What do Winston Churchill and type 1 diabetics have in common? Combat against an enemy. Churchill’s enemy was, of course the Nazis – but the enemy of type 1 diabetics is blood sugar.
I’ve met some truly amazing people in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC), and one of them is Richard Vaughn. He’s agreed to share his story today.
I was diagnosed in 1945, a few days after my 6th birthday. After 67 years of type 1 diabetes, I have very good diabetes health. Still no diabetes related complications, except some mild nerve damage. I hope that the research being done on long-term type 1 diabetics, in Boston, will help explain my success story.
I don’t have any “secret”. I do the same things that many type 1 friends have done, but my routine seems to have worked better for me than it has for so many others. The research in Boston is attempting to find why us long-term, healthy type 1 diabetics have been so successful. The participants in the study are Joslin medalists, all of whom have had type 1 diabetes for at least 50 years. I participated in that research in 2009. The research is ongoing, and began in 2005. There have been almost 800 participants thus far. More than 100 medalists will be meeting in Boston this year, on May 10 and 11. There will be an update given on the type 1 study. I can’t wait to see what they have found!
The truly amazing thing about Richard is that he has managed his Type 1 Diabetes quite well and has absolutely no complications! I must say this intrigues and inspires me. I need to know what he does differently!
One of the first characteristics I notice and admire about Richard is his optimism! Every time we chat he has such an upbeat attitude and is so positive about everything – even Diabetes! He’s encouraged me to keep going several times when I’ve just wanted to throw my hands up and surrender. If there is one thing that he is not… it’s a quitter!
He reminds me of the fact that he was diagnosed as a young child and does not remember much before his diagnosis. I, on the other hand, was diagnosed at 21 years of age. I remember thinking, “Oh great – now my life won’t ever be fun again!” I was wrong – life is fine. I just need to adopt a better attitude about it!
Richard offers all of us in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) much-needed help and support. He keeps us all encouraged to keep going. I really appreciate all of the assistance he has given me. He was born in 1939. Insulin had only been around for a little over 20 years! In his upbeat and uplifting book, “Beating The Odds: 64 Years of Diabetes Health” (available at Amazon.com), he outlines the challenges of managing diabetes using only urinalysis and a rather inaccurate nutritional guide that dictated sugar control as opposed to carbohydrate control.
It’s a great book and definitely on my “you gotta read this” list! Click on the link in the right margin to order the book. It’s paperback and costs $12.50.
We glean so much wit and wisdom from this retired college professor from upstate New York. I must admit, most days I just chat with Richard to get a good laugh. There are times I need the wisdom he offers, but I can always use a good laugh!
When I was chatting with him about this post, I asked if he had a blog. He said yes he does, but said he wasn’t very good at blogging. I wrote back with a big LOL because it cracks me up when someone says they can’t blog – but they can write a book! Wow. He’s actually the second author to say that to me. Maybe that’s why I can’t write a book – because I can blog.
I know I’m not alone in wishing Richard continued success in his journey with Type 1 Diabetes. He is truly a blessing and a source of encouragement for all of us.
I want to leave this bit of advice with Richard and all diabetics:
Keep calm and carry on. – Winston Churchill
Thank you for all you do, Richard! Well done!!! 🙂