January 13, 1999
I was smart adorable thumb-sucking 3 year old with big blue eyes blonde ringlets and current dream job of fairy princess. On January 13, 1999 I learned I was going to do that (and everything) with diabetes, I was still me but I needed medicine, I needed a minimum of 5 (bleeding) finger pokes and 4 shots everyday forever... or until there was a cure for diabetes.
My parents, dad a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and mom Pediatric Nurse Practitioner were sad but ready for the burden that is having to inflict shots upon a child who really doesn't want them because they need it to be healthy (1 would hold me still while the other gives the shot) both apologizing and explaining and soothing.
So at the young age of four I absorbed the concept of a chronic medical condition, the shots=forever and necessary (assuming I like eyes and toes fully functionally), and as I watched my dad draw the insulin from the vile to syringe I looked into his eyes and said "I do it myself daddy" and with his help I did as a 4 year old!
For years I JDRF walked for the cure and wondered why we weren't doing better...
In Second grade we were required to invent something and I wanted to make diabetes better so I invented a device that would say how much insulin I needed given my bg and exchanges (15g carb approximates for food) for any meal, the inner layer was a table with top row being blood sugar and the outer layer being a sleeve to only show one layer at a time and labeling the column 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc and the inner layer would slide back and forth and given 2 inputs bg and carbs output units of insulin so I could calculate and draw up my shots with a quick parental check as opposed to the previous dependency on doing and waiting for an adult to do math like 4*15/12 +(200-130)/35 (and that's an easy one = 5+2=7)
In 6th grade I used my first CGM and realized all the annoying diabetes advice like know exactly what you want to eat do shot for it then wait at least 20 minutes then eat that exactly that many carbs are right inescapably annoying and inconvenient but still right for preventing spikes and highs and lows. Oh also learned that they itch and hurt (only slightly) but constantly and frustratingly.
In 8th grade I switched to the pump. to this day I hate being wired up but being able to cover spontaneous snacking is wonderful and adjustable basal rates can have better HBA1c results (assuming compliance and that is hard to maintain through highshool and college)
in my Junior year of college I was introduced to the "We Are Not Waiting" movements to hack diabetes and wanted to contribute .... have little to add I started research existing research. And now I have a Mechanical engineering degree, computer science & robot programming experience, and a Controls engineering position. I became an engineer because I to make the world (mine and others) a better place and to find smart people to help me do that.
I am strong fighting diabetes daily, I like being an inventor, I like having good data, I like having good results, and mostly I want to change the world. I would like to help significantly improve diabetes management and if possible aid "the cure".
The key to that (for me now) is more data without needles --> less pain& less waste & less cost