Real-Life Stories of Diabetes Success

November 17, 2008

How do you measure success? The December issue of Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association, features the personal triumphs of people with diabetes — some of their stories may surprise you. Here are just a few:

With a glucose meter tucked in his pocket, Jerry Nairn, 49, of Chandler, Arizona, completed his first marathon in 1998. Since then he has run a total of 44 marathons and two ultra-marathons despite having type 1 diabetes. A runner since junior high school, Nairn’s passion for long distances has grown so much so that he runs between 30 and 50 miles per week and travels across the country to participate in marathons. "I’m more or less always training for a race,” he says. “I think in general it helps keep me healthy."

Morris Older, 60, of Orinda, California, noticed his legs were numb and tingly a few years before he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. He enrolled in a four week diabetes education course and was amazed by the things he learned both about diabetes and himself. “We went over my diet and I was shocked,” he tells Diabetes Forecast. “I was somebody who thought I was eating really well. I was into natural foods.” In six months, with the help of a diabetes-focused meal plan, exercise, and oral medications, Older’s A1C dropped from 12.4% to 4.8%. For him, being successful is being able to live a normal, physically active, life — like going out for a 23 mile hike. “If I wasn’t successful in managing my diabetes, I couldn’t do that.”

Naomi Kingery of Simi Valley, California, was diagnosed with diabetes just as she was entering her teenage years. Today, at 19 years old, she has written and published a book about growing up with diabetes and its emotional ups and downs. Her book was inspired by a hospital stay where she met another person with diabetes. “He was negative, and he hated his life,” says Kingery. “I said, ‘I’m not going to be like that. I need to stay positive.” Her positive attitude toward coping with diabetes has become an inspiration to others — the role diabetes has played in her life was her topic when speaking at her college. “You need to say, ‘I love my body not despite diabetes, but with diabetes.’”

Also in the December 2008 issue:
Blindness, amputations, and heart attack. These are only a few of the grave complications that can result from diabetes, but how does diabetes increase the risk of these complications and how can they be avoided? Covering both microvascular (small vessel) and macrovascular (large vessel) complications, this article explains the connection between diabetes and diabetes-related complications, examines symptoms, and provides advice for prevention. There is also information on other complications such as depression, skin disease, and gum problems.

In addition, this issue of Diabetes Forecast brings you information about:

  • Staying health during cold & flu season: 5 ways to boost your immunity
  • Surviving the Holidays: how your emotions can trigger your appetite and ways to avoid this emotional eating
  • Learning to relax: what stress can do to you emotionally and physically, the effects it can have, and what you can do to minimize stress.

Diabetes Forecast has been America's leading diabetes magazine for 60 years, offering the latest news on diabetes research and treatment to provide information, inspiration, and support to people with diabetes.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)