2011 Year in Review



Happy New Year! With the twelve months of 2011 behind us and all the potential of 2012 ahead, our dLife Viewpoints and Expert columnists take a look back and offer up their thoughts on the most significant moments of the past year.

Michelle"2011 has been a year of healing for me on a personal level, but also for so many moms, dads, sisters, and brothers all over the world who lost someone to type 1 diabetes. My most significant "moment" would be watching the number 23 become synonymous with the death of not only my son, Jesse, but of all the other children. Whether someone sent me a picture from New Zealand with a "thumbs up" at mile 23 of her marathon, or an Ironman pausing at mile 23 of his bike ride to reflect, or the entire JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes marking mile 23 as a mile of silence in remembrance, it shows that Jesse's life mattered. So much so that in 2011, a movement caused organizations to acknowledge that children can indeed die from this disease and I thank everyone for recognizing it."

Viewpoints Columnist Michelle Alswager, That's My Point

Karen 1"In 2011, our son Joel, who is 15 and has lived with diabetes for 8 years, joined the cross country team. This may not sound like diabetes "news," but our family considers it our biggest diabetes moment of the year. While all sports can be, and have been, challenging for Joel, cross country was particularly scary for us as parents. Unlike basketball or other sports that take place in a restricted area, with cross country, Joel would be out of his coach's sight — and maybe out of range of his teammates as well — for long periods of time. We have been so proud that he was able to take on this challenge and do it without any low blood sugars!"

Viewpoints Columnist Karen Hargrave-Nykaza, A New Normal

TomHeadshot"Kaitlyn is 21 and has had diabetes since she was 2. She is a senior in college and she volunteers with our local ambulance. The fire departments and medical first responders (ambulance) are mostly volunteer on Long Island. In some cases there is paid staff but by and large, they are volunteers. But not to be mistaken, they are very well trained and Kaitlyn is a NY State Certified EMT.

She described a call without letting out any personal information. She did not tell us the night it happened, but days later. She had been quiet for a few days and if you knew my daughter and her outgoing personality, it was clear something was not right with her usually bubbly personality. Turns out she was at her first cardiac arrest and she was straddled on the gurney administering full CPR to the patient (I do not know if it was male or female), who had little to no chance of survival. Diligently she worked but to no avail, and the patient was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Now Kaitlyn knew these nights would happen but when it's your first one, it's not easy. In fact, it's never easy. As she'll tell you, it's not the ones that have no chance and don't make it, it's the 1% that have no chance and do make it that makes her do what she does.

The visual was an eye opener for me. I mean, think about it. So many people complain about the smallest of incidences and she maintains her life handling her diabetes, a job in itself — a FULL TIME job in itself. An on her time off, her own time, she keeps her diabetes in check and when called upon, straddles a gurney over a patient, giving her all for the patient to gain one more breath. In 2011, the definition of a hero became personalized. I think it's great when the overachievers over achieve with their diabetes in the professional world — NFL, MLB, Olympic athletes, musicians, actors. But watch your children real close. What they do with their diabetes, well...someone really want to give a me a better definition of a hero? Happy Holidays. I'm a Diabetes Dad."

Viewpoints Columnists Tom Karlya, Diabetes Dad

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Last Modified Date: February 15, 2013

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