Awards/Medals for People with Longtime Diabetes

Just wanted to share something I saw today. I’ve had T1 for almost my whole life, and I have never heard of this! The Joslin Diabetes Center, as well as the Eli Lilly Company, give “awards” to T1s who have had it for 25, 50, and 75 years.

(I know this probably sounds so depressing for newly-diagnosed folks, but for someone like me, who’s had it for almost 25 years, it sounded like a cool thing and I wanted to share.) I definitely plan to apply once I hit the 25-year mark.

Here are the links:


Thank you for sharing! While it can seem depressing on one hand, on the other many of the people who have been awarded are living very long lives with T1D and WHY NOT BE AWARDED FOR THAT?


This is an awesome idea! It’s not only a cute idea, but an idea that will motivate T1s everywhere to keep pushing! In all honesty, I sometimes wish I already HAD an award for having T1D and I’ve had it for only 10 years (that is, “only” compared to your 25 :p) Living with T1D in good control is a harder accomplishment than anyone will understand (other than this community right here)! It can even go completely unrecognised sometimes. This is actually a really good thing. Thank you for sharing this!

Thanks for sharing! I’m going to be “celebrating” 25 years with T1D in March so this is perfect timing. It is a great idea to celebrate being healthy and being alive!

@MaggieJo, that’s awesome! Please keep us posted about how the process goes! My 25th is about 2 years away.

I just “celebrated” 35 years. Do you think I can still apply for the 25 year medal?

Can’t hurt to try! Let us know what happens!!!

Hey guys! I applied for the Lilly 25 year award last month and I got an e-mail on Friday saying that it was on its way. It arrived today (3 weeks before my actual diabetes anniversary). It’s basically a pretty large, bronze-coloured charm on a necklace chain. It came in a nice jewelry-type box with a letter from the Lilly president/CEO. My name is engraved on the back. Pretty nice for not costing anything! (I guess I have been using Lilly insulin for 15 years; Novo Nordisk before that) Their application doesn’t require much and I don’t think they do any research, they just take your word for it that you are telling the truth, I guess!


I am waiting to do the Joslin application until after my diabetes anniversary and to dig up some of my old logbooks and things. I might have to pay to get my records from the hospital where I was first treated. They check to make sure you’re legitimately receiving the award. After all that work, it isn’t as satisfying that they only give a paper certificate. I will have to get a nice frame for it :wink:

I had T1D for about 42 years when I first learned about and applied to Lilly and they sent me the 25 year anniversary medal a couple of years ago. As noted above it is a beautiful medal engraved with your name. I wore it to Friends for Life in Orlando and the people at the Lilly booth were thrilled to see it. None of them had seen it before. Can’t wait to apply for the 50 year medal in just about 5 and half more years!


  I've just joined this site and this group (7/26/14)...and was very pleased with everyone's comments re Award Medals. I'm a T1D since 1955, and was proud to receive the ELI LILLY 50-Year award, in 2005. It is displayed with my campaign ribbons and medals earned in the US Navy, Korean War,  Amphibious Forces Atlantic Fleet 1951-1955, as tribute to myself, for battling my diabetes 24/7 every year since my honorable discharge, from both active and reserve service.

I presently am on the Medtronic Revel Paradigm pump, and am upgrading this September to the 530G, but using the Enlite sensors presently. I’ve gone from peeing into a tube with a Clinitest tablet, to test my sugars, to the modern meters today, and have used all the primitive insulins (pork and beef pancreas) through to Humalog, am still in good health, but have lost my large toe, left foot, due to osteo myelitis…the first casualty for me, in fighting T1D, in 59 years ! Glad to still be here !

Today, August 18, is my Diaversary. I was diagnosed at the age of 10 on 08/18/1965. 49 years ago. I have registered with the Joslin Diabetes Center so that next year I will receive my 50 year medal, and am determined to reach it in good health. I want to be an inspiration for my daughter who was diagnosed at 18 months and is now 30 and to anyone else out there who fears the ravaging complications that can be so devastating. Fight the good fight and keep your head up. I am not the perfect diabetic but I will not allow it to defeat me physically or emotionally. I thank God for his blessings. Hugs to all my “sweet” friends.

Well, hello to all of you.

I just received my 75-year medal from Eli Lilly. Several months ago, I received the corresponding item from the Joslin Center. I was diagnosed with T1 in Lexington, KY, in September 1938.

Does anyone know how many people presently have either of these two 75-year awards? I get all warm & fuzzy when I think I’m one of the few who have managed this long. (Egotism, thy name is williepitt.)

To those who are shorter time victims, all I can say is: keep on truckin’. If you have good control and good genes, you could get here too.

Congrats! Did you have to send in the forms again? I received my 25 year medals last year, but celebrated by 36th year of diagnosis this past December. I’m guessing I’d have to do everything again, so they know I’m alive!

Roxy, I didn’t have to provide documentation again at 75 years; I just sent in the request form and told them they already had the documentation.

This was for the Joslin Institute medal. I’m sure it would work the same for the Lilly one.

So enjoy the next 14 years, then do it!

Two people in my pump support group have the 50 year medals from Joslin (and one has both!) I cant wait to get my 25-year medal from Joslin! I will “wear” it like a badge of pride for a life well-lived! Only 4 more years til I get my 25 year medal!