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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.
T1DJ February Featured Spotlight
Meet Jillian Rippolone
Jillian was diagnosed summer of 1997 at the age of 7, now 32. She was diagnosed one year after her youngest brother was diagnosed. Her family was not surprised of the symptoms, because of him. Jillian was tired, thirsty, and the biggest was bed wetting. Bed wetting was no surprise to Jillian’s parents, so they took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed. Jillian shares “I was “lucky” to catch my diagnosis early; however, my brother was not as lucky.” When he was diagnosed, he was rushed to the hospital, he had already passed out, in DKA, and minutes from death as his blood sugars were off the charts.”
Jillian diabetes management is currently controlled with insulin pump therapy and a continuous glucose monitor. It took years of “trial and error” to really learn and understand how her body works with type 1 diabetes. There were years of neglect, but after a few times in DKA, that light went off. Ever since her last hospital experience with DKA, she vowed to take care of herself, because she wants to live a long and healthy life, without diabetes complications.
Jillian shares how educated she is about type 1 diabetes. “I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for over 23 years now. I call myself a “professional diabetic because I have experienced everything with diabetes! I have spent years educating myself about diabetes and learning what works for me (and does not) with my management. Diabetes is about education, learning and understanding. Once you become an “expert” on diabetes, it really helps pave the way to better management. Diabetes is all about patience. If there is any advice I can share, be patient with yourself! Your body is constantly changing, and insulin needs.
Lack of diabetes education
Julian feels there is a lack of education in the community. Jillian shares, “Diabetes education in our community has come a long way, but we aren’t “there” yet. I believe that newly diagnosed people living with diabetes are poorly educated by healthcare professionals. We need to have a better education system for those who are newly diagnosed, to help them better understand the disease and set them up to succeed, not fail, due to lack of education. I know most of the education that I know because of the diabetes online community, and through patient advocates, like myself. I know if we keep working together as patient advocates, we will see change.”
Her A1C went from a 14% to 5.6%.
She now controls her diabetes; it does not control her!
Jillian is currently advocating for affordable insulin and healthcare! #insulin4all
To learn more about Jillian visit her link tree: https://linktr.ee/t1dchick
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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