The first thing I would have said to that frightened 18-year-old girl back in 1994 is, "It's not your fault." You didn't do anything wrong. You weren't out breaking mirrors, spitting on leprechauns, or walking under ladders. Your body simply turned on itself. Your immune system decided to attack the wrong guys and here we are.
Mike Fisher is a 23-year-old from Ontario, Canada, who's been snowboarding since he was 13 years old. At the age of 18, he was involved in a motorcycle crash that necessitated the amputation of one leg below the knee. He says, "At first, I felt that my life was coming to a crashing halt. But I just pushed myself to recover as fast as possible and get my life back on track, go to school, get back into snowboarding and motorcycles-just anything so that my life wasn't affected at all. I had a lot of support, and I would say that I was pretty optimistic about it and took it almost as a challenge. By the time that I was 19, I was happy. I was walking again, I was back in college in London, Ontario, and everything was good. The accident was a minor setback to me, and I rose above it. I was just continuing with my life."
Mike Golic is the co-host of ESPN's wildly popular radio show, "Mike and Mike in the Morning." Before beginning work as a broadcaster in 1995, he played for nine years as a defensive tackle in the National Football League, including stints with the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins. About five years ago, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Since then, he has become involved in getting the word out about type 2, including the potential danger of hypoglycemia. He is a spokesman for "Blood Sugar Basics," a website and outreach program co-sponsored by Merck and the American College of Endocrinology.
It started at 7:45 a.m., when I heard my husband's phone alarming. Since it was his scheduled virtual type 1 for a day challenge with JDRF, I grabbed the phone as he kept snoring. Sure enough, it was his first text from JDRF, reminding him to gather his testing supplies before leaving the house. I shook his leg. "Wake up, sleepy, you have a text about your diabetes." He lay there, continuing to snooze. I tried again with "C'mon, you have to get up, your diabetes needs you!" He hollered between snores, "My diabetes is fine!" Oh, how I wish I could silence my diabetes in the morning with those words.
Scientists generally think that decreased insulin production by the pancreas, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, is due to the death of the organ's beta cells. However, scientists at Columbia University Medical Center report that the beta cells do not die, but instead revert to a more basic cell type.
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