68 Years

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tomjef Posted: Tue, Dec 7 2010 6:54 AM

‎68 years ago today, age 10, I became a T1 diabetic. Parents made sure I learned about diabetes and to care for myself. Grad from Swarthmore with degree in EE. Worked for GE and Honeywell as computer systems engineer. Rode bicycle as a kid, but gave it up until age 45. It only took me 30 more years to go 100,000 miles on my bike. I have Joslin and Lilly 50-Year Medals, and am in Joslin 50-Year Medalist Study.

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Julia replied on Tue, Dec 7 2010 8:21 AM

Congratulations Tom, and thanks for sharing your story with us.  I wish you continued good health!

Julia

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T1gal replied on Tue, Dec 7 2010 1:44 PM

Congrats Tom!  Yours is a live well lived in many aspects.  I'm curious....would you say that many of the other medalits have made physical activity a big part of their lives like you have?

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tomjef replied on Wed, Dec 8 2010 1:20 AM

I'm replying to the question from T1gal.

It's difficult for me to judge this. In May 2009, each medalist who attended the meeting spoke for 5 minutes, and I did not get the impression from those talks that physical activity was a big thing for very many of them. The people who can provide the best answer to your question are Dr. King and Dr. Keenan and their assistants in the Medalist Office at Joslin.

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T1gal replied on Wed, Dec 8 2010 8:13 AM

Thanks for your reply Tom!  I run and work out mainly because I enjoy it, and it's a great stress reliever.  But I do hold hope in the back of my mind that it helps to minimize the collateral damage from diabetes.  I've "only" had T1 for 18 years (late onset at age 27), so figure I could learn a thing or two from you and the other 50 yr + medalists Smile

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Richard157 replied on Sat, Dec 11 2010 10:09 PM

Hello Tom, I met you on another diabetes site and remembered your story.

My name is Richard Vaughn, and I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6. No doctor ever told my parents or me I should follow a low carb diet. The only advice was to stay away from sugar, which I did. I ate hundreds of carbs every day, but I avoided sugar. I had very high urine sugar almost all the time until the late 1980s, when I read in a magazine that a low carb diet was necessary for good control. I also bought my first glucometer about that time and I could test my blood, instead of my urine.

My life changed after that and I had much better control. Despite all those years with highs, I have no diabetes related complications at this time. I have used an insulin pump for only three years, but it has improved my control, and my life, even more.

like Tom, I am a Joslin Medalist and have participated in the Joslin Medalist Study.

Tom, I hope to meet you at the Joslin Medalist meet-up in June.

Richard

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Teach94 replied on Sun, Dec 12 2010 10:35 AM

How do I get invited to the 50 year medalist study ??

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tomjef replied on Sun, Dec 12 2010 5:11 PM

Teach94:

How do I get invited to the 50 year medalist study ??

1. If you have already received a 50-year medal, contact the medalist study office at http://www.joslin.org/joslin_medalist_program.html

2. If you have not received a 50-year medal, but have had T1 for >50 years, you should apply for the medal, and they will recruit you for the study.

3. If you have <50 years as T1, you will have to ask the medalist study office if they are interested in talking to you.

Tom Beatson

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zrebiec replied on Mon, Dec 13 2010 8:20 AM

Tom,

 Thank you for those direct and concise suggestions, and congratulations on the 50-year medals.

John Zrebiec, MSW, CDE

Joslin Moderator

 

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Teach94 replied on Mon, Dec 13 2010 9:58 PM

Thanks for the information.Printed the forms and am filling them out. Hope to get all documents and send them in in the next few weeks. Glad to know there are others out there like me. Thanks again !!!!!!

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tomjef replied on Mon, Dec 13 2010 11:08 PM

Richard157:

Hello Tom, I met you on another diabetes site and remembered your story.

My name is Richard Vaughn, <snip>

Tom, I hope to meet you at the Joslin Medalist meet-up in June.

Richard

Richard, I recognize your name from the Juvenation site. It's a little bit amusing to read today the complaints of our younger compatriots about running high for a couple of days. All we had for the first 40 years was urine tests, and it seems like most of them were 4+. Since the kidneys don't spill sugar into the urine unless BG>180 mg/dl, I think my BG must have been more than 250 most of the time (for 40 years). But, in spite of that, Richard and I, and many others, have 50-year medals to show for it. You kids should take as good care of yourself as you can, but you will have highs. The highs won't kill you unless you have an awful lot of them, or if you don't treat them.

Richard, I'm planning to be at Joslin for the medalist meeting in June, so I'll plan to see you there.

Tom Beatson

 

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Thanks Tom, I'm looking forward to it. Smile

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Susan replied on Thu, Jun 30 2011 5:50 AM

Congratulations, Tom. Someday, I hope to become a Joslin Medalist. Susan

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Teach94 replied on Thu, Jun 30 2011 6:52 AM

Got my 50 year medal in February 2011. Will be in Boston July 7th-8th for the medalist study. I'm nervous and excited all at once. I hope what I have done to maintain my life with no major health issues will be of some help to the research team and others like us out there.

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Hello Teach, congratulations on your 50 year medal. Thanks for participating in the medalist study!

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