We are celebrating our #T1DChampions during #NDAM! Don Ryan has had #T1D for 50 years. Check out his story! #PowerOfUs
I was diagnosed in the fall of 1970 as an eight year old. Pretty normal kid growing up in Austin, TX, participating in any and all sports; football, baseball and basketball. It was September so my beloved Texas Longhorns were in full football mode defending their 1969 National Championship.
While participating in football, I started consuming a great deal of fluids. It was September in Texas so it was hot. So didn’t think much of it. Within a week, I began having more of the symptoms; frequent urination and feeling tired all the time. After a weekend road trip with our family where it seemed like we had to stop every 15 miles for me to use the restroom, my dad called our family doctor and I went to see him. Dr Reneau was pretty confident he knew the diagnosis but had the lab perform some bloodwork. Later that afternoon, he called my dad and let him know that my blood sure was very high, well over 400, and that I needed to go to the hospital where they would be waiting for me.
I spent a week in the hospital learning to be a T1D. From the beginning, Dr Reneau told me that it was my disease and I needed to learn how to manage it. Big order for an eight year old.
1970 was also the year that JDRF began. In the early 1970s, my parents became involved with this organization. We had moved to San Antonio at that point. Throughout the last 50 years, I have been off and on involved with JDRF. The most important items that have made a difference for me in living with T!D for 50 plus years are the constant focus on research to find a cure and the use of technology to improve the daily management of this disease. I now use a CGM and an insulin pump. Much different from the urine dipsticks and the pig/beef insulin I injected in the early years. The technology is part of my daily life and couldn’t imagine not having it today.
JDRF is an important organization and through the tireless efforts of this organization we will find a cure. That is the one goal and one mission.