The Power of Us – A Miracle on Thanksgiving

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Kim Fisher with her daughters Nina (14) and Lila (11) at Yosemite National Park.

Kim Fisher is a JDRF Greater Bay Area Community Board Member and a JDRF Volunteer Clinical Trial Educator. She works to ensure patients and families have the opportunity to learn about important clinical trials for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Kim became involved with JDRF when her daughter Nina was diagnosed with T1D in 2019 at the age of 13. Her family spent this year’s Thanksgiving weekend in Yosemite National Park. The events that took place – and Kim’s personal account that has since circulated around our community – inspires us all. Her story demonstrates The Power of Us and reminds us that we are all in this together. 

By Kim Fisher

We were about halfway down from the Nevada Falls hike in Yosemite on Friday when my daughter Nina’s pump failed. We were an hour or two from the car with our supplies but knew she’d be okay if we walked briskly. Her BG was 140. At the car, we fill the syringe and realize we have only 80 of the 85 units required for Omnipod insulin pump to work. This is our back-up. No syringes or pen needles. We haven’t needed any since diagnosis. It is an hour drive back to the lodging we rented. Her blood glucose level is pushing 200 but we figure she’ll be okay.

I have never seen traffic like the traffic leaving Yosemite the Friday after Thanksgiving during COVID. Much of the Valley lodging was closed, shuttle buses weren’t running. Our car wasn’t moving. We took turns getting out of the car with Nina and jogging back and forth to keep her blood sugar down. She ran to a medical tent, but they didn’t have insulin. Eventually, she was stressed and exhausted. Her blood glucose level started moving up over 200 but she didn’t want to run anymore. Our car had moved all of 20 feet. At that rate it might be hours before we reached our cabin. I was in the passenger seat staring vacantly out the front window when I noticed the car in front of us.

Their license plate wrap read “JDRF”. I madly jumped out of our car and knocked on their window.  The family in the car looked startled. I must have looked like a crazy lady. I asked if they had a bottle of Humalog we could use to fill our pump and THEY DID! They said they almost didn’t– that they had turned around ten minutes from home that morning to go back for supplies. We were all so exhausted and wanting to get home, I didn’t even ask their names. So, if anyone hears this story from a family in Petaluma or if the family from Petaluma with the 13-year-old daughter who saved our 14-year-old daughter reads this story, our family would love to thank you more than we did at the side of the road last Friday. From the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you amazing Petaluma family and Happy Thanksgiving all!


JDRF would like to help Kim find this kind-hearted family from Petaluma. If you know of a family that fits her description, please let us know! Also, if you have a story that demonstrates The Power of Us, please share it with us. Email us at norcal@jdrf.org