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.'
Meet Mary,* a 16-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes. When her parents ask her how her blood sugar is, she always has a good number. She keeps a tidy logbook of her blood sugars, and they look fine, although her last A1C was inexplicably high. It's been a long time since she was diagnosed, and her parents are confident that she knows how to care for herself. She has been somewhat less energetic for quite awhile, but her parents attribute that to growing pains, as Mary has grown from a chubby child into a very slender young woman. She appears a little dehydrated and flushed sometimes, but she always drinks a lot of water and goes to the bathroom frequently, so her parents aren't concerned. They have also noted a fruity odor about her, which she attributes to a new lip gloss.
Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Barbara Davis Center's "Management of Diabetes in Youth" conference, held every other year in beautiful Keystone, Colorado. The focus is on all of the latest and greatest in type 1, and it's a real treat to have so many of the best names in this field gathered in one place. The Barbara Davis Center (BDC) is one of the premier programs in the world focusing on type I diabetes management, and the one (Dr. Peter Chase, to be precise) who brought us the famed" Pink Panther" book, Understanding Diabetes - the reliable handbook of type 1 diabetes that many parents of newly diagnosed kids rely on.
Every year four million baby teeth fall out, and 1.4 million wisdom teeth are pulled out of our collective mouth. Until recently, the only entity really interested in all those teeth was the tooth fairy. But all that changed in the year 2000, with the discovery that dental pulp contains adult stem cells. In the not-too-distant future, those stem cells might be used for growing new islet cells to cure diabetes. The problem is, how to keep the teeth nice and fresh until that hoped-for day. That's where Provia Laboratories comes in, with their Store-A-Tooth service.
If you have pre-diabetes and live in any of the five boroughs of New York City, get ready to learn a new acronym: YDPP. The initials stand for YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, a public-private partnership under which New Yorkers can get enroll in a comprehensive low-cost diabetes prevention program at one of the city's 27 YMCA branches and affiliates.
When a young person with type 1 diabetes leaves home for the first time, it's often a difficult adjustment for the parents as well as their child. Tyler Stevenson is 20 years old, in his second year at Florida State. This is what he told us about his life in college with diabetes.
Everywhere you look, there seems to be a great tasting high carb meal, dessert, or snack staring back at you. While away at college last fall, I found a t-shirt picturing a cupcake above a skull and crossbones. For me, that image really sums up how we need to deal with being diabetic while being constantly tempted by sugary treats.
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