting started. TOPP Foundation is filled with families of children surviving with T1D, and it helped us understand that while T1D sucks... everything was going to be okay.   There was education, tips, fun activities, social events, and most importantly... people like us.  We’ve done meetings, charity walks, popsicles in the park, designer bag bingo, discovered Diabetes Camp, raised money, and tried to pay it forward as new families continue to join with the same questions and fears we had over 3 years ago... these families have been our angels.  

Today, Mason is a healthy (and very funny) 12 year old young man who is a T1D machine... he’s got a pump and  a CGM attached to his body 24/7.  He is a 3 year Diabetes Camp veteran, is self managing (as much as we are comfortable allowing), and he can count carbs better than anyone I have ever known. 

On November 3rd TOPP is hosting it’s 4th Annual Fall Fundraiser “Cocktails for a Cure.”  (Message me If you are local to Philly and would like to attend.  11/3 - The Bucks Club - $75 a ticket).  If you are unable to attend, but would like to help, I ask that you make a small donation below to help me be a significant contributor this year as I am a Board Member and need to represent!

We all have our causes and our passions, and this is mine.  My Mas will live with this forever unless we find a cure... and it’s really really scary for me, because as he get’s older... I realize that there will be a day that Bridget and I cannot do this for him.  

I know that we are all solicited and asked to give for many reasons, and I know we cannot all give to everything we want.  If you are unable to give, I get it and ask that you watch the 3 minute video below to better understand the disease, and that you consider helping me next year - because I will ask again.

Everyone in the video is a local family fighting their same fight and sharing the same fears as we Oltman’s.  You will see a couple of clips of Mason playing basketball and riding his scooter... and a quick cameo from his dad and Colleen.

I genuinely appreciate you consideration.

Ben O
  • Sara Messier-Bomberger 
    • $100 
    • 31 mos
  • Jack Murphy 
    • $250 
    • 37 mos
  • Brian Connolly 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • William Ogden 
    • $75 
    • 38 mos
  • tony hagen 
    • $25 
    • 38 mos
See all


Ben Oltman 
Chalfont, PA
TOPP Foundation 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Learn more
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • Expert advice

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more