I opened the door to my office trying not to spill my coffee as I walk towards my desk to find so many of my coworkers cheering and clapping that the stories sharing my journey through the Bionic Pancreas trial have gone viral on Facebook and have received the most “shares”, likes, and comments of anything we’ve ever posted. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my stomach would become so famous! Now, let me remind you, my career involves being surrounded by other type 1’s with a goal of connecting other type 1’s to each other and to research… so fitting.
I’ve attempted to get through all of the amazing comments and posts on Facebook. I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and inspiration from parents, colleagues, and the fellow camp alumni I call family. I am so proud that I’ve been given the opportunity to instill, within the diabetes community, the hope that even though this exact device model may not be the key to the cure it is, indeed, one step closer and within our reach.
When I was diagnosed in 1989, when prickers were the latest piece of technology to hit the market and Lantus, Humalog and rapid acting insulin were a mere idea inside a scientists’ head, I was told “there will be a cure in 10 years.” I have never given up hope and, fortunately, have been able to take advantage of being exposed to the ever-changing gadgetry … but I never ever thought I would see this day.
Attending camp as a child made me a better person, not only because it was diabetes camp, but because it boosted my self- confidence to the point where don’t feel like I have to hide my diabetes, it gave me hope. It gave me so much hope that I turned my career into giving back to students and families needing hope. Each and every year my family tries endlessly to give financially in some way or another to feel hopeful. I was able to turn my hope in to a passion by creating the first ever ADA Youth Leader program with my local American Diabetes Association inspiring students to become the next leaders of this disease.
This year, even more than ever, I am full of hope.
Participating in this study makes me feel even more excited about riding this year in the biggest Tour de Cure cycling event in the country. On May 5th I will be traveling to Napa Valley to ride 50 miles to help raise money for a cure. The Beacon Hill Bionic Pancreas study would not be where it is today without the money we all give back toward research. We still have a long way to go, but it is because we are empowered by our peers and colleagues and that we know that one-day this dream can become a reality … we are so close!