A diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes at age 23 was definitely not in Dave’s life plan.
Dave credits a wonderful and supportive wife and family, learning about diabetes, and willingness to make healthy lifestyle choices with being able to avoid the health complications that many people with diabetes experience. He followed medical advice, exercised and made healthy nutrition choices.
After 20 years with diabetes, Dave suffered from severe hypoglycemia unawareness (the inability to detect low blood sugars). He had none of the symptoms, so when his blood sugar was low it would often lead to being unconscious and requiring help from others. He has countless stories of times when his health was in danger, or he was embarrassed by needing help.
“I had to rely on others to help me in very dire situations,” says Dave. “My life became very difficult to balance with two young children, a busy career and trying to be healthy and safe.
In 2008, Dave qualified for an experimental diabetes treatment at the University of Minnesota. He received an experimental islet transplant using clusters of cells obtained from a donor’s pancreas and inserted into his liver through a small incision. As a result, Dave notes that he, his family, friends and coworkers are enjoying his life being essentially free of diabetes.
Dave eventually began looking for a way to help raise funds for diabetes research that would allow others to experience the benefits of research he had received. He was invited to join a Lions Club and became a Trustee with Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation.
“With two sons in their 20’s and potential future grandchildren, our family’s support of research for prevention, treatment, and a cure for Type 1 diabetes continues,” says Dave.
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