Sam Leight

Youth Ambassador & Athlete

Sam Leight doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be more.

After being diagnosed with diabetes, Sam and her family decided to take action and volunteer with the American Diabetes Association. Sam was then asked to be a Youth Ambassador and to share her story at American Diabetes Association events and other speaking engagements. Although her illness brings many challenges, Sam is determined to stay healthy and not to let diabetes define her.

Sam also plays club volleyball and is a fierce competitor. She brings her relentless perseverance to the court and thrives on the athletic challenge.

We had a chance to ask Sam a few questions. Something tells us this amazing girl is just getting started!

“Be yourself no matter what anyone at school thinks!” – Sam Leight

Q & A

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

A: When I grow up, I want to play volleyball because I love playing, and it takes me away from anyone who thinks they can treat me badly. I also want to work with dogs because I love them. Dogs are my favorite animal, and I have always wanted to work with them!

Q: What do people say when you tell them that?

A: Most people just nod and say, “That’s a cool goal.”

Q: Do people ever call you “princess” and, if so, how does that make you feel?

A: I have never been called princess, and I doubt anyone ever will call me that.

Q: How did you become involved with the American Diabetes Association?

A: I became involved with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) when I was first diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes. We went in to meet with them to get help with what I needed to do at school. After a while, my mom and I started to volunteer. When I was in third grade, they asked if I wanted to be a Youth Ambassador, which is someone who goes to ADA events, shares her story and talks with people about diabetes.

Q: Do your family and friends support you?

A: My mom and dad support me all the time and with everything I do. My whole family likes to get involved with the ADA events we go to. My friends don’t really realize what I have to do every day and why it’s so important to keeping me healthy.

Photo Gallery

Q: Did you ever think you’d be called an “amazing girl” for choosing to do this?

A: I never really expected to be called amazing for doing this. The people who do call me amazing are the people who are important to me; my parents, some family members, my conditioning coach, Brian, and the American Diabetes Association staff.

Q: What three words would you like people to use to describe you?

A: Smart, kind, athletic

Q: What do you want people to know about you outside of your accomplishments?

A: I want people to know that outside of my accomplishments, I struggle daily to take care of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. I have to check my blood sugar 6-10 times per day to keep my blood sugar in a good range, and I have to read food labels to make sure my food does not contain gluten.

Q: Who has helped you through your hard times? How?

A: My mom and dad have always helped me through hard times. When I have a bad day, my mom is always there to talk about it and to help me make it better for the next day.

Q: If you could have ice cream with one person, whom would it be?

A: My mom.

Q: What advice would you give to a girl who wants to be just like you?

A: I would tell her that you have to be yourself no matter what anyone at school thinks because you have better things than just what’s happening at school.

Bonus Question: What question would you ask the next Amazing Girl we interview?

A: How do you handle mean girls and groups?

Fun Facts:

  • Her favorite app is Color Switch.
  • This summer, Sam is most looking forward to going to Wisconsin and
    seeing all of her family.
  • Her favorite song is “My House” by Flo Rida.
  • Sam’s favorite sports teams are the Arizona Cardinals and
    Arizona State Sun Devils.
  • Her favorite subject in school is social studies.