When it comes to his type 1 diabetes (T1D), 37-year-old Joshua Sager believes it’s just a different way of life. “I embraced it at a young age. I thought I was cool because I was different,” said Joshua. “At the time there was nobody else that I knew that had T1D.”
Prior to Joshua’s diagnosis, he was your average active and healthy 8 year-old boy. He played a lot of sports and enjoyed spending time with his friends.
His behavior started to change when Joshua suddenly began wetting the bed and drinking massive amounts of water. Joshua recalled, “I had all of today’s telltale signs of T1D.”
“I went to see the pediatrician on a Monday morning for a blood test and, after two days, initial test results indicated it may be T1D,” said Joshua. “I had to go back in for additional testing and, shortly thereafter, was officially diagnosed with T1D.”
Although the date of his diagnosis took place nearly 30 years ago, Joshua still remembers the day very vividly. He added, “I was admitted to University of Michigan Hospital and I remember how devastated my mom was. My blood sugar level was 585 and I had to stay at hospital for a week until I was stabilized.”
What used to take three minutes to get a blood sugar reading when Joshua was first diagnosed now has become almost instant with evolving technology. “By the time I got out of high school in the late 90s, I remember insulin pumps were just coming out and carb counting was becoming more pin point,” said Joshua. “I would say for the majority of my childhood managing T1D was more of a manual process until technology was on the upswing.”
In recent years, Joshua has started using an OmniPod. Because of his active lifestyle with his wife, Kelly, and daughter, Violet, Joshua believes this type of pump is best suited for him. “I like to swim, run, kayak and be active,” said Joshua. “OmniPod allows me the freedom to do all of the things I love without having to worry about wires.”
Now, a nearly 30-year T1D veteran, Joshua is involved with JDRF and has participated in the JDRF One Walk nearly every year since his diagnosis. This year, however, he will be walking for the first time with his colleagues on Team Old National Bank in Dexter on September 18, 2016.
Old National Bank has been a corporate sponsor for JDRF One Walk for many years, and this year is the first year as a fundraising team in Michigan. They are also selling JDRF sneakers to support T1D research in several of their banking centers.
“I’m a living example of the technology and research they’ve [JDRF] funded,” Joshua stated. “I’ve been super fortunate in my life to have people surrounding me that have been instrumental in helping me be successful with my diabetes.”
As JDRF’s flagship fundraising event and the largest T1D event in the world, JDRF One Walk provides the perfect opportunity to get more involved in your local JDRF community and show your commitment to creating a world without T1D. Get involved today: http://bit.ly/215TdCB.