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Ed Adamson

Type 1 Diabetes Success Story

Edward Adamson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 1967 at the age of five.  Other than injecting insulin, which has drastically improved since he was a child, he admittedly did not make much of an effort to manage his diabetes as a young man.  Uncontrolled blood sugars during his teens and early 20’s eventually led to kidney failure.  It was a slow deterioration beginning at the age of 18, resulting in a kidney transplant in 2002 at the age of 35. 

Ed received a donated kidney from his older brother, which ultimately saved his life. “Today, it works like new because I exercise, watch what I eat and check my blood sugar regularly.”  In addition, he has received diabetes education at the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE) to learn as much as he could.  

Ed first tried using an insulin pump in 2009.  Between the wires, skin sensitivity at the infusion sites and inconsistent readings resulting in low blood sugar, he decided to go back to needle injections.

In 2017, his diabetes care team convinced him to give it another try.  They assured him that the technology had improved and promised to work closely with him until he was comfortable.  “I was  spoken to in a way that I could relate to," he said.  "They shared success stories so I agreed to give a pump another try.”

His blood sugar became stable all throughout the day and night.  It was a challenge but he embraced the technology and it paid off.

Diabetes Educator Sharon Chan and his Medtronic rep, who also has T1D, coached Ed to success using his pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM).  He was one of the first people to use Medtronic’s hybrid closed loop system and it lowered his A1c below 7%. 

He calls Sharon [Chan] “persistent, helpful and efficient,” and credits her with always making herself available with education such as programming basil rates and carb ratios – but also helping by coordinating with the pharmaceutical and insurance companies to obtain supplies.  

“Science has proven over the past four decades that so much is now in our control," he said.  "Living with T1D is about dealing with highs and lows.  When my A1c dropped, it became a snowball effect of positive results, including my weight going down and energy level going up!”

Ed proved that it’s never too late to make a change.  Workinh with his diabetes care team, he took advantage of the available information, resources and technology.  A father of four and a grandfather, Ed looks forward to many quality years ahead!  

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