Medical Condition: Type 1 Diabetes
Medical Therapy: Insulin Pump*
Charity: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
Only 15, George has dedicated his life to helping others with type 1 diabetes. He says his life changed when he received an insulin pump, and he tirelessly advocates for improved access to pump therapy, traveling the globe to raise money for diabetes research through JDRF.
"I have type 1 diabetes. That means my pancreas is not creating enough insulin. Living with type 1 is hard, although I don't let it stop me doing anything, I just have to be more organized. I have to check my blood sugar around 8 to 10 times a day and I am attached to an insulin pump 24/7.
"It took me 4 years to get my insulin pump and it changed my life. The difference was amazing. It gives me the blood sugar control I need. They say I have a reduced life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years and could face long-term complications with my heart, lungs, liver, not to mention amputations and blindness. So as you can see having control of my condition is essential to protect me long term.
"The pump also gave me a lot of my life back, and gave me a 'cause.' I raise awareness of insulin pumps and help other children gain access to them so they don't have to wait as long as I did. I feel that all children should have access to an insulin pump should they want one."
"Talking to one person could reach one hundred people. Remember that younger voices often have more impact so it's kids like me who have to help make the difference. Everybody gets nervous as well, so don't worry about that either, just keep going and you'll make a huge difference."
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF, is the world's leading diabetes charity, improving lives until we find a cure. We fund research to cure treat and prevent type 1 diabetes and its complications. We provide information for children, adults and parents living with the condition, from diagnosis onwards. We give a voice to people with type 1 diabetes and campaign for increased focus on, and funding for, research to find the cure. I have been a youth ambassador since age 11, and to date, have raised just over £40,000."
*Not everyone who receives this therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story. Talk with your doctor to determine if this type of therapy is right for you.