A Lifetime Commitment to Children Living with Diabetes
Dr. Fred and Laurie Gunville
For Dr. Fred Gunville, pediatrician, his own diagnosis of Type I diabetes sparked a lifetime commitment to children living with this life-changing illness. During medical school, Fred developed a passion for serving the health care needs of children, especially those with juvenile diabetes. His dream was to establish a diabetes center of excellence providing children every advantage possible to live long and healthy lives. With the financial support and shared passion of many, Fred realized his dream in 2009 with the opening of the Billings Clinic’s Pediatric Diabetes Center. This center of excellence brings together physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians and social workers to educate, treat and support children with diabetes and their families.
Fred’s passion extended beyond the walls of Billings Clinic. Each summer he provided medical care at a camp specially created for children with diabetes. This week became a treasured part of the Gunville’s summer, as his wife, son, daughter, mother, sister, brother and brother-in-law all joined in the fun. While experiencing the simple joys of camp life, children bonded through their shared experiences of living with diabetes while learning ways to manage their disease. Another summer highlight, the annual Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament. Through Fred’s tireless efforts, a portion of this fun-filled tournament has been dedicated to the support of children with diabetes.
Fred and his wife, Laurie, know firsthand the significant financial challenges families face when their child is diagnosed with diabetes. The costs of medications, insulin syringes, blood sugar monitoring devices, insulin pumps and myriad of additional costs are overwhelming. Seeking to create an enduring way to support these deserving children and their families and the Pediatric Diabetes Center, Fred and Laurie generously created the Children’s Diabetes Endowment. This endowment fund will ensure their hopes and dreams for diabetic children and their families live on.
Fred is grateful for many things in his life. “I could not do what I’ve done without the support of Laurie. Serving these kids has been our shared dream.” Fred and Laurie’s shared dream has led to countless children leading full and healthy lives, now and into the future.