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Stephanie Trump

My name is Stephanie and I was diagnosed at the age of 18 months old with T1D (juvenile diabetes) in 1974. As my mother explained to me, I was just crawling on the floor one day and just laid down – I stopped moving but was breathing. Her and my father rushed me to the L.A. County Hospital and I spent 3 days in a coma. They then transferred me to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital where they proceeded in diagnosing me, the one physician in particular that my family always spoke of was Dr. Lynda Fisher, her and her team were the people that saved my life. I spent the next 6yrs of my life in and out of the hospital as they were unable to get my blood sugars to regulate. I still have the cards from my Kindergarten class telling me to hurry up and get better so I could come back to play! Eventually going on to two shots a day greatly improved my ability to control. Living with Diabetes then was a different experience than now. I have been on a vast variety of insulins over the years, R/NPH – Pork/Human/Beef – Humalog/Humulin/Novolog and so on, and used all brands of meters and syringes. We did not have pumps or CGMs. I remember as a child I had to check my sugar by using a glass vial, pill, and urine. This test was not the most accurate but it was a step in the right direction. Then my pediatrician brought us in for a visit in 1980-81 (can’t remember exact date) to show me a new tool to use and take home. He held this little device that was similar to an oval with a little hold that pushed up to the top. There was one button and a platform to place on your finger. Then you inserted a small plastic needle into the holder at the top. “Put this on your finger and then push this button it’s easy!” as you watched this needle soar towards your finger – SNAP!” I literally said no thank you. He insisted and I eventually gave in, we lovingly called that the guillotine. This was just the beginning, over time the technology got better and today kids and adults have CGMs. I love telling the stories to those that have not had it as long as me. Funny though everything still has to make a snapping noise, but you just get use to that as well – one day, when there is a cure maybe nobody will have to listen to the snap. I was always the only diabetic in my schools growing up, and faced discrimination due to parent’s fear of the unknow – “I don’t want to catch it, or my child to catch it” was the reason usually. Education and awareness became my mission wanting to educate those who feared allowing them to ask questions and learn that I am no different – I just take shots (pump now). I have nothing to regret thus far in my journey with my disease, and if you ask I will say I would not have wanted to change anything. Being a child with Diabetes has made me the person I am today. I learned to face fear, be resourceful, and become a problem solver when trouble arises. I would not say my life has been perfect, but I am healthy and have a wonderful family. I have a loving partner and 2 wonderful daughters, both are non-diabetic and regular pregnancies. 50yrs of experience and stories is a lot to share – most too long to add here. But I am grateful for all the support of the medical community and Camp Conrad Chinnock for giving me the tools and support to live a normal life. My thoughts for those who may be new to the community – do not give up even when it feels like you don’t or can’t do this, YOU CAN. The tools you have now, the community support, and the greater understanding of this challenge (Diabetes) is doable – just learn how you can use them all together. Reach out when needed and know you are not alone on this journey.

Thriving with T1D
since 1974

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