My diabetes and I have traveled a lot of miles together in nineteen years. Racing Ironman triathlons in Australia, Europe, the Carribean and all over North America, climbing and camping at the top of 14,000 foot Mt. Whitney, and of course dozens of family vacations and business trips. Packing equipment and supplies for an Ironman triathlon and 3 weeks in Australia requires a bit of planning and preparation, but when you have diabetes you feel like you do that for just a weekend out of town. Meters, strips, insulin, syringes, infusion sets, pump supplies, snacks . . . a simple weekend trip becomes a lunar expedition.
Dr. Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD, MPH, FACPM is a very interesting man. He served as the Acting Surgeon General of the United States in 2006 and was made Chairman of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute in October 2007. The Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute is designed to serve as a home for the diabetes family and a trusted place of diabetes learning that will inspire diabetes innovation, improved care, and better outcomes worldwide. Through the Institute, Johnson & Johnson is opening and operating state-of-the-art instructional facilities around the world to provide health professionals with education and training aimed at improving diabetes patients' outcomes by working at the community level.
Molly Martin is a vibrant and energetic 18-year-old from Texas who's had type 1 diabetes since the age of two. Five years ago, Molly took up motocross racing. She says, "I love riding motocross---it's just you and the bike. I feel free when I ride, like I don't have to think about diabetes. I do have to make sure that I test before I get on and during breaks, to make sure my sugar is doing what it's supposed to be doing. But when I get out there, it's just me and the bike, going."
Last May, 24-year-old Charlie Kimball was in Car #35, taking Turn 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Firestone Freedom 100. He was in radio contact with his pit crew, who informed him that he had a headwind coming out of the turn and onto the 5/8 mile "straight." Charlie kept an eye on the car next to him, moving closer and beginning to crowd it on the inside. Having raced professionally for six years, he knew that he had to make a move, and soon. He shifted into sixth gear and accelerated.
Last summer, I led the third annual swim-run biathlon for the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, which hosts two Massachusetts camps for children with type 1-Camp Joslin for boys and Camp Clara Barton for girls. It was at Camp Joslin that I met a memorable eight-year-old boy who exemplifies what being a diabetes hero is all about. I'll call him "Adam.'
Paula Deen, a celebrity Southern chef known for her unrestrained love of butter and sugar, is no stranger to the media. She received a flurry of bad press recently when she revealed that she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years earlier. Shortly thereafter, she became a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk's Victoza. Following these developments, some critics said that she was a poor role model.
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