I had to laugh, Marion. The line I got was that I would never live to be 50--the doctors actually told me that at 10 years old. I drank some champagne on my 50th birthday in celebration of how wrong they were. ;D
I think the medal has to do with outside recognition of all the effort, hard work, struggles, etc.
Congratulations who all who have lived with this disease for 50 years! You are an inspiration to all of us here.
It doesn't have to be an actual document from a hospital or doctor. I got my medal 2 years ago & like you I have no parents/siblings around, & the hospital doesn't have records going back that far. But I asked my cousins & 2 of them remembered my diagnosis & wrote a letter stating this & giving dates & that was enough. The medal is actually quite impressive. I'm coming up to 53 years now.
Congratulations, Annabelle! WOW!
Yes. I tried my cousins (one has alzheimers and one is just not all there with so many health problems)and my 90 year old uncle, my only living family pre-marriage. We were distanced from each other and no one remembers.
By the way, on my dad's side of the family I had 26 aunts and uncles including spouses, as well as 52 cousins. My dad was unexpected and 15 years younger than his closest sibling in age. There are three cousins left.
However, this discussion has spurred me forward to look for new avenues. Thanks!
I believe Annabelle is right. The team at Joslin is relatively flexible in terms of documentation. However, since those of us in the study are part of a research cohort, they need to have some rules. I do recall that family members can be used, even an uncle with Alzheimer's might work. Maybe an essay on Clintest, Tes-tape, Benedict's Solution or any other tool that would date you? How about what insulin cost in 1962?? :-). It was $2.00 when I got started!
How about teachers or school nurse records? That would certainly be proof enough. Did you go to any summer camps? Would they have records?
Good luck working on it. It's kind of fun to do the research and documentation.
I got mine 5 years ago and it's nice to see so many (I think it's over 700 now) doing well. It was a little easier for me since I was seen at Joslin from 1959 on.
I too are in the same situation as Spock, there is no one that I know of who can verify my diagnoses in 1959. The hospital doesn't keep records that far back. At the time it was a small Catholic hospital. It has grown some but my records didn't make it. That's ok because I know how long I've lived with this disease. I might still have one option, my brother who was four at the time, if he can convince them, he has a fantastic memory. He doesn't remember the year but he remembers when I was going into DKA and passed out.
Great Job Marion Mifsud!
Re the ongoing discussion of recognition, I think they have processes to help people whose records are AWOL get the recognition they've earned? I recall Richard157 Vaughn detailing this in some of his posts on the issue. It's a great achievement and a medal is very appropriate. They pass them out at races I've run but none of them have been as tough as dealing with the grind of diabetes. A lot of times, doctors may ask you when you were diagnosed and if you tell them "1957" or whatever, they write it in the record and it may suffice to document your official date. I'm sort of in the same boat as I've never been sure of my DX date, for a long time I thought it was 1985 but then figured out "oh wait, it was 1984..." My first doc passed away a couple of years ago so I have no idea where to track that stuff down. I have some other medals to keep me going but the 50 year deal is kind of neat.