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Wall of Honor Success Stories

The following UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence patients have been successful in managing their blood sugars.  We hope their stories inspire and encourage other young people living with diabetes.  

  • October 24, 2022 Emilie Cloutier, Diabetes care at UMass Memorial

    Emilie Armenti

    Emilie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was only 13 months old, so she’s never known life without it. Nearly 30 years later she became a pediatric nurse and diabetes educator at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence in addition to being a patient in the adult diabetes clinic. 

  • June 01, 2021 Nelson Type 2 Diabetes UMass Memorial


    At 15-year-old Nelson was hospitalized for three days with elevated blood sugars and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  He was prescribed a combination of daily insulin injections and the oral medication Metformin.  Three months later, after receiving diabetes education and making lifestyle changes, his blood sugars stabilized to where Nelson no longer requires insulin shots!  His Metformin dosage was lowered as well and he feels much better.  FULL STORY  

  • May 12, 2021 Type 1 Diabetes Success Story


    Joey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at five years old in August of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. At first he was inconsolable but has made incredible progress after nearly 10 months. He recognizes high and low blood sugars and knows how to treat them. In these videos Joey's mother describes their road from diagnosis until today, including working closely with his care team and the school nurse.  FULL STORY & VIDEOS

  • April 01, 2021 David Peterson Peterman Worcester Bravehearts

    Dave Peterson - Worcester Bravehearts General Manager

    Better known as "Peterman" to Central MA baseball fans, Dave is the General Manager of the Worcester Bravehearts.  He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008 at the age of 29. He's been using an insulin pump for 10 years and
    effectively lowered his A1C while keeping up with the daily grind
    of running a baseball team!  FULL STORY & VIDEO

  • February 01, 2021 Gretchen Type 1 Diabetes


    Gretchen was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 8 years old while living in Puerto Rico. The following year her family had moved to Massachusetts and she had her first appointment at the UMass Memorial Pediatric Diabetes Center. As she exited her honeymoon phase, her A1c rose above 14%. During a visit to our clinic, she was in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and spent a week in the hospital. While hospitalized, Gretchen and her mother received the diabetes education they never learned when she was diagnosed. FULL STORY

  • October 01, 2020 Julie Kozlowski Type 1 Diabetes

    Julie Kozlowski

    Julie Kozlowski was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. The following year she experienced a low sugar seizure which resulted in temporary paralysis. After that experience Julie began struggling to manage her diabetes. Today, she's very grateful to “her team” consisting of Dr. Harlan, Dr. Thompson, and her diabetes educator.  PHOTO ESSAY


  • March 01, 2020 Tyler


    Tyler doesn't remember life without type 1 diabetes. The 19-year-old high school graduate was diagnosed just after turning five years old. He credits his parents with providing a support system to help him navigate day to day life with T1D. His message to other young people is a positive one. 

  • August 22, 2019 Cameron


    Cameron was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 22 months old.  Like many 7 year-olds he enjoys playing sports. He and his family do a wonderful job keeping his blood sugars in a healthy range.  Cameron's story includes going to diabetes camp, throwing out the first pitch at JDRF night at the Paw Sox and the school project which rewarded him a fun experience.  FULL STORY

  • June 01, 2019 Sophie


    Sophie admits that living with diabetes can be challenging.  She experienced “diabetes burnout” around the age of 13.  Today the recent high school graduate is the volunteer co-chair of the American Diabetes Association’s Youth Leadership Program and she interacts with and mentors other young people from throughout New England living with type 1 diabetes.   

  • April 01, 2019 Brian


    Brian was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at 7 years old.  His mother credits the pediatric diabetes care team at the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence with changing his life by providing Brian with resources, motivation and confidence.  His lifestyle change resulted in lowering his A1c from 13.5% to 5.9%.  FULL STORY  

  • March 01, 2019 Braden


    Braden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10.  Two years later, he was on an inulin pump and CGM with an A1c of 7.1%. Braden plays baseball, football, basketball and golf. Each sport affects his blood sugar differently, and he’s learned how to manage the various situations. On his diaversary, he packs and donates gift bags for children who are hospitalized with a new T1D diagnosis.  FULL STORY

  • January 01, 2019 nicole johnson miss america diabetes

    Nicole Johnson - 1999 Miss America

    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 and one of the biggest supporters of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence.  READ MORE

  • December 14, 2018 Gian-Carlo


    Gian-Carlo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the summer of 2015 after completing 6th grade. He enjoys soccer, snowboarding, and skateboarding.  After plenty of experimentation, Gian-Carlo and his mother have worked with the UMass diabetes care team to get his blood sugars under control. 

  • October 01, 2018 T.J.


    TJ was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2017 at the age of 4.  Since diagnosis, he has become more social due to all of the interactions with his care team and caregivers.  They get to see his silly, funny, and larger than life personality. When asked about his diabetes, TJ explains, “I take shots because my pancreas broke.  I’m still regular.” 

  • July 01, 2018 Hailey


    Hailey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of six.  She is now an active high school student living everyday with her "new normal."  Hailey describes in her own words, the events leading up to her diagnosis, as well as the three days she spent at the UMass Pediatric Diabetes Care Center, receiving "a slew of tests and the news that would forever change my life."  She shared with us an essay she wrote about her diagnosis.  READ MORE

  • April 01, 2018 Sophia Binici football diabetes

    Sophia Binici

    Sophia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12 ½ years old.  She recently celebrated her 10 diaversary.  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!  Sophia graduated from Elon University and is currently working at UMass Chan Medical School as a Clinical Research Assistant. She hopes to become a pediatric endocrinologist or diabetes educator so that she can help children through the challenges of growing up with diabetes.  READ MORE

  • October 01, 2017 kitty carruthers diabetes success story

    Kitty Carruthers

    U.S. 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. Dr. David Harlan has been seeing her for many years and together they have kept her blood sugars within a healthy target range.  FULL STORY

  • July 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 Chan 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

  • January 01, 2017 Christine Croteau

    Christine Croteau

    Christine Croteau has never let type 1 diabetes control her.  She always finds new ways to challenge herself through mind, body and soul.  She credits her support system, including her UMass Memorial diabetes care team, for her continued success.  Since being diagnosed at age 31, Christine has completed a marathon and a 35km backpacking trek through the back country of Newfoundland, and she communicates through art.  VIDEO AND PHOTOS

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