Brag A Little, Please

Being a type 1 mom,it is uplifting to read what others have done,are doing,are going to do while having this condition.It helps to put a positive light on things.So if you could....anything. teaches u responsibility, and a lot more, but i cant pin point any more this second.


I started as type 1 when I was 10 years old, in 1942. Since then I graduated from Swarthmore College as an electrical engineer, worked for GE and Honeywell as a computer systems engineer, been awarded one US patent, and rode my bicycle 100,000 miles (spread out over 30 years). I have used insulin pumps for almost 14 years, and am using a FreeStyle Navigator cgm. So diabetes shouldn't hold your child back! It just takes a little planning.

Tom, you rule buddy.  okay here goes:

I have only had T1 diabetes for 31 years, but still - it was before home blood glucose testers.

I am a mechanical engineer for a major pharmaceutical company.  Last year I traveled to Virginia (350 miles from home) to build a HPV purification factory, this factory manufactures the Gardasil Vaccine, for the PREVENTION OF CERVICAL CANCER. I have built and modified research laboratories in San Francisco, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Colorado, Vermont, and Quebec - for cancer, diabetes, obesity, and mental illness research. I have modified factories and manufacturing support facilities in England, France, China, Virginia and North Carolina. I am currently working on a Varicella factory (600 miles from home) for a Shingles and Chicken Pox vaccine.  A point of interest:  I was supposed to be dead or severely disabled by now, according to my doctors in the '70's.

I am a mentor, a brother, a son, an Uncle, and a friend.  I am a rock climber, a mountain biker, a cook, a mechanic, photographer, builder of computers, and a comedian and I like to make beer.  I am glad I survived this disease so far because I will also become a father in December.  This disease influences my life but IT DOES NOT RULE IT.

Cheers.  Looking forward to reading the rest!

Tom, you are an inspiration to everyone on Juvenation! Wow, and ditto to what Joe said you rock! Big time!

I was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 25 in November 2000, much later than probably most people on this site. I lived my whole life one way and had to basically start my life over a new way. It was not easy but, I am getting through it everyday.

After my diagnosis, I started a website dedicated to live chats with medical professionals in the field of diabetes, as well as the CGM Anti-Denial Campaign to help people get covered for continuous glucose monitors. I am one of the members of the JDRF Blogger roundtable, I blog at as an expert blogger, as well as on my own personal blog at diabetes talkfest. My latest venture is The Diabetes OC website a directory of all diabetes bloggers on the internet that is being redone to be a listing of everything diabetic related on the internet! Oh yea, and I am also the community manager of Juvenation  I was very humbled when I was asked back in October to do this job. It is so great to be a part of this community it gives me strength every day.

I am also an art director, graphic/web designer and my new found love social media guru haha. I just got married last year and I am trying to get my a1c in "baby range" so I can start a family soon. I try not to let diabetes get in the way of too many things. I agree with Tom when he says you shouldn't hold your child back from anything. It does take planning but you can do anything you want to do with diabetes or not!

Ok, you'll be glad to hear Meme that my life has been far more impressive post-diagnosis than pre-diagnosis.  I was diagnosed at age 19.  So, in that sense... I'll frame it likewise.

Pre-diagnosis:  the kid you didn't want to be yours.  I hung out with a 'rough crowd' of teenagers that was into stealing, using drugs, and the like.  I won't go into too much detail here, for fear of losing my own dignity and respect on these forums, but looking back I was a bad kid.  I'm not proud of really anything that I did.

Post-diagnosis:  I started work at a local hospital taking patients from one room to another.  I took care of my great-grandmother in my parents' home (and that doesn't mean just asking her how she's doing and playing scrabble with her).  She had Alzheimer's disease so I - along with the help of my mother and sister who covered about 1/3 of the "shifts" each - bathed her, prepared her meals, helped her to bed, and even assisted her in using the bathroom.  I've held a full time job for the past 3 years working for a medical type insurance company (36 hours per week) while going to school full time for a degree in nutrition and following a pre-medical student's rigors of study on top of that.

I actually started putting effort into my schooling post-diagnosis.  Before I was diagnosed, I went to school because it was free and because it was easy.  With the passion of knowing what I wanted to do - become a medical doctor - I put my 110% into my schooling.  I have received only 1 B since my diagnosis, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from ASU.  I spent a year doing bench laboratory research for a biochemical nutrition lab and assisted one of the faculty members write a manuscript for publication in a scientific journal.

I took a trip down to Peru with my brother to travel and volunteer (one word of advice - refrigerate your insulin, or else it will be 1/2 strength by the end of the trip).  We spent 30 days in small towns and large cities in Peru, and my main job was to learn spanish and volunteer when I could.  From learning in school and putting it into practice in Peru, I can now conversationally speak Spanish (although I'm not perfect at it just yet).  I also worked in a clinic for the nutritional rehabilitation of kids who were not receiving proper nutrition because either their parents couldn't afford it or they were living on the streets.  I'll be going to Ecuador in 6 days to do similar work (testing some of the local population for diabetes!!!) and to hopefully improve my spanish speaking status to FLUENT.

I was accepted to two allopathic medical schools in the US (I start in late July), with full-disclosure that I was a type one diabetic (and proud of it).  My "personal statement", or my essay describing why I wanted to be a doctor, focused on me having diabetes.  I closed the essay saying that I wanted to help patients in the same life-changing manner that I was helped.  Oh, and I'm married to a beautiful lady (a registered nurse) who supports me physicially, emotionally, and mentally (all of which are affected by her caring about my having diabetes).


I guess the main thing that "changed" when I was diagnosed, looking back on it, was my realization that my time here is temporary.  Being faced with an illness like type 1 diabetes, you realize just how fragile life (and your body) is and how lucky you are to actually be alive.  Before my diagnosis I felt invincible, and that nothing I was doing had any effect on others.  I may not have perfect control or perfect health currently, but I'm giving it my all anyway.  I'm here and I will make a POSITIVE difference, since isn't that all that's really worth doing in the long run?

Thanks for making this thread.  Our daily struggles (and triumphs despite those struggles) often go unnoticed and I'm glad you took the time to notice :)

I've got to say....I  think you all are wonderful!!!!!! Everytime I read these my spirits go SKY HIGH!!! and thank you Kenzie,for doing the first post.

Joe,   Just wanted to say Congratulations that you're going to be a Dad in Dec......Lots of luck to you and your wife.

My daughter has been Type 1 for a little over a year now. Last week she was asked by the school nurse at her school if she could go help a younger student with Type 1 in a diffrent school that was moving up to her school to make him feel more comfortable about the new school. She jumped at the chance to help this younger kid! It was one of my most proudest momments for her. If you would of asked me a year ago if we would of been at this place in our lives I would of said " No way". She surprises each and everyday and i couldnt be more proud of her!

Hi Meme - Sept will be my 30th year with diabetes - my how things have changed!  I can't say I've seen all the changes Tom has seen (amazing man he is) but I too didn't have a home bs monitor, pumps etc.     I am a VP of Institutional Equity Sales Trading at Raymond James & Assoc. - that basically means I'm a stock trader for large institutions - mutual funds, pension plans etc.   I've been doing this for 14 years now.    I got here by getting right back into soccer 2 weeks after my dx.  I became independent.  I didn't want anyone but me to manage it.  A year after my dx, I even went to a psychiatrist because my partents thought I couldn't handle it (6th grade at the time) - when the doc said, he's capable to take care of himself, I'd like to see you two (my parents) next week to help cope, the doc became a quack and we never went back. lol   I learned to stand on my own and manage the disease myself.  I played baseball, basketball and soccer through high school.  After that it was off to UC Davis majoring in History and worked at a law firm part time (thought that's what I wanted to do) - I was working in the bond finance department there when I got a call from an old friend working at a little stock brokerage house asking if I would like to join them.  I was never really into school as I felt I was learning more elsewhere - I think I just never found my 'love' when I was in school.  After joining the small firm in the SF area, I was studying for exams when the firm was fined and suspended from every trading again!  Great I thought - good choice!  What to do? Whatever I could!  I sold teddy bears at Ghirardelli Square in SF until I got my first real brokerage house to go to but I couldn't 'cold call' people at home.  From there I went to a money manager as a receptionist to get my foot in the door - with in the year, I was on the trading desk.  My first experience taught me that something was wrong - I bolted and went to Raymond James where I've been since.  As it turned out, a month after leaving the CIO was arrested (not convicted) by the FBI.  I knew we were right on the trading desk not to pay the people he was asking us to!     I truely believe that it was the diabetes that helped me to think on my feet - trust my instincts and move to a good firm.   I've survived this horrible economy so far while 100's of good peole I know are on the street.   That's what we are about right? Survival - we manage and survive.      I still play baseball, soccer (sometimes), bike a lot (going to do my first century at the JDRF Death Valley ride), play golf and tennis and workout.  Nothing should stop us.  I am married to the same beautiful woman for 11 years (on the 20th) and have been together for 19 years.  Although my independence helped me out tremendously, It was my wife, above all, who helped open my eyes to things - open up - let people in.   I don't think I'd be on this site if it weren't for her.    So Meme - You see Tom and Joe and Gina and Paul and Matt among many many others who are not letting T1 hold them back - keep the faith and know things will be just fine.  :)

Well I was only diagnosed in February of last year, just before my 20th birthday, so I haven't been dealing with it for too long.

I am entering my 4th year of Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta this September!!  I love my program and I am currently doing a work term at the Dow Chemicals polyethylene plant just outside of Red Deer, it's awesome!

It took me a little while to get used to everything, but I still run, swim, mountain bike, rock climb, snowboard, kayak, play volleyball, tennis, beach volleyball, coach volleyball, hike, scramble, and tons tons tons of other sports.  I would have to say diabetes has not actually changed ME that much at all (besides making a very disorganized person a little more organized haha).  I would have to say there are a few things that I probably wouldn't be doing if it wasn't for my diabetes:  last weekend I ran my first 10km race!  I have always enjoyed running, but never really seriously considered doing races.  I entered this event in particular because the registration fee went to the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.  And I loved it!!  I think I might be hooked and will definitely be looking at doing more.  I am also biking across Saskatchewan and Alberta on September long weekend in the Cyclebetes Provincial Relay to raise money for JDRF.  That will be such an amazing experience that I doubt I would have ever gotten the chance to do had I never been diagnosed.   

Since I've had it for 32 years, it's a lot!  Nothing earth shattering, but here's the highlights:

Run many 5Ks, 10Ks, and 8 milers  Top 5K time: 19:57, top 10K time: 42:17, top 8 mile: 59:45

Played in Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline the year we went to Super Bowl (2005).  We got to go on team charter all expenses paid and go to game and post game party.  Experience of a lifetime.

Playing in innaugural season of Sounders FC marching band

Graduated from North Texas State University with BBA in Business Computer Information Systems

Computer stuff for 14 years at Xerox and 10 at IBM (so far)

2 children  1 is finishing up her junior year in college today   the other died in his sleep at age 14 8 years ago possibly due to diabetes

married twice 8 years and 12 (so far)

My rock/blues band played at ADA Walk for 3 years in a row in Dallas

trained 3 dogs

Won Norwegian Pearl "Star Seeker" talent contest playing "Wipeout"  (video to be posted on youtube very soon)

released my own CD on my 50th birthday

I guess that's it.  I'm sure I'll think of more later!

No one will ever really know how much this post helped me.I want to bring it up so all the new parents with children with type 1 can read it and maybe feel a little how I did about it.Our children can reach the stars just as any child born on this earth.They are strong,smart,beautiful-they just have to deal with a condition called Type1 diabetes.And we will see a cure one day for this...anyone that wants to add to this post,please do.It is not really bragging,it is giving light when we feel darkness..

I can't say I've done anything amazing due to diabetes (reading a lot of your stories has been truly inspiring - congratulations to everyone). Diabetes did, however, help me shape my career path.

My plan is to become a CDE. I'm about a year and a half away from that goal. I am currently a dietetic intern, working a local hospital, counseling people with whatever their nutrition needs may be. I have spent time in various diabetes clinics because that truly is my passion. Growing up with diabetes, I had both good and bad experiences with diabetes education. I want to try to make others' experiences better than my own and to help them make better decisions than I made later in life.

Of course, more than just diabetes brought me to this point. Living with diabetes hasn't been easy and among other trials and tribulations in my life, I was definitely heading down the wrong path at one point. Because I was able to change my course, I want to help others do the same. Regardless of how small of an impact I make, I want to help change my little corner of the world by making someone else's life just a little bit better. 

Here's a thought. In my life I didn't make good choices. I have been asked more times than I care to admit to why I am not a eng. or Dr.. I took job tests and have been told nuclear physicist is the best job for me ,  I am not kidding they really told me that!!!  But instead I did drugs and wasted (pun intended) most of my life!!!  Now at 54 I look back and think if I had gotten diabetes in my youth instead of 52. I might just be that nuclear physicist now. That's my positive for you. Diabetes saved my live from further damage by making bad choices.

the principal of my high school now knows me by name and everything because she thinks im so responsible!!

Relish the successes and don't beat yourself up over the misses. 

Learn all you can, read, listen, ask questions, and, when you are ready, educate those who do not know or don't understand D.

I became a diabetic at 23 months old! I am now 38 and still living strong. In that time ive competed in many sports such as bmx, snowboarding, boxing, mtn biking, 4x, and dh mtn biking! Ive been in the top 5 national ranked bmx rider for many years years ago. I am currently racing the 2010 national series for downhill mtn biking and I am training my but off for the world championships in August!!!!!!!!!  There are some days that are tougher than others being a diabetic athlete. There are some days where I wanna give in because im having a bad blood sugar day, but I dont!  I will never let this disease stop me from doing anything!!!! If you say I cant do something ill prove you wrong. I honestly would not have ever been able to do this without the support of my family. They have helped me through this along with starting a JDRF chapter when I was dx at 23 months old. Support and understanding goes along way! Never give up!

I have had it since I was 6. I havent done anything truly amazing as a result of having D either but.. D never ever stopped me from doing one thing. I never missed a bday party, playing with friends.. sports, nothing. I def went down wrong paths at times but this isnt about that, my positive experiences from D are: It def made more more aware of life and made me appreciate life more. Even just being in the hospital and seeing other kids sicker than me when i was little. I was always glad I didnt have something worse as opposed to feeling sorry for myself. It has def kept me more in shape, i mean im kind of vain to bein with and like staying in shape but the fact that i am rewarded by not only looking good but having great blood sugars is a major plus. I have done evrything I wanted to do.. I have gone aross the world, am a graphic and web designer, have friends, BF's, go to the gym etc... thats me bragging but at the same time as you can tell D never stopped me and my A1C's have been under or around 6 for years now, maybe its because im low but i prefer to this its becase i take care of myself. I hate D but its also a part of me and makes up part of who I am!

Speaking for my daughter as we approach her 1 year anniversary tomorrow,  she is amazing.  At 13 she does more things than most 13 year olds.  She is an athelte, flute player, Girl Scout and President of our church Youth Group.  D has NEVER slowed  her down.  She is so positive and a joy to be around.  She plans on being a nuerosurgeon!!!  With her straight A average in all upper level classes, I imagine she can do anything.

A positve thing for kids to do is D camp.  She loved it and really learned a lot.  I imagine she will move on to camp counselor at some point.  Every T1 out there inspires me daily!!!!  Ya'll ROCK!!!!