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is to raise diabetes awareness in the community by educating, supporting, and advocating.
to educate the community on the importance of diabetes management, medication, self-care, wellness and nutrition.
to improve our community support system by advocating.
Nathan Medow shares his T1D story
What happened (signs/symptoms) when diagnosed?
I was diagnosed with T1D after my parents noticed that I was urinating too often. This is often a symptom of high blood sugar. They took me to a doctor who quickly diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes. We were able to catch this pretty quickly and my blood sugar at diagnoses was only 260.
How well is your diabetes managed?
My diabetes is very well managed. My typical A1c is in the 6’s. I have a pump as well as a CGM that are integral to my diabetes management. I have also been very aware of my diabetes, and the heightened attention/responsibility that this required. At a young age, I learned that I was going to have to make sacrifices for the good of my health.
How well are you educated on type 1 diabetes?
I have been extraordinarily lucky that I have been well educated on Type 1 Diabetes. My doctors have always taught me as much as possible about the disease. However, my parents pushed me to learn about the implications of my diagnoses on my own which helped me understand what was going on in my body. Additionally, I have used resourced like JDRF and peer support networks that have helped me along the way.
Have you ever been in DKA? If so, please explain what happened and if you were hospitalized?
Do you feel a lack of education in the diabetes community?
Yes. First of all, I think that there is a general lack of community awareness on how prevalent Diabetes is within America. Establishing a community of helpful diabetics was essential to my growth and maintenance as a diabetic teen. I believe that peer support networks are extremely helpful as an educational tool, and it is not nearly utilized enough.
Any other family members with diabetes 1 or 2?
My grandfather has type 2 diabetes, but other than that no.
Share "best practices" and helpful tips if any to help others fighting this disease (if any)
There are so many tips that I have for others fighting this disease. The first of which is that you should not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. There are so many great resources out there and people that want to help, and they can be very useful. My second piece of advice would to not be ashamed of the disease. Do not try and hide it to the point where you are not taking care of yourself. There are so many long-term implications from diabetes mismanagement. It is critical to start getting into good habits as a young person. There are times where I feel judged for testing my blood sugar or not eating what my friends eat, but health is your first priority, and you have to put that above other things. I also think it is important to find a job with good health insurance. I know that is a weird way to think at such a young age, but when I was starting my business, one of the most important things to me was making sure that employees had the best possible healthcare. Try and do the research to find employers that offer substantial healthcare because, obviously, diabetes management is very costly.
I was diagnosed at the age of 12 years old, now 18.
My passion is a driving force in my life and I will never allow a challenge to get in the way of achieving my dreams. When I was diagnosed I knew this challenge would be a part of my life.
I have had type 1 since age 7; diagnosed and treated at CCHMC. Today, I have an insulin pump to better control and 2 awesome kids. It can definitely be helpful for people to see that with a little work, life can be fairly normal for type 1's.
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