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Exciting news!!!

What a way to start off my Friday!

I received an email this morning from the Medtronic Global Heroes program telling me that I have been selected to be a 2011 Medtronic Global Hero.

What exactly does this mean? Their website defines a Medtronic Global Hero like this:
"A Global Hero is a runner. An inspiration. A person whose life has been improved by medical technology."

They describe the program like this:
"Running long distances was never meant to be easy. It becomes even harder when the body becomes a barrier. For runners diagnosed with medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, spinal disorders, chronic pain, or neurological disorders, that is the reality. Yet the passion for running remains.

A cooperative effort between Twin Cities in Motion and the Medtronic Foundation, Global Heroes®  is a first-of-its-kind program that brings runners from around the world who benefit from medical technology to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota to run in Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon events."

What exactly does this mean? In October, me and a friend or family member will travel to the Twin Cities for the Twin Cities Marathon Weekend and will run in the TC 10 Mile race. I am beyond honored, and I'm really excited for this. I've been blessed to have so many supportive friends and family members.

Below are my answers to the essay questions that were part of the application.

How has your life and running been improved by medical technology?

When I was in high school, I was a cross country runner and loved it. However, 1 month before graduation, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. With my life turned upside down, I stopped running. Juggling diabetes and exercise was too much, and I was scared of what would happen to my blood sugars with exercise. For my first few years of college, I tried to get back to running while using multiple daily injections, but gave up after my blood sugars repeatedly plummeted. Often, I would become hypoglycemic within the first twenty minutes of a run. Also, using daily multiple injections meant that I would have to plan at least a day in advance for a run. Being a college student and planning that far in advance for exercise was nearly impossible. In August 2008, I finally started using a Medtronic Insulin Pump after pressuring my doctor. With the pump, my hypoglycemic episodes all but disappeared. Realizing how much better control I had with the pump, I started seriously running again. This time, I didn’t have any issues with my blood sugars. Throughout my runs, my blood sugars stayed fairly normal. Having the pump allowed me to adjust my basal rate before and during my run to prevent hypoglycemia. In just a little more than a year after I started using an insulin pump, I ran my first marathon; a goal I did not think would actually become a reality even before I had Type 1 Diabetes. Since then, I’ve run another full marathon, numerous half marathons, and many shorter distance races. Having an insulin pump has allowed me to accomplish goals that some of my healthy friends don’t dare to dream about. It has allowed me to keep my passion for running without risking my life. I keep a blog detailing my athletic endeavors and life with diabetes, and I’m currently training for my first triathlon. I know that without my insulin pump, I could not be able to run marathons or pursue endurance sports. With my health in check, I am able to push myself farther and harder during training because I know that my diabetes is no longer an obstacle.

Why should you be selected as a Global Hero?

I should be selected as a Global Hero because I have a serious passion for running as well as a serious passion for diabetes advocacy and diabetes education. I am involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the Seattle area- I go on cycling rides with the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes Team, and I attend quarterly Sports and Diabetes Workshops where I share my experiences and insight as a runner with diabetes. I am also a member of their JDRF Tri to Cure Diabetes Triathlon Team. I keep a blog where I share my passion for endurance sports and how I manage my Type 1 Diabetes to pursue them. When I was able to start running again with my insulin pump, I became determined to show the world that Type 1 Diabetes will not limit my life or inhibit my dreams. I have inspired other people to take up running because they see that there is no excuse for not trying. My parents, my family members, and many of my friends have all seen how determined I am to not let my diabetes stand in the way.  I believe that I should be selected as a Global Hero because I am a perfect example of how medical technology allows those with disabilities to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

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Find out if you qualify for discount Diabetic testing supplies, free offers or other running discounts at this time.

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