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Happy Father's Day, Diabetes

By Amanda Sheldon

Managing Editor

Posted:  6/16/2011 12:00 AM


In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, we have a post from one of our favorite D-Dads, Lane Desborough. A Product Strategist here at Medtronic working to develop an artificial pancreas, Lane came to work for us after his son Hayden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Today he shares how, in many ways, his son’s diagnosis was as overwhelming as becoming a new parent again.

We’re constantly impressed by Lane’s dedication to his family as well as the diabetes community and wish him – and all the D-Dads out there – a very happy Father’s Day.

Hayden also had some nice words for his dad that we just had to share:
“Happy Fathers Day, Dad. Thanks for working so hard on trying to make life easier for me and millions of other diabetics. Keep trying, keep working.  I think that when I think about you. Love, Hayden”

- Amanda

When my son Hayden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two years ago at age 10, those first couple days in the hospital really felt like being a new parent all over again. We didn't know what was going on, why it was happening, or what to do about it. We felt ill-prepared and helpless. We felt the heavy weight of responsibility. We were drinking from a fire hose of information from doctors, nurses, educators, friends, and family. We were once again getting up in the middle of the night, not to change diapers but to check blood glucose.

Our new and unexpected child – Diabetes – had become the center of our family's life – just like a newborn. 

Fortunately, one week after Hayden was diagnosed, he started in a clinical trial with a Medtronic insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor, which he’s worn ever since. The pump and CGM didn't take away that new level of responsibility or our constant concern for Hayden – we still have to perform blood glucose tests and do confirmatory fingersticks – but I think it does help our family better manage his diabetes.

Over the following weeks and months, thanks to the tremendous support of my wife Lisa and Hayden's endocrinologist and his team at Stanford, life began to settle down with "Diabetes" and "The Number" (blood glucose). We were able to focus on our other three children and especially Hayden, for whom his conjoined twin – Diabetes – had been getting all the attention. Our lives began to return to a new normalcy.

In parallel, I began to appreciate the extent to which diabetes impacts our world. I started to meet the hidden community of people with diabetes living among us, each of whom has no choice but to live with their own conjoined twin.

Personally, Diabetes prompted a career change. I’ve spent my career as a control engineer doing what I thought were worthy and relevant endeavors: making oil refineries and chemical plants run more safely and efficiently; helping the world’s energy situation by making the smart grid more reliable. But those seem trivial and inconsequential compared to what I’m doing now: helping improve the lives of people with diabetes. As Product Strategist for Medtronic Diabetes, I have the best job in the world. I get to do what I love, to help the people that I love, and in the process help a couple hundred million other people around the world. 

Long ago a friend told me "You will reflect on life as having two phases: BK and AK - Before Kids and After Kids – and wonder what you ever did BK". We now think about life BD and AD – Before Diabetes and After Diabetes and wonder what we ever did BD. Living with Diabetes in the family puts a special focus on life. Diabetes makes you appreciate the benefits of good health. You prioritize things differently. Diabetes helps you see the complex relationships between physical health, school, friends, family, and happiness. I spend 24x7 with Diabetes and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Happy Father’s Day, Diabetes.

- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

Please visit for complete safety information.



Posted on Mon Jun 20 14:56:43 GMT 2011

Happy Fathers Day, Lane! We appreciate you! I love the analogy about drinking from a fire hose of information. So true!

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