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Mother of Three: Two Kids, and Type 1 Diabetes

Hi! My name is Charlotte, I live in Belgium, am happily married, and am a mother to two beautiful kids.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 15. It has been more than 22 years that I have been living with this chronic disease. The first 15 years I helped myself with injections and blood sugar fingerpicks. After that, I finally felt ready for a new chapter in my life : “being a type 1 mother”.

The doctors told me becoming a mother was possible with type 1 diabetes, as long as my blood sugar levels are around 6% (A1c). I was further recommended to change from my usual insulin injections with a pen to an insulin pump.

I was ready for motherhood, but not for the insulin pump.

A device that would make my disease much more visible, compared to a pen which I could hide from everyone. How would I ever go to the beach in my bikini with an insulin pump? Yet another hurdle which took me some time to overcome. But becoming a mother was stronger than my fear of an insulin pump, so I gave it a try.

Three months later I felt myself on top of the world, reaching my a HA1c of 6.2 and becoming pregnant. When I look back at my pregnancy, keeping my blood sugar levels at that level took a lot of energy and generated a lot of stress. However at that time I was living on a pink cloud, as I was really looking forward to that precious moment having my baby in my arms.

This moment of glory and happiness arrived two times to me. First there was my beautiful son named Louis. Three years later I got my wonderful daughter, Célestine, who made me proud for the second time in motherhood. Both are happy and healthy.

Last year, three years after the birth of my daughter, I was feeling down, very tired and had a lot of pain in my belly and intestines. I was suffering from a lot of fatigue and my blood sugar levels were catastrophic.

Four to five hypoglycemia a day were a daily routine. I felt myself so tired and my body needed to rest and to reduce my stress levels significantly.

After consulting my doctor, we decided to take a step back from my hectic day to day life of being a mother of two lovely kids and supporting my husband with his career (thus requiring  frequent traveling and a 13 year carrier in an American multinational, where the stress levels were a daily part of my job).

Due to my doctor’s assessment, a Leaky Gut Syndrome, malabsorption, and my autoimmune disease, I was forced to change my lifestyle (a diet with gluten-, lactose- and egg- intolerances).

By changing my habits and diet, I reached 2 goals: first to become more energetic and pain free, and secondly to stabilize my blood sugars. From that moment, I felt myself more comfortable to embrace my diabetes!

And for now, I am the mother of three: Louis, Célestine and my Type 1 diabetes.

My ambition in the future is to coach and help other diabetes patients in the future in Belgium. I want to do this by showing people that by changing a few lifestyle habits we can get a lot more in this life!

Here in Belgium, diabetics are so afraid to talk and to show the environment about this topic, and I really want to change this. A few months ago , I started an Instagram account to inspire others and motivate others with this disease…. “Charlotte Celebrates life with diabetes type 1 “

Feel free to follow me on Instagram @charlottecelebrates

The purpose is to help myself and others to Celebrate life, by motivating and chowing some color in this sometimes colorless world of diabetes.

How Diabetes Changed My Life

At the age of 16, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was the worst day of my life.

I was devastated. At the time I was a competitive tennis player in Sweden and had represented my country on several occasions in the European and World championships. I was in the best physical shape of my life, and did not like losing. That made this diagnosis worse, since I could not accept or even understand how I could be punished like this. My lack of acceptance made everything more difficult. My two younger sisters, Anna and Lisa, who were 6 and 14 at the time, were supportive but in shock. I was their big sister who had always been strong, and now I was in the hospital. I would have to inject insulin multiple times daily, change my diet, and face the risks of short and long term complications from a disease we did not know much about.

Upon diagnosis, I made the decision to dedicate my future to discovering a cure for diabetes.

I would go to medical school as soon as I graduated from high school. I got accepted to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden where I graduated with both MD and PhD degrees after only six years. My research was, of course, in diabetes, but I kept a promise to myself not to let diabetes affect my behavior or require others to adjust to my needs. To do so I kept my diagnosis a secret from everyone except my family and doctors. Even my best friends in high school and my med school classmates had no idea that I suffered from the condition. When I stood before more than 100 people in the grand auditorium at the Karolinska Institute to defend my thesis, the only person outside of my family who knew that I was diabetic was my advisor, Professor Kerstin Brismar. This was because she also happened to be my medical doctor.

After almost 20 years with diabetes, in the spring of 2007, I found myself working long hours for a Scandinavian venture capital fund. I had severe anemia, uncontrolled hypertension and with diabetic macular edema in both eyes. I was not yet 35 years of age, but my body was telling me that if I did not change my behavior, I would not make it to 40. I was forced to “come out” as a diabetic to my partners at the Fund, to my friends and to the industry I was working in. I needed health care and I needed a complete reset of my body. I spent the summer not working, something which had not happened since high school (even as a child I would be busy with tennis tournaments during the summer) and started thinking about my future.   The decision to go to medical research and “find a cure for diabetes” which I had made as a 16 year-old newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic, had been modified over the years. I stopped everything to look back at my years in finance and other environments that did not allow me to focus on the long term because each day was consumed by its own report card. A situation like that is not healthy for anyone, but for someone with a chronic disease, and especially someone ashamed of that disease who does not let anyone help, it is disastrous.

I made the firm decision to work in diabetes and to make an impact for others while allowing my body to take center stage and try to fix what was damaged.

At Johnson & Johnson I was given an opportunity to lead what was called the Metabolic Taskforce where I was exposed to all existing products in the category as well as any new products being considered by the pharma, device and consumer divisions.

Unfortunately, the damage to my body had gone too far and I faced the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. My eyes were healed but I had lost my entire peripheral vision and my night vision, but at least I was not blind. The kidneys were more difficult to fix, but my family came through and I received a kidney transplant from my father in March of 2009. 

He saved my life and gave me the motivation to be healthier and to make an impact.

Nine months later I received a whole organ pancreas transplant and my life took an incredible new turn – no more diabetes. I did not realize how bad I had felt for so long – it had been twenty years of insulin injections, highs and lows and constant monitoring. Even worse was the fatigue and the sense of vulnerability I had when on insulin. Now I feel free and ready to enjoy life and plan for the future, which poses new interesting dilemmas for a person like myself, who has lived day by day! Of course there are risks and issues with my new situation. To avoid rejection of my kidney and pancreas, I must take immune suppressants for the rest of my life. Those drugs increase my risk of developing certain kinds of cancer and limit my ability to fight infections. However, I am strong, happy and, importantly, I am surrounded by people I respect, and I am doing what I love on a daily basis!

In this blog, I will be relating parts of my story in more detail as well as how I see the future and what we are doing to try to impact it for everyone. I am not alone in my story – there are so many like me who are struggling with chronic disease. When I founded Lyfebulb together with Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO and Steve Squinto, PhD, co-founder of Alexion and Venture Partner at Orbimed in 2014, it was with the broad goal to address the gaps I had experienced during my personal journey with diabetes and as a business woman and medical scientist.

My goal for Lyfebulb is to create a global organization that is patient-centric and functions as the voice for a larger population of patients, who have until this point been vulnerable and receptive rather than strong and proactive. We feel that it is patients’ responsibility and opportunity to be innovators, teachers and influencers.

Above all, I want to showcase individuals, who like myself, are not accepting of the role of a passive patient, but willing to take on the challenge of changing the future for themselves and others living with chronic disease.

Diabetes: Stigma, Blame and Shame

Diabetes is on the rise in the U.S. While there is awareness about the physical complications of the disease, few healthcare providers and people without diabetes take into account the social stigma attached to diabetes and the toll it takes on patients.

Many people living with diabetes feel blamed and shamed after diagnosis. Society accuses them of bringing the disease to themselves or their children. According to experts, the negative perceptions lead to worse health outcomes and greater distress on the patient. In turn, these lead to increased complications.

Few other diseases carry the social stigma of diabetes. For example, there is no blame attached to cancer. Yet, as many as 76 percent of people with Type 1 and 61 percent of those with Type 2 say they’ve experienced stigma. Forms of stigma include negative portrayals in the media, criticism from family and friends and personal attacks on social media. Even healthcare providers are guilty of stigmatizing their patients.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stigma attached to the disease and educate health providers and the public about this growing issue.

Read a more in-depth article about diabetes stigma, blame, and shame in THIS post from Drugwatch.

PB&T Chocolate Pudding

If you live on the East Coast, chances are you are recovering from a snow day this morning. For us, there is no better time than a snow day to try out a new recipe! Besides, if you are going to stay in and cuddle up on the couch, why not make something sweet and healthy to indulge in?

Check out this recipe for my PB&T Chocolate Pudding, straight from “The Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Cookbook!” The book features 70 healthy and delicious recipes to help you control your diabetes and weight loss, and I also help you navigate the key challenges of living with diabetes. Buy it here now!

Silken tofu gives this pudding body, and it adds protein too. Don’t worry, the addition of the cocoa powder and peanut butter means that no one will know you snuck in the tofu.

1 lb (450 g) silken tofu
1/3 cup (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons peanut butter

Serves 4–6 

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the pudding mixture into mini cups or bowls and enjoy.

Per serving (if serves 6): 216 kcals, 12.5 g fat (3.3 g saturates), 15.9 g carbohydrate (11.2 g sugars), 10.2 g protein, 2 g fiber, 0.2 g salt


Recipe from The Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Cookbook by Dr. Karin M Hehenberger, MD, PhD (CICO Books, $19.95) Photography © CICO Books

Accepting Diabetes And Using Social Media For Positivity

My name is Rowena. I am a professional dancer/ choreographer/ instructor based in Liverpool, UK. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2014, 2 days before my 24

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2014, 2 days before my 24thbirthday. During the lead up to diagnosis, I had all of the classic symptoms of diabetes such as extreme thirst, serious lack of energy, weight loss, unexplained hunger, and loss of strength. I looked very worn too, but because I was training a lot (around 20 hours per week), I delayed going to the doctor because I just thought I might be overworking myself and not getting enough sleep. However, when it got to the point of me drinking about 7 liters of water a day, I went to the doctor. I told her all of the symptoms I was experiencing and she said I could be diabetic. It was strange hearing that as I had so many preconceived ideas and misconceptions about what diabetes was – including inactivity and poor diet. I wondered how I could be diabetic when I was so fit and healthy. I mean, I was full-time dance training at the time, with a good diet and good general overall health.

Two weeks after taking multiple daily injections, I started insulin pump therapy and have not looked back since. I am still as active as ever and I actually feel like I have much more control of diabetes when I am at my busiest. Oftentimes, I collect data about my own experiences of living an active life with diabetes, and I then translate this information into easy to follow tips, published on my website www.type1active.com. This not only helps me to log my progress with my management and fitness, it is also a great way to help other diabetics learn about exercise and nutrition. The website also contains an online training portal that provides goal specific training programs for diabetics around the world. I find great pleasure in helping others achieve their goals whilst showing them that type 1 diabetes does not need to stand in the way of living an active, full life.

Overall, I think attitude plays an important role in diabetes. We can complain that we have it, or we can accept it and use that energy to find ways to work around it. For instance, from the get-go, I have been, and still am, so grateful for social media; Instagram and Twitter. It has connected me to so many other diabetics who inspire me to stay positive. I learn from them and they learn from me, which is what the management of this disease requires… research, trial, and error.

I hope to connect with you all soon. Keep an eye out for more fitness videos.

Rowena x

Interview Series: Louise Bak Refshauge on ‘Bling Your Pen’

This week, we launched our much anticipated Market Place, a one-stop shop for all of your favorite diabetes-friendly products! In the Market Place we feature a variety of products from a variety of brands, but what they all have in common is the fact they were all created by Patient Entrepreneurs. These are individuals who are living with, or are affected by a chronic disease, in this case, diabetes.

We are thrilled to have partnered with Louise Bak Refshauge to bring you ‘Bling Your Pen,’ a DIY insulin pen case! We chatted with Louise to give you some insight as to how the product came about.

Bruna Petrillo: Hi Louise! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your diagnosis with diabetes?

Louise Bak Refshauge: My name is Louise I am 38 years old, I am married to Lars and have a wonderful daughter who turns 14 this month. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, and I still use a pen because that’s what I am comfortable with. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but my BLING cover always makes me smile. Diabetes is not just something you can eat yourself out of or go for a run, and then you don’t need insulin. No, we need it to keep us alive, and we use our pens a lot. So why not make it a little fun!

BP: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind ‘Bling Your Pen.’ How did you get the idea?

LBR: I got the idea for ‘Bling Your Pen’ when I was diagnosed with Type 1.5 diabetes, and needed insulin several times a day. I thought the insulin pens were a bit boring, and I came up with the idea to make a cover for my pen. I also have IBD (Crohns) and I have to have Humira wich is also a pen, and it could fit in there too. I Love BLING I mean Who doesn’t right! I am not one who will go somewhere else to take my insulin, I do it in public. And all of the sudden people were reacting, positively when they saw my pen case. Wow, what is that? And it started a great conversation, and broke tabu and old belives about diabetes.

BP: So you bling your own cases. How many designs do you have?

LBR: I sure do bling my own covers! I have 3 oor4 to change with, just like you would do with a cover for your phone . It makes my life with diabetes and IBD just a little bit more easy and puts a smile on my face everyday. I hope customers will have the same experience.

BP: I love them! I know you have taken this project to hospitals near you. Can you tell us about going to the hospitals and creating these pen cases with the children? What were their reactions? 

LBR: I talked to my diabetes nurse about it, and she loved it, and I said it would be awseome to do it with the children because there are a lot of options, boys could also ‘bling your pen,’ maybe with camouflage, footballs and so forth. I decided to make a few pieces, and ask around the type 1 community. I spoke both with women who had diabetes, and moms to girls who just hated to be different in a negative way. I made the Bling your pen covers for a couple of girls, and one of them told me, “now I am not negative different, but positive different,” because in school everybody was reacting in a positive way. And to make it yourself, especially with children, will maybe make it more fun and positive to have a cool cover for the pen.

BP: Is that why ‘Bling Your Pen’ is such a great product for children and adults alike?

LBR: ‘Bling Your Pen’ is a great product for children and teens just getting their disease. So much is changing in a very short time, and they just wish it would go away. With “Bling Your Pen,’ you can create a great and fun cover for your medicine pen, and make it fun even. Also, in a good way, it makes the child have a little bit of responsibility for diabetes. For adults, I believe out of my own experience, that it is great haveing a ‘Bling Your Pen’ cover, and it makes people around you more aware in a positive way, and what’s not to like about that?

BP: Exactly. Making diabetes a little more ‘fun’ is what we are trying to do with the Market Place! So, why did you choose to partner with Lyfebulb for this product?

LBR: I chose to sign up with Lyfebulb, because I learned about Karin Hehenberger in my experience as a judge for the Lyfebulb- Novo Nordisk Innovation Award. We both saw a potential in ‘Bling Your Pen.’ Lyfebulb is a truly great company, with a lot of great entrepreneurs making innovative devices /products to improve the lives in a positive way, for all kinds of chronic diseases. And, I myself was not able to get it out there, without the help and partnership from Lyfebulb.

BP: We are truly proud to partner with you on this project. What are your hopes for the future of ‘Bling Your Pen’?

LBR: My hope for the future is that ‘Bling Your Pen’ will be a great success all over the world because I truly believe this small cover can make a big difference, and put smiles on your own face and others too! I know it did for me, and it still does. I am a mentor for a 14-year-old girl, and she loves the cover, and now we even have covers that match!

BP: Thank you so much for chatting! We are excited for the future!

LBR: Lots of ‘Bling Your Pen’ love!

Diabetes Doesn’t Control Me

At 49 years old there couldn’t have been a more pronounced time when I needed my mommy most, but at 80 years old she was suffering through her umpteenth battle with cancer and a complicated surgery.  Somehow it didn’t feel right to burden her with my diagnosis.  So there I was, just shy of turning 50, with a life-changing, devastating diagnosis of Type I Diabetes and without my mother to console me. No one can feel your pain or offer support in times of crisis like a mother. As a mother of 2 boys myself who have been afflicted with food allergies, Celiac disease, ADHD and Asperger’s I was no stranger to offering comfort.  I’m just not accustomed to receiving it. I’ve always been strong, emotionally strong I mean.  There was no time for self-pity, for sadness for failure.  Failure meant death.  My friends and family offered support and kindness but no one can really understand the depth of fatigue and fear the disease brings. The persistent need to monitor my blood sugar and account for every scrap of food takes its toll; it’s exhausting.  

Ultimately I made a new best friend, my Dexcom CGM.  I go low in the middle of the night, more often than I should, and definitely more often than I like.  It’s always there for me and I’m thankful for my little pink receiver that wakes me up and shouts EAT SUGAR, figuratively of course.  I’m doing great: still exercising a ton, eating healthy, and living life. My purse is heavier, the TSA screening takes longer and everyone has seen my muffin top when I inject in a restaurant. Despite all that I’m in control.  I’m winning.  Diabetes doesn’t control me.

My Go To Stretching Routine

I thought I would share my go to stretch routine. I do this after any type of workout in order to lengthen my muscles, maintain flexibility, and to ease the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that is bound to make an appearance the next day.

If you want to follow along, I would recommend a short pulse raiser to start. Jogging on the spot for a few minutes should prepare you. Let me know what you think?

Rowena x

I’d love to connect with you on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.


Check out more workouts and posts by Rowena on https://www.type1active.com/

Going For Gold

Gary Hall Jr. is a three time Olympic swimmer out of Phoenix, Arizona by way of Cincinnati, Ohio. A product of a strong swimming lineage, his father Gary Hall Sr., uncle Charles Keating Ill, and maternal grandfather, Charles Keating Jr., all have competed and won medals in previous Olympic games.

Hall Jr. himself competed in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Games, winning a total of 10 medals. At only 21 years of age in the 1996 Olympics, he won two individual silver medals and two team relay golds, including helping set the world record in both the 400 meter freestyle and medley relays. Hall won 2 gold medals in the both individual and relay events in the 2000 Olympics and an additional gold in the 50 meter freestyle in 2004.

Although highly decorated, Greg Hall Jr. had to overcome being diagnosed with type-1 Diabetes Mellitus in 1999 before the 2000 Olympics. He faced a decision whether or not to give up swimming entirely.

I spoke with Gary about that tumultuous time in his career.

Hall was diagnosed in march of 1999, after we underwent the very typical stages of grief and shock he says he remembers there being few diabetic athlete standouts at the time. Most importantly, there were certainly no Olympic athletes.

Two separate doctors told Hall that his diagnosis would mean the end of his career. They told him the strenuous Eight or more hours he would have to spend practicing in the pool would be too great a risk for someone having to regulate their blood glucose levels with insulin injections.

Unsatisfied with this news, the determined Hall eventually sought the advice of Dr. Anne Peters, who he credits most for her encouragement to not give up early on. The UCLA (now USC) endocrinologist and her team worked closely with Hall to utilize his strict workouts positively to control his sugars, rather than as an obstacle. Gary Hall credits Dr. Peter immensely for helping him find a routine that ultimately allowed him to continue competitive swimming at the highest level.

When he returned to swimming competitively, he broke the world record in the men’s 50-meter freestyle race with a time of 21.76 seconds at the 2000 Olympic Games.

Most diabetics are instructed to regulate their diets and control their blood sugars with multiple insulin shots delivered through syringes and pens. Insulin pumps offer a lot of flexibility with the amount of insulin that can be delivered over specific periods of time, but can be burdensome, as they must remain attached to the body. Choosing which method of insulin delivery can be challenging, especially for a world-class competing athlete.

Hall noted that he alternated back and forth between wearing a pump and taking multiple injections as he trained for the Olympics Hall attempted unsuccessfully to wear an Omnipod pump in the water for training and meets as he adjusted to swimming as a diabetic. Unplugging his pump and no longer receiving basal insulin, his blood glucose levels would shoot up hundreds of points after a training session. Here he was competing in a sport where swimmers shave off their body hairs in attempts to gain an edge and facilitate speed. Hall on the hand was wearing injection sites for his pump that would fly off his body, forcing him to try such extreme measures and using duct tape to adhere the sites to his skin in the water. He settled finally on multiple injections for competition.

The daily activities of an athlete are so regimented; it’s nearly catastrophic when there are disruptions. Unfortunately, diabetic athletes are all too familiar with challenges which may disrupt their routines. When I asked Gary Hall what his biggest challenges were, he responded with his beliefs about the lack of resources for diabetic athletes on topics such as: post workout spikes, competition adrenaline spikes, and the differences in blood sugar management between anaerobic and aerobic workouts.

The best way to combat these challenges is to maintain a stringent routine of the same activities before competition. I am well aware that diabetic and non-diabetic athletes alike will follow a particular routine that works for them like a bible. I asked Gary to share with me his routine for the day leading up to a big race:

  • Gary claimed he would test his blood sugar 20-25 times a day.
  • He would carry his blood glucose meter with him at all times all the way up to the Ready-Room before a particular race (A small room near the pool where only competing athletes were allowed 5-10 minutes before each race)
  • After the race he would test again, his blood sugar typically had shot up, sometimes up to 300 points
  • He would then proceed to giving himself a bolus of insulin to get his blood sugar back down to a comfortable level (below 200) before it was time for his heat to participate in the next race

Despite all the precautions we take, diabetic athletes can still fall victim to complications related to their blood sugars. “Going Low” or experiencing hypoglycemia is a condition where blood glucose levels are too low. The body usually undergoes symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, and an elevated heart rate. If not treated, hypoglycemia’s can lead to seizure, coma, or death. Surprisingly, most diabetic athletes or far more concerned with not being able to compete than they are about their own safety.

Gary Hall recalls a hypoglycemic episode at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Australia. He remembered testing throughout the day, but approximately 15 minutes prior to the race, he checked his blood sugar (BS) on his meter and it read 60 mg/dl (anything under 80 is considered low and exercising at a two digit BS is not recommended). He quickly grabbed and drank a sports drink and waiting a few minutes before checking again. After the second reading he realized his blood sugar had actually dropped even more, and it was officially time to panic. He chugged down another sponsored sports drink in the ready room and grabbed a third on the way to the actual race. Holding his third sports drink during swimmer introductions, he gulped it down on the starting blocks legitimately moments before the sound of the gun. With a belly sloshing full of sugary hydrate, he started the race, but unfortunately vomited underwater at the 35 meter mark. Gary Hall Jr. solidified his cult hero status as he completed this task on national television, but still finished second in the race.

Hall admits his biggest fears related to going low include the serious risk of having a Seizure in the pool and drowning, but also the soul-crushing possibility of potentially having to stop what you love to do.  

On a more positive note, I asked Hall what he appreciated about his experiences participating in the Olympics as a diabetic athlete:

“I could not have imagined the level of support from the T1D community. I received letters of support from all over, motivating me to train harder.”

Hall continued to say his greatest accomplishments were being able to represent the USA and win on the greatest stage, and representing the entire diabetic population worldwide.

In November of 2008, Gary Hall Jr. retired from competition. Since retirement, Hall has been extremely involved in health initiatives related to diabetes and Type-2 diabetes prevention.

Alongside groups such as the Aspen Institute, the Clinton Foundation, the American college of sports medicine, and the T1D Exchange, Gary Hall works tirelessly with policymakers to improve the lives of Americans looking to take control of their health.

Hall is currently promoting “Project Play”, an initiative looking to increase youth access to physical activity and sport. Hall has testified before Congress and believes that when it comes to insurance, discounts that currently exist for corporate gym memberships and safe driving should be extended to children and families who consistently engage in physical activity and sport. He believes American children and families should be rewarded when they proactively protect themselves against obesity and Type-2 Diabetes.

When I asked him how he envisions the rest of us as citizens can help aid the cause, he replied that we should all be advocates. Anyone touched by diabetes in any way should open up and speak about the challenges he or she faces. He recalls that legislation back around the time of his diagnosis would not have allowed him to buy health insurance, despite being able to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Hall doesn’t believe in us as diabetics settling with the rules as they currently exist, and moving forward would like diabetics to have the ability to join the military. Overall, he preaches that more people should get involved.

I too agree more should be done, especially for those willing to work for their health and well being. I think we should all follow Gary Hall’s lead and take it upon each and every one of ourselves to promote initiatives beneficial to our cause.

When asked what other famous athletes or celebrities might’ve inspired Hall throughout his career, he chuckled and replied simply: “The people who touched me most weren’t world champions, they were ordinary folks doing what they loved, who wouldn’t be denied” In august of 2004, a 13-year-old version of myself sat and watched Gary Hall win the gold after a television segment explaining what he had gone through as a diabetic athlete aired. About a month later that boy would receive the news from his doctor that he too was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes. After recovering from the initial shock, he remembered Gary Hall Jr., and found comfort in knowing that he too could achieve his highest athletic dreams.

I will always be grateful for the inspiration given to me that year from Gary Hall, his performance encouraged diabetics and athletes across the world not to allow any shortcomings to stand in your way to greatness.

For more updates and tips on how to use fitness for diabetes management and prevention. Follow me on twitter @roycHealth !

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