I want to start off by saying that this is my very first blog, so please be patient with me while I learn how all this works. I am a type 1 diabetic. I am coming up on my 12 year anniversary in May. It has been a long 12 years of up's and down's. I am on an insulin pump and have been for almost 8 years. I was 16 years old, just a few weeks shy of my 17th birthday when I was diagnosed. It was such a hard age to be hit with that news. I was a cheerleader and heading off to my senior year of high school trying to learn how to give myself shots, and check my blood sugar. I did not know another diabetic, and would not meet one until my second year of college. I felt alone, different, like an outcast. Like most teenage diabetics I was not good about taking care of things like I should. Heading off to college away from home made it even worse. I did not want to be different. I wanted to be like every other normal college girl trying to live that college experience. After a trip to the ICU I moved back home. I met my amazing husband early on in life. I believe all things happen for a reason. My husband, Jeremy's,best childhood friend happened to be type 1. The first type 1 I ever met. From the very first date he has been very involved with my type 1. Jeremy was the one that insisted I get on a pump. He helped me realize that it was okay to be different, that I could still have a great life along with checking my blood sugar and doing what I should to be healthy. We have been married for 7 years and he is still by my side everyday supporting me through every up and down that type 1 brings me.
March 14th was just like any other day. I was going to a new endocrinologist. I needed someone younger. Someone who could see me for more then a number. Someone who understood that my situation was desperate. My low blood sugars had really been getting bad. I wasn't feeling them like I used to. It was starting to scare me. I wasn't able to treat them myself. They would hit me out of nowhere. My blood sugars would just plummet for no reason. My husband travels for work and I had some scary episodes when I was home alone. There were times where I could not move. I could not get out of bed to take care of my kids. Instead of the lecture I usually get about how bad my A1c is and on and on, the new guy got it. He understood when I told him about my lows and how I purposely let my blood sugars run higher then they should so I don't get low at night when I am alone. He looked at me and what he said next changed my life. The doctor asked me if I would be interested in a clinical trial for an islet cell transplant. I had been reading about islet transplants for YEARS! To me it was something that happened in far away countries. Not the same city that I was living in!! I said YES! He gave me the contact information for the trial and I couldn't get on the phone fast enough.
After a ton of stress, phone calls, and paper work I finally heard the words I have been waiting to hear. "There is a place for you in this trial." That is what I heard on March 30, 2012. A date I will always remember. I still have a ways to go until my name is on that transplant list, but I am ready for this journey. The next step is signing consent forms. Then I will see a cardiologist, endocrinologist, kidney specialist, social worker and radiology. If I pass all of those exams, then my chart goes to a committee of 40 people and they put my name on that list. I want to share this journey with anyone who wants to come along. I know this is not a "cure" but it is an amazing opportunity to help future generations that might face this disease. I want to help find a cure. I want to make a difference.