I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1990 when I was 6 years old. I had for the most part taken very good care of myself, and I never let T1D hold me back. In 2016 I was told that my kidneys had begun to spill protein (proteinuria), but that they still were 100% functioning, that I did not have kidney disease, and that the kidneys could be saved with a pancreas- only transplant to stop the progression of the proteinuria as well as “cure” the T1D.
I was placed on the pancreas transplant list on October 5, 2017 and received my new pancreas on April 12, 2018. The whole procedure took only 2.5 hours! It has been 3 months since I had the transplant, and I’m already back in the gym, lifting and running again and have continued with my volunteer work.
I’m currently a year into my second master’s program in marriage and family therapy, specializing in medical family therapy to help others manage life with chronic or acute illness or medical conditions. I am forever thankful to my donor and his family who chose to give life, even in their darkest moments. The gift of life is precious and I think about the young man who saved me every day. I’m so thankful to be alive and free from type 1 diabetes.