For a solid week, Joseph Pitacciato’s driveway was filled with plants from his yard. In an effort to bring attention to diabetes and raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), he sold 30. In all, the hobby gardener reaped in $450, and he intends to match that total.
The 72 year old gentleman is suffering from diabetes himself, and must take four injections of insulin a day to keep it at bay. « It is a gesture on my part as a sufferer of the disease. I did not ask for specific amounts for the plants, it was whatever they wished to donate, » said Pitacciato.
Saint-Laurent’s Pépinière Jasmin bought ten of the biggest plants for $250. The rest were taken by neighbours and relatives who wanted to help out.
Pitacciato worked quite hard gardening, pruning and preparing his plants for sale. « It was difficult though. At first I did not have the proper sign from the JDRF. But as soon as I did, my neighbours came to make donations for the rest, » he explained.
The JDRF’s Maxime Prieur was impressed with the man and his initiative. « Every small amount leads to more research. It is always special to see people using their hobbies, interests and strengths to contribute. »
The organization is very grateful for the efforts Mr. Pitacciato made to bring diabetes awareness in a unique way.
« I will have to check with my wife, » is what he simply answered about having another plant fundraiser next year. But, he says, if his health holds out, he will try to make it bigger and better.