Thirty-one years ago, Sandy was busy as a wife, mom of two, kindergarten teacher and more. However, she was feeling tired, experiencing lots of thirst, headaches and weight loss, and noticed that if she had a sore, it was slow to heal.

Sandy remembers that keeping up with all of her activities was exhausting. She also knew something was not right, but it would soon be Christmas and there wasn’t time to make an appointment to see her doctor.

The new year arrived, and Sandy finally took time to make a medical appointment. At age 41, she was surprised when she was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic. A diagnosis previously known as Juvenile Diabetes, Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in patients aged 20 or younger.

Since her diagnosis, Sandy has lived with many high and low blood sugars that have been life-threatening and very frightening for her, and her family.

Medical advancements have made it easier for Sandy to live with diabetes. About five years after her diagnosis, she received an insulin pump that regulated how much insulin she needed to receive each hour. Sandy no longer needed to schedule when she ate meals, and she no longer needed insulin injections.

Sandy now uses a continuous glucose (blood sugar) monitoring system that features a water-resistant, wearable sensor. The sensor measures glucose levels and transmits results to her Smart phone. With the wearable sensor, Sandy no longer needs to endure finger pricks to monitor her blood sugar levels.

Even with many advancements in treating diabetes, Sandy says there are constant worries – especially about complications that can impact her health.

“Blood sugars can spike or fall without any legitimate reason,” says Sandy. “Once diagnosed as a diabetic, your life changes.”

As a Lions member, Sandy serves as a trustee with the Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation. She is proud of the support the Foundation provides for diabetes education and awareness. Sandy also knows that the Foundation’s support of diabetes research is helping to improve treatments and health for people living with diabetes. She is hopeful that the Foundation’s support of research will result in a cure for “this horrific disease”.