Stories about: Type 1 diabetes

Tess’s story: Diabetes is a daily reality

Tess, who has type 1 diabetes, when she was first diagnosed
Tess, around the time she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes [PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE KEELE FAMILY]
I was 4 years old when I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For a while before that, I had some of the classic symptoms but nobody recognized them. I was drinking water constantly, not eating much food and lost about 30 pounds. One hot summer day, I passed out on the playground. My mom took me to the hospital and they sent me right to Boston Children’s Hospital. The staff checked my blood sugar level — it was supposed to be about 100 and it was 859. I spent a week in the hospital.

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Living life with type 1 diabetes: Justin’s story

little boy with an insulin pump

My name is Justin and I’m 9 years old. I’m a Cub Scout and I like to swim, ski, race my bike and play LEGOS — I love being active and hanging out with my friends. But last March, I got some unexpected news that was pretty scary at first. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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Faces of the Boston Marathon team

Miles for Miracles Lance
Lance, a Miles for Miracles runner, with his twins Lily and Luke

When I tell people I’m running the Boston Marathon as part of the Boston Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles team, the standard reaction is the same. “I could never run 26.2 miles.” My response never varies. “Yes, you can … with the right training, anyone can do it.” My kids can’t give up when they don’t feel like doing something, and neither can I. ~ Lance

My feet ache. I’m often exhausted. I’m hungry all the time. And committing to a long run every Saturday — rain, snow or shine — isn’t always fun. But my efforts pale in comparison to what drives so many others on this team. There’s Lance, a non-runner channelling his children’s determination. And Hazel, a Boston Children’s operations manager and one of the fiercest runners I’ve ever met. And Melissa, a quiet presence, shouldering constant, unimaginable grief.

There’s no way I can acknowledge every single person who has been — and will be — part of this journey, so I’m approaching it the same way I think about the marathon … in 5-mile increments.

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How to survive six months in the wilderness with Type 1 diabetes

Hiking in Vermont

Every January, for a few short weeks, the population of picturesque Marlow, New Hampshire, grows just a little larger.

A dozen or so high school students converge upon the storybook New England village to begin preparation for an epic adventure: a 600-mile circumnavigation of Vermont by backcountry ski, white water canoe, rowboat and bicycle, led by Marlow-based wilderness school Kroka Expeditions.

Under the mentorship of guides and woodsmen, the students learn skills to navigate the six-month, semester-long journey through the wilderness. There is no “how to” book, no survival guide—just a few unwritten rules to live by. But 18-year-old Rachel Hemond, who has Type 1 diabetes, doesn’t need much direction when it comes to survival.

She’s figured that out on her own.

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