Results for National Guard Most Inspirational Athlete 2014

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Total Votes: 13,391

Katharine Rhoten

Memorial High School (, )

Katie is a freshman and member of her high school varsity dance team. She was named 1st team All-Conference and was also named to the Winsconsin Div. 1 Varsity All-State team as a soloist. Despite her young age competing at this high level, she does this while also living with type 1 diabetes and the constant pain of rheumatoid arthritis in both knees. She has danced on Broadway along with several national championship stages as a soloist. She has won numerous platinum awards, special judge's awards and dance scholarships. For the past six years, since her diabetes diagnosis, Katie has donated over 8,000 new toys, stuffed animals and books to children receiving medical care in more than 20 hospitals and clinics in Wisconsin and Minnesota through her charity www.KatharinesWish.org.

In the past year-and-a-half, she has also raised more than $30K for her donor-advised fund through the Eau Claire Community Foundation, to issue grants to hospitals around the country for them to buy items of comfort for children. The goal is to touch the lives of children in all 50 states some day. The idea for her charity came when she was rushed from Disney World by ambulance, to the ICU in Orlando, FL where she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and was hours from going into a coma. With every IV or insulin injection, she received a small toy to comfort and distract her. It helped her accept her diagnosis and heal. She vowed to help other children who were scared and hurting.

Katie is also a straight "A" student, member of Student Council and the National Junior Honor Society. She is the recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award, Jefferson Award for Public Service, a "Point of Light" Honoree, Distinguished Finalist for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, Youth Philanthropist of the Year, and national winner of the Montage Memory Maker Scholarship for humanitarian work. She was one of three Wisconsin delegates for the 2009 JDRF Children's Congress in Washington, D.C. where she met with President Obama at The White House along with attending a Senate hearing and lobbying members of Congress for continued funding for diabetes research.

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