Bret Michaels reaches out to diabetic young people before show

Effingham resident Beth Andes wanted to give diabetic children a person to look up to — someone who would inspire them.

The desire to do that led her to rock singer and television personality Bret Michaels. Michaels was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 6. The rocker, who celebrated his 51st birthday Saturday at the Effingham Performance Center, is now a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association. Andes, a juvenile diabetes activist and owner of Andes Health Mart Pharmacy along with husband Chip, sponsored the Birthday Bash event.

"I chose to sponsor it so the kids could meet him," she said. "It's always nice for them to meet someone who had Type 1 diabetes since he was young and see what he has accomplished and see that they can accomplish anything they want with this disease."

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