Over February vacation, most high school students look forward to sleeping in late, catching up with friends, and not doing homework. That was the plan for my brother, Chris...until he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
In 2003, Chris was a junior in high school. He was a three sport athlete with college on his mind. My parents noticed that Chris just wasn’t himself. He was sleeping a lot more than usual, he was always thirsty, always needing to go to the bathroom, his breath smelled really fruity, he seemed fatigued all the time, and it looked as if he was losing weight. I remember being at Medford High after basketball practice hoping my Mom could pick me up. She called to tell me she was heading into Boston because my Dad had to bring Chris to Children's Hospital. I tried to stay calm, but I just wanted to know what was going on with my brother, that everything would be alright. My mother kept it simple, but told me that he was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. After a short stay at the hospital, I couldn't wait to see my brother. I didn't want to overwhelm him, but I wanted to learn as much as I could about this disease and figure out how I could help him. At first, he had to test his blood sugar level many times throughout the day by pricking his finger with a needle and using a test strip and blood glucose monitor. He would then have to give himself an insulin shot before every meal. Watching my brother go through such an unexpected lifestyle change was truly eye opening. Not only did he have a new routine every day, but he had to change his diet completely, and he had to really make sure that he listened to his body if he wasn't feeling like himself, because his health depended on it. He quickly became an inspiration to me because of his positive attitude and way he dealt with and accepted this awful disease.
Your donation will help in finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
Chris still goes to Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, and uses an OmniPod for insulin. He has it taped to his leg, and you wouldn't even know that he had Diabetes unless you saw him testing his blood sugar or somehow saw the OmniPod. It has amazed me with how many advances have been made in Diabetes research just since 2003 when Chris was diagnosed.
Chris went on to Wentworth College in Boston where he lived on campus and played lacrosse. He works as a Superintendent for a major construction company in Boston. We recently went to an award ceremony for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at Fenway Park, and it was a heartwarming experience when Chris was able to interact with many of the young children who are also living with Type 1 Diabetes. The kids (and parents) were amazed that Chris has been able to live a normal, active life. My hope is that his story will continue to inspire younger kids with Type 1 Diabetes.
I'm running in the 2016 Boston Marathon, not just to honor my brother, but to raise funds that are necessary to find a cure...and your donation will bring us closer to curing diabetes.
Joslin Diabetes Center, based in Boston, Massachusetts, undertakes diabetes research, clinical care, education and health and wellness programs on a global scale. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real progress in preventing and curing diabetes. Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and is recognized worldwide for driving innovative solutions in diabetes prevention, research, education, and care.
Our mission is to prevent, treat and cure diabetes. Our vision is a world free of diabetes and its complications.