70+ years!

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williepitt Posted: Mon, Apr 12 2010 3:12 PM

I have had Type 1 diabetes since September 1938. I think this is worth some attention, though I haven't had any success getting any.

Moreover, I am essentially free from complications.

Is this of interest to the Joslin Diabetes Center?

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zrebiec replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 3:09 PM

Indeed, it is of great interest to Joslin.

Take a look at the Diabetes Research section of the Joslin Diabetes Center website and look at the 50 Year Medalist Study.

I expect that they would welcome your participation.

John Zrebiec, MSW, CDE

Joslin Moderator




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Meadow replied on Tue, Apr 20 2010 6:47 PM

Wow, wonderful!!

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ChristieC replied on Thu, Oct 14 2010 1:01 AM


This is incredible news and gives us such hope! Our 15 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 in March of this year. While he has adjusted very well and takes care of himself superbly and without complaint, I am hoping to glean some nuggets of advise from you of what he can do to help himself live a long uncomplicated life. Any suggestions?

Thank you & blessings to you,


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jen1229 replied on Fri, Oct 15 2010 10:13 AM

Wow!  The changes you have seen in Diabetes management over the years.  I remember when my I was a little kid and my grandfather had diabetes.  My mom used to have to boil needles and syringes and give him his shots.  Diet had to be adhered to pretty strictly as I remember.  There were no glucometers.  Congratulations, and to have no complications, that is  just amazing.  I think that is awesome.

Jen  - LevemirConfused and Novalog Wink A1c 5.8



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williepitt replied on Fri, Oct 15 2010 11:45 AM

Thank you all who have replied.

Yes, the changes in management have been amazing. In 1938, when I was diagnosed, there were only one or two animal-based insulins and urine testing, which required 5 minutes of boiling in Benedict's solution. Syringes and needles also had to be sterilized by boiling or with ethanol or isopropanol. (As you may be able to tell, I was educated as a chemist.) I saw the development of Clinitest, Tes-Tape, disposable syringes and needles, blood sugar testing via meter, human-based insulins of all kinds and now the pump, though I'm not using one.

Pointers for other diabetics? Maintain the best control you can, and have healthy ancestors! It helps me that my maternal grandmother lived to be 95 and many of her children also lived into their 90's (my father included). One lived to 100!

Interestingly, I can't spot any other family members with Type 1. My mother had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with my younger brother, and a few of her rather remote relatives had Type 2, but that's all the diabetic heredity I'm aware of. Why me?

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Margaret replied on Sat, Nov 13 2010 3:33 AM

Wow. Congratulations!! you are really wirth to admire!

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Williepitt, I am pleased to meet you. My name is Richard Vaughn and I was diagnosed in 1945, so you have been a diabetic 7 years longer than me. I have the Joslin 50 year medal. Joslin gives beautiful medals to type 1 diabetics for 50 and 75 years of living with their diabetes. You qualify for the 50 year medal, and in 3 more years you will qualify for the 75 year medal. In December, 2009, I participated in the Joslin Medalist Study. I was paid for traveling to Boston for that. Travel and lodging were paid. They are trying to determine how so many of us have lived so long with type 1, and do not have any serious complications. If you need some directions on how to apply for the 50 year medal, please let me know. If you get the medal, then you will be invited to participate in the Medalist Study.

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