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Hi, my name is Hannah and I am 10 years old. I was diagnosed with insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes February 21, 2008­–two weeks before my 9th birthday. I lost 15 pounds in two weeks, was very thirsty and did not feel well. I spent four days in the hospital in the pediatric intensive care.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. I did nothing to cause this disease. My body attacked my pancreas and now it no longer works. My pancreas can no longer make insulin.

Everyone needs insulin to convert the sugar in their blood to energy. Without insulin you cannot survive. You never outgrow type 1 diabetes. I will be dependent on insulin for the rest of my life, or until a cure is found!

Unfortunately, insulin cannot be just swallowed. It must be injected. For the first 6 months after my diagnosis, I had to take 5 -6 shots of insulin per day. I was then placed on an insulin pump. The insulin pump delivers insulin to my body by a little tube. My mom and dad help me change the tubing every two to three days. I do have to inject the tube into my body with a needle, but it is ok. I wear the pump on my belt or in a runner’s belt. A lot of times, no one even knows I have an insulin pump!

I am getting used to my daily routine. At each mealtime and snack and before and after exercise, I have to check my blood sugar with a finger poke. I check my blood sugar up to 10 times a day. I also have to count the carbohydrates in every food that I eat and figure out how much insulin to take. It is a lot of work, but my family, my friends, my wonderful school nurse, my teachers and my doctor, nurse and dietician all help me. All of the work is worth it to stay healthy. My doctor says I am doing a great job and I am proud!

This year I was also placed on a Continuous Glucose Monitor.   It is another device that I wear to help monitor my blood sugar. The thing I like the most is the alarm. It tells me when my blood sugar goes too low or too high.  

There is nothing more in this world that I want more than a cure for Type 1 diabetes.  I want to go back to being able to eat whatever, whenever I want.  I want to jump out of bed and get dressed without having to figure out how I am going to wear my pump and CGM.  I want to dance and swim, go to the beach and ride my bike without having to stop and test my blood sugar. I want to sleep through the night without my parents having to check my blood sugar.  I want a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. 

Won’t you please help support Dr. Faustman in her research for a cure?  It is my hope, my dream, and my prayer, that someday I can say "I USED to have diabetes".

Thank you!