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A senior at Amherst Central High School, Renee Ertel, 17, of Snyder, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 12.

But Renee has not allowed her illness to prevent her from achieving success. In August, she began using an insulin pump, assisting her to better control the diabetes, while participating in her many activities.

"Diabetes has made me stronger and more disciplined," she said.

She's competed on the girls varsity tennis team for four years -- this year serving as co-captain.

This Amherst teen has also played violin in the school's symphony and concert orchestras, and been a member of the pit orchestra for three years in the annual operetta.

An honor student, she's a member of the National Honor Society and co-chairperson of its tutoring program.

In addition, Renee is active in the Christ the King Church Youth Council and its youth violin ensemble. She also recently helped organize the Red Cross bloodmobile for the parish.

Know a young outstanding Western New Yorker? Tell us about your nomination, including age and address, for possible publication in ClassActs. Photos can't be returned. Write to: Louise Continelli, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240, or e-mail