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Sandy Grone



Sandy Grone was originally diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her early 70’s while living in Florida. Her initial reaction was shock and fear and she was overwhelmed by all the new information being thrown at her by her primary care physician. Sandy self-care included blood sugar testing at least four times a day, taking Metformin, and eventually injecting herself with an insulin pen. 

After moving to Central MA with her daughter’s family in 2016, Sandy began looking for a diabetes specialist. She met Dr. Nina Rosano at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, and is extremely grateful to Dr. Rosano for correctly diagnosing her with type 1 diabetes. 

“Sandy willingly embraced learning the important steps necessary to take care of her type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Rosano. “Her road has not been easy, however, she has exceeded our expectations by learning the insulin pen technique, as well as insulin dose titration.”

After nearly two years of urging, Sandy found the courage to try an insulin pump. “I was reluctant for various reasons, including the many choices, intimidating technology, and worry about cost.”

“At the age of 79, she transferred her insulin therapy to the advanced technology insulin pump,” Dr. Rosano boasts. “She stays in close contact with her diabetes team, and we are very proud of her success!” 

Sandy met with UMass Diabetes Educator Cheryl Barry, RN, MS, CDE, who took the time to explain what an insulin pump is, how they work, and how it could benefit her.  “Cheryl is wonderful.  She walked me through the process, including researching cost, and advice to deal with the insurance company.” 

Now, approaching her 80th birthday, Sandy wears a pump and has achieved better control of her blood sugars. She's also involved in a clinical trial study for a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). “I love the pump and cannot wait to use a CGM full-time. I even learned how to download my blood sugars to the computer to share with Cheryl and Dr. Rosano.”

As for all the technology, “It was overwhelming at first, and I get computer help from my grandchildren,” with whom she lives. She's also a proud great grandmother.  Sandy has watched her niece live with type 1 diabetes after being diagnosed as a young girl.  

“Sandy has such a positive attitude towards the change in her diabetes self- management plan, moving from injections to insulin pump therapy,” says Barry. She has embraced it wholeheartedly and has seen an improvement in her blood glucose tests, as well as more flexibility in her lifestyle.”   

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