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| Friday, Sep 2, 2011

Patrick (front and center) and his team participate in the 2010 Diabetes Walk in Valencia.

The family of a Santa Clarita fourth grader diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes is inviting friends and well-wishers to dine at a Saugus restaurant this month, to benefit the 2011 Diabetes Walk on the boy’s behalf.

“Team Patrick Hates Diabetes” participated in last year’s Step Out to Stop Diabetes walk and will do so again when the event returns to Bridgeport Park Oct. 15. Registration for the 4.5-mile walk is at 8 a.m., followed by the walk at 9 a.m.

But first, Chi-Chi’s Pizza in Saugus will help raise money to support 9-year-old Patrick Moyna’s participation in the Walk. All day Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Chi-Chi’s will donate 15 percent of sales to the American Diabetes Association, from customers who say they’re there to support Patrick.

At 3, Patrick was diagnosed with both diabetes and autism – “a double whammy,” said his mom, Julie MacDonald Moyna.

“Our lives were changed completely,” she said. “(We had) to make sure we knew everything he ate or drank if it had sugar in it.

“He has to prick his finger every three hours, or if he wants to eat or drink anything other than water. Then he gets a shot of insulin to help break down the carbohydrates, or he will get  ill and end up in ketoacidosis.”

She said Patrick has had “an amazing year” with a medal for “most successful student.” Now he’s transitioning out of the special education program and returning to his home school in Saugus.

For the past year he’s been on an insulin pump, his mother said.

“What a difference that has made,” she said. “With the help of the nurses, parents and myself, he can go to a party, play date or field trip, and after pricking his little finger, (he can) eat whatever he wants and then he can administer his own insulin.”

Folks who attended the city of Santa Clarita’s “Senses” event in Old Town Newhall in August might have seen Patrick without knowing it. He was the boy who “married” the redhead from the Fresh apparel store under the Elvis canopy.

“I know in his life, he will be able to eat whatever he wants without pain,” Julie Moyna said, “with your help. Please join our team or donate to find a cure for this horrific disease.  No child should ever have to have pain in order to live.”

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