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Thread: It Is Done, My Participation in the Joslin Medalist Study

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Kingston, NY

    Default It Is Done, My Participation in the Joslin Medalist Study

    We drove to Boston on Sunday, just 2 days after Thanksgiving. Traffic was actually not as bad as we were expecting and we had bought a GPS which helped very much. Anita loves the GPS and the lady whose voice has an English accent. She named the lady Lola and we both love Lola. I know, "What ever Lola wants, Lola gets", but this gal does not ask for anything. The perfect mate for an old geezer my age, eh?

    On Sunday evening we met two of my friends from another diabetes site and we had a wonderful evening with them. A great meal too. They live in the Boston area. We went to bed at our hotel early that night. I was required to fast and also skip breakfast on Monday. A shuttle supplied by the hotel (Holiday Inn Brookline) took us to the Joslin Diabetes Center.

    They took blood and used about 10 test tubes. Then they gave me a tall glass of vanilla flavored glucose. They called it a milk shake. YUKKK! They drew more blood every 30 minutes after that until two hours had passed. My BG was then 230+ at that time. More blood was drawn every 30 minutes until a total of 4 hours had passed since I drank the glucose. Then my BG was 343 and I felt sick. No way am I used to having highs like that! I was permitted to take some insulin after the last blood draw. I needed 20 units. The fact that my BG kept rising all through the 4 hour period showed that my body produces no insulin. We were told that some of the Medalists showed a lower BG at 4 hours than at 2 hours which meant that they were producing some insulin, even though they had been diabetic for more than 50 years.

    It was believed that the Medalists who produced some of their own insulin would be the ones without complications. So why do I have no complications if I am not producing any insulin? We were told there were a few others just like me though. So there has to be an additional avenue through which a long term diabetic can have no complications (in my case after 64 years of diabetes), other than by producing some insulin. They don't know what that avenue is yet. The Medalist Study continues until 2011, at which time they will have examined 750 diabetics, all of whom have had diabetes for at least 50 years. Did any of you realize there are that many of us long term diabetics in the USA? There are even more because some Medalists did not wish to take part in the study. Approximately 550 Medalists have participated thus far.

    I was examined for neuropathy and sent to their eye center. I had a wonderful eye examination. Dr Shah is a brilliant opthamologist. It was the best eye exam I have ever had. My eyes are in great shape. The results of all the testing will be sent to my home in a week or so.

    The purpose of the study is to see if they can find why some of us Type 1's have lived so long with no serious complications. If the cause(s) can be found then a treatment may be developed that will enable younger Type 1's to avoid complications. I have friends with young children who have Type 1 diabetes. I thought about them several times during our trip.

    I was too sick to drive home. We anticipated that, so we had reserved our hotel room for a second night. Lola guided us home on Tuesday morning. My only souvenir is a bad cold, the first one I have had in several years. Anita is coming down with that cold now.

    It was all very worthwhile, we both feel that way. They really appreciated my participation. They paid for our first night at the hotel and for the gas we used on our trip.

    I am now a member of a wonderful group, the Joslin Medalists. We plan to return to Boston in May, 2010 when there will be a gathering of all the Medalists who choose to attend. I hope I will get the chance to meet William Rounds then. William has had diabetes for 86 years and has joined our group. He is thought to be the person who has lived with diabetes longer than any other person on earth. He is my hero!
    Type 1 for 70 years. Using MM 523 pump. A1c=5.9

  2. #2


    Thank you Richard for sharing this with us, AND for participating in the study. I think it gives us all hope for our children that they too will live a long and healthy life.
    Rose, Mom to
    Samantha, 20 dx 8/1/07
    mm 522, 11/25/07, CGM 9/23/08 College student!
    Jenn nond, age 22

  3. #3


    Wow Richard, what an ordeal. I want to thank you on behalf of all of us that either have children with Type 1 or have it themselves.

    I really can not imagine how much has changed since you were dx'd.

    You are my hero...
    Kristi mom to son, Kaleb 19 dx 12-15-07 pumping with blue PING 11-17-08 and daughter, Riley 13, non-D
    One by one the penguins steal my sanity.

  4. #4


    Thank you Richard for participating in the study!

    If you go to the Medalist gathering, they usually go to the evening at Pops also, where you get recognized. We always go to this event, so maybe I will see you there!

    Identical Twins, in nearly every way
    Abby Diagnosed June '05
    Maddy Diagnosed February '15
    Minimed Revel

    New England Region Ambassador
    Riding On Insulin

    My current position:

    "Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect"...Margaret Mitchell

    "It is what it is" very wise husband

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Kingston, NY


    Wendy, that would be great! I hope we can meet you in May.
    Type 1 for 70 years. Using MM 523 pump. A1c=5.9

  6. #6


    Richard Im so sorry for your feeling sick I want to thank you for taking part in this study. The knowledge gained from this study will help children like my son and all the other CWD throughout the world. Im glad to hear that your eyes are so healthy. I wish you many more years of health and happiness
    Becky, Mom to Steven 12, dxd 7/04 MDI humolog and Lantus, Harry 14 non-d My 2 awesome boys

    Right now three things remain: Faith, hope and love But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

    "There is no rightness in diabetes. Just sometimes, you're less wrong." by Jacobs Dad

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Wistful Vista


    Oh Richard, you have no idea what this post means to me. Thanks for all your wonderful news and for participating in the study.

    I just love looking at my gorgeous girl and thinking that the future is so bright. You made my day!

    Mom to Ava
    Born 06
    dx 07
    Animas PING 2008
    Contact Detach
    Dexcom (the other love of my life)

    At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
    -Jean Houston

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008



    I love reading your posts. You have such a way with words! I'm glad Lola was able to get you there and home. And thanks for taking part in this study.
    Barbie, Mom to Alex, 20, dx 10/05, minimed pump 10/06, dexcom 8/10

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    I'm so interested in this study. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Even though your BG went high, I still wonder what your C-peptide results will be.

    This data benefits everyone. It's great so many medalists are participating.

    Hope you get feeling better soon.

    Rella, mom to Brendan -- 15-yrs-old, dx'd March '08 at 8 years old
    Navigator CGM: 11/08 to 1/11
    Dexcom CGM since 2/11, G4 as of 10/12
    OmniPod since 7/09

    Help Cure Childhood Diabetes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    New Jersey


    Thanks Richard for all that you do!!

    RN on a busy Med/Surg Floor
    Proud member of American Association of Diabetic Educators!
    Mom to darling son Jack, age 5
    Dx June 11, 2007
    Pumping Novolog on a Minimed!!!


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