THE STORY OF ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES AND CELIAC DISEASE.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

50 Years

Over the weekend, I attended a technology and research update hosted by JDRF.  

On the way downtown, I realized that I wasn't exactly sure where I was going.  I mean, I had an idea....but....I wasn't POSITIVE about how to get to my destination.  Jason was at a birthday party so I called him.  He is the master of navigation...as a Helicopter Mechanic, he's seen views of this city that most of us don't ever think about.  Anyway, after a quick confirmation, I was set.  

Until the exit was closed.

Call again.

Go too far.

Call again.

Get slightly lost.

Call again.

Suffice to say that I was, you know, SLIGHTLY frazzled when we arrived 30 minutes late.  

The event was held at a movie theater.  The kids were treated to a free screening of Alpha and Omega while the parents were across the hall, in another theater, being treated to some great information and a panel discussion.  

I listened to information about immune and beta cell therapies....new insulins on the horizon...and an update on the Artificial Pancreas Project.  It was all very exciting.  I found myself feeling hopeful, excited, and motivated.....I was reminded of why we've spent 5 years working so hard to support JDRF.

And then they introduced her.

It kind of caught me off guard.  She had RSVP'd to attend the event, and they wanted to honor her.  When they said that she had just celebrated her 50th anniversary with diabetes, I started to cry.  I didn't expect it....it's just that I can't honestly say that I've ever met anyone who has lived with Type 1 for 50 years.  Even as a R.N. with 16 years experience caring for patients....50 years with Type 1 Diabetes just isn't something I run across everyday.  

When it's been 50 years for Sugar, she'll be 52.  I'll be 52 in 14 years.  In 14 years I'm still planning to have kids in college - weddings to plan - grandchildren to anticipate...  

At 52, there's still so much life left to live.  

And there she was.  Beautiful.  Healthy.  Sporting her MM pump and CGM.  

I was inspired.


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14 comments:

  1. Hoping by the time I am 52, and especially by the time my son is 52, that we will be telling stories about what it was like when he HAD diabetes. There is so much research out there and so much potential for a cure...I exude HOPE. Hope hope hope hope. Until then, I will work my butt off to raise $$$ for JDRF and raise awareness for type 1.

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  2. WOW. Sounds like an interesting and hopeful conference Wendy. AND...what a great pic of Sugar with her. Our kids will live long, happy, healthy lives. They will.

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  3. A teacher at Grace's school celebrated his 50 year diaversary last year. He was diagnosed just before his 8th birthday. Joslin recognised his achievement with a medal. When the Medal Program was introduced (30 years ago) they only had a 25 year medal, because no one live 50 years with T1D. Now they even have a 75 year medal (not many of those given out yet).

    Here's hoping our kids NEVER get a 50 year medal. Only because I hope there's a cure by then.

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  4. It is awesome to hear that. I am excited for the future. I think great things are right around the corner.

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  5. I met a woman with 50 years under her belt at camp one year. Inspiring is right!! I'm so glad you got to meet her!

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  6. How awesome! Thanks for posting... she looks great!

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  7. Thanks Wendy...I've been struggling lately with the "what ifs" of this crap.....I REALLY needed some inspiration!

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  8. Beautiful! Fifty years with diabetes is an amazing achievement! There's a woman in Alexandria, Minnesota, that is in her 70s and has had diabetes for nearly 60 years! It's absolutely incredible to hear storied like that!

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  9. That is amazing - I caught the tail end of the update (my husband sat in on it while I watched the movie with the kids - they didn't want to be alone in the theater...and frankly, I was too nervous to leave Adam!) but I heard her talk about how much she LOVES her CGM. What an amazing woman!

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  10. Darn! I knew we should have gone to that event! We had company in town from Canada, so there was no way, but I'm bummed I missed such a great, inspiring event. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to go and then blogged about it! :)

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  11. So cool! We had dinner with Lori and Robert the other night....somehow (as always) we ended up talking about her dx at age 9.....42 years ago!!!! She was in a coma for over 2 weeks.....ohhhhhhh my tears came down hard as Lori talked to Maddison about staying healthy. That woman is the picture of health, 42 years after D nearly took her life!!! I think I need to nominate her for the Joslin award.....

    off track....SORRY! I know how you felt at that moment! So cool Addy got to meet her!

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  12. I think I would cry too! What an achievement to live with D for 50 YEARS probably starting off sharpening needles and now wearing a pump and a CGM. Wow! It does give a sense of hope for our kids who have the advantage if starting out with such good technology.

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  13. When I look at Sugar, all I see is a healthy future. She is a vibrant picture of a beautiful, delightful young girl. She is advanced far beyond her years. When I think how far she has come since that fateful July day, I praise Jesus. Sugar is a teacher for all of us in her simple acceptance of life, and her joyful exuberance as she greets each new day. I will love you forever, dear Sugar.

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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.