Sunday, March 4, 2018

T1D Faces of the Month

Marie is a bright-spirited 22 year old from Austin, Texas. When she was 4, she was acting upset and irrational, so being in school to become a PA, her mom used her Type 2 diabetic grandma’s glucometer to test her blood sugar. They took her to the ER and caught it early enough to prevent DKA! Attending a diabetes day camp every summer for 13 years really shaped her outlook on life with Type 1. Now she is hosting the Austin chapter of Type One Run! She has been using the Omnipod insulin pump for over a decade! She is surrounded my support from her family, but her biggest supporter’s name is Amy McKinnon, a fellow T1D that she bonded with in Australia. From thousands of miles away she is always encouraging her. Last but not least, she gets love from her shih-tzu Bella who just turned 10. Marie says that a positive that has come out of Type 1 are the friendships she’s made. She says, “I’m overwhelmingly thankful to be loved by and to love so many people who lack functioning beta cells.”

Adam Rudick, at 25 year old, is a dedicated volunteer and advocate from Montreal, Quebec. At 11 years old he was told he just had a weak bladder, only to go on a trip to New York where his symptoms hit an extreme. Luckily, his dad had a friend there who is a doctor, and after testing his blood sugar on a meter, it was so high it wasn’t readable! They cut their trip short and headed home to Montreal, where he was diagnosed at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He attended a diabetes sleep away camp called Camp Carawanis and says he had a blast and would recommend it to anyone in the area. Currently a volunteer at JDRF on the Community Engagement Comittee, he is always attending conferences from Medtronic (he uses the Medtronic Minimed), and JDRF Research symposiums because he loves learning about upcoming research and technology. He calls his girlfriend Mel his biggest supporter, and says one of the positives that has come out of diabetes is “The mental, physical and emotional strength that is built from managing it on a daily basis.”

14-year-old Laina Wilderman from Illinois is raising her voice by making videos on YouTube. 2 years ago, she started drinking water excessively and peeing all the time. These were familiar symptoms to her parents, as her grandpa has Type 1 as well. They took her to the doctor where they found she had ketones. They went straight to the hospital where her blood sugar was 360mg/dl. After a few days in the hospital being taught how to manage her new illness, she went home feeling like she got an overload of information. She loves her Dexcom and has tried two different insulin pumps, but in the end loves her Omnipod. Her biggest supporters are her parents, her YouTube subscribers, and of course her 2 cats, Lilly and Blackie. Support her YouTube by clicking this link:

Laird Morris is a 58-year-old happy chap from a small village in rural Essex, in England. His sister was diagnosed with Type 1 while on vacation in the summer of 1975. He started to become progressively unwell the following winter. Though his sister recognized the symptoms, she didn’t want him to have diabetes also, so for months she held off testing his urine. His teachers at school noticed he was unwell, but didn’t have knowledge of Type 1 Diabetes. In February of 1976, his sister became more concerned and tested his urine, then immediately took him to their GP. His GP arranged for him to be admitted to the local hospital for 2 weeks learning about how to live his new life with Type 1. He wasn’t involved in any diabetes-related activities until recently, when he attended a DAFNE education course which he found super helpful. He is not on an insulin pump and uses MDI (multiple daily injections). He believes that everyone has inner strengths of which they are largely unaware and that living and prospering with diabetes makes finding these strengths an imperative. He says, “Some people think that diabetes makes them strong, whereas I think that diabetes can act as a catalyst that drives us to discover that we are strong and resourceful.”

4-year-old happy, go-lucky, warrior Luciano (aka Nano), from Miami, Florida, was minutes away from a diabetic coma when he was diagnosed at 11 months old. He had caught the Adeno virus, but never recovered. After days in and out of Urgent Care, the ER, and his pediatrician, he was reassured it was just an upper respiratory infection. Well that night, he was pale and lethargic and his mom knew that something else was wrong. She rushed him to the ER where he was finally properly diagnosed just in time to save his life. He is now on multiple daily injections. Mom Ariana got them involved in the diabetes community right away. Between JDRF and The Diabetes Research Institute, they’ve raised about 6000$! Ariana started a blog on Facebook (@myt1dbaby) in hopes of raising awareness and helping recently diagnosed families. Their family includes mom, dad, and Nano’s 16 year old big sister, and 10 year old big brother. Together they are each others biggest supporters, and this has only brought them closer together. Nano also loves sharing his food with their chihuahua Felipe, which mom sarcastically says makes carb counting “so much fun”. Nano is fearless, and their family tries to have as much fun as they can while coping with this disease. Mom says, “He gets it and he is proud to say, he has ‘Dia-beadies.’”

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