Wall of Honor, UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

Many UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence patients have inspiring perspectives and incredible achievements of their own to share.  Each month, we honor a patient who is successfully managing their diabetes.  Candidates for pediatric and adult "Patient Honorees" are nominated by their care team.  In the Diabetes Center of Excellence waiting area, you will find displayed photographs and testimonials from those selected for recognition.  We hope they inspire and encourage others living with diabetes.  

  • June 01, 2018 Teresa Harackiewicz

    Teresa Harackiewicz

    Teresa was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2006.  On November 10, 2017 she met with Dr. Malkani in the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence clinic, and her A1c was at 7.5%, which was the highest it had been since her T2D diagnosis.  During the past 6 months, thanks to a new healthy lifestyle, she has already lost 25 pounds and dropped 3 dress sizes!  READ MORE

  • May 21, 2018 Sophia

    Sophia Binici

    Sophia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12 ½ years old.  She recently celebrated 10 years of making the most out of life with diabetes.  In high school she proved that T1D has no limits when she became the first girl in her school’s history to play and score points for the otherwise all-boys varsity football team.  Last year, Sophia graduated from Elon University and is currently working at UMASS Medical School as a Clinical Research Assistant. She hopes to one day become a pediatric endocrinologist or diabetes educator so that she can help children through the challenges of growing up with diabetes. 
    READ MORE

  • May 01, 2018 Donald Blette

    Donald Blette

    Donald was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1967 at the age of 26.  At age 56, he transitioned from shots to an insulin pump, which he says was life changing. “We are very proud of Donald,” says Dr. Nina Rosano.  “His perseverance pays off.  His type 1 diabetes is approaching 51 years with an A1c range between 6.3 - 7.1 and minimal complications.  I hope his positive story and his personal example will move other patients to stay closely connected with their medical team.”  READ MORE

  • April 01, 2018 Barbara Barton

    Barbara Barton

    Barbara was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1992 following surgery for gallstone pancreatitis.  She had been treated by a number of doctors over the years for her diabetes, however her A1c spiraled out of control.   She moved her care to the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence in 2011 with an A1c of 10%.  Today her A1c is down to 6.7%!  READ MORE 

  • March 01, 2018 Sandra Gruca

    Sandra Gruca

    Sandy has been living with type 1 diabetes for 34 years.  After many years, she finally agreed to use an insulin pump, for which she credits the healthy birth of her three children.  Years later, she agreed to wearing a Continuous Glucose Monitor, which she calls “a game changer”.  Sandy’s determination to control her diabetes was fueled ten years ago, when her middle child was diagnosed with T1D at the age of four.  She credits her UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence care team who “truly understand how difficult diabetes management can be and respect those of us living with it everyday.”  READ MORE

  • January 01, 2018 Julie Kozlowski

    Julie Kozlowski

    Julie Kozlowski was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 3. A year later she experienced a low sugar seizure which resulted in temporary paralysis. After that experience Julie began struggling to manage her diabetes.  Julie is very grateful to “her team” consisting of Dr. Harlan, Dr. Thompson, and her diabetes educator.  READ MORE

     

  • October 01, 2017 Nicole Johnson

    Nicole Johnson

    Nicole Johnson won the Miss America title in 1999.  She became the first Miss America with diabetes and the first contestant to publicize the use of an insulin pump.  Today Nicole is a nationally recognized diabetes advocate, National Director of JDRF Mission, and one of the biggest supporters of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence.  READ MORE

  • September 01, 2017 David Blodgett, PhD

    David Blodgett, PhD

    David is unique among the DCOE patients. He has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and is a research scientist at the UMass Medical School.  He was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 3.  Today he's a healthy adult who focuses his scientific career on finding the cure for diabetes.  READ MORE

  • August 01, 2017 Jennifer Schneider, MD, MS

    Jennifer Schneider, MD, MS

    Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, Jennifer never allowed the disease to stop her from doing things she loved, including  Division 1 collegiate track and cross country and eventualluy climbing Kilimanjaro.  READ MORE

  • June 01, 2017 Albert Attubato

    Albert Attubato

    Albert's story proves that it’s never too late to change your life and improve your diabetes health.  He lowered his A1C from over 15 down to under 7. READ MORE

  • May 01, 2017 Christine Croteau

    Christine Croteau

    For 13 years since she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Christine Croteau has taken small but consistent steps towards increasingly more difficult athletic challenges.  She credits her support system, including the UMass DCOE for her ongoing athletic achievement. READ MORE

  • April 01, 2017 Gary Carlson

    Gary Carlson

    Gary Carlson’s success in managing his diabetes is directly connected to his positive attitude. He calls the UMass Diabetes Center "a hidden treasure where people are committed, responsive and provide excellent care." READ MORE

  • March 01, 2017 Cary Garner

    Cary Garner

    Cary Garner was diagnosed in 1999 with type 2 diabetes and initially could not control his blood sugar on his own with diet and exercise. He transferred to the DCOE in 2016 and now successfully manages his diabetes thanks to his care team READ MORE

  • February 01, 2017 Kitty Carruthers

    Kitty Carruthers

    US Olympian and four time National Figure Skating Champion, Kitty Carruthers doesn’t allow diabetes to stand in the way of her life. With determination to succeed perfected in international competitions, Kitty is also determined to succeed in staying healthy.  READ MORE

  • January 01, 2017 Theresa Murray

    Theresa Murray

    Theresa is celebrating gaining control of her diabetes. She has had ups and downs since being diagnosed in 2009, however since she started seeing Dr. Harlan, Terri has been enjoying a “total turn around.”   READ MORE