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This past weekend (March 14th, 2009) was the Northwestern Pennsylvania chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual "Beach Ball Gala" to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Olivia was choosen to be this year's "Fund A Cure Kid". We had members of JDRF (Chris Britt and Tom Balos) come to our house to interview us and to take video of Olivia. Parts of the video included how we manage her diabetes, blood sugar checks, receiving an insulin shot, counting carbs, playing (exercise), etc. I also gave them some pictures of Olivia that they also included in the video. The video turned out well and I would like to share it with all of you. The Gala had an awesome turn-out. This year's Honorees were Tim and Lisa NeCastro - supporters since 1997. They were responsible for forming Erie PA's first walk team (with Erie Insurance) and currently that team helps raise over $30,000 annually. Please help us find a cure by visiting and place a donation today!!

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Comment by diabeticidol 94 on March 18, 2009 at 5:29pm
Hello! OLIVIA! Thanks for that video brought tears to my eyes. I hope you guys raised lots of money at your jdrf gala. And thank you from both my brother and me!
Comment by Kristin on March 18, 2009 at 9:15pm
Very precious! Glad that the Gala was such a success and how exciting that Olivia was a part of that.
Comment by Shamae on March 25, 2009 at 4:29pm
Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. Olivia is precious. It's always great to meet other families who go through what we do each day. We told Sydney that Olivia liked that video and she said, "I'm glad I helped her. I think Olivia and I will be great friends because we both have diabetes." Thanks for your outreach. I hope you check back with my blog and I will check back here with your webpage as well. Take care and thanks so much. Give Olivia a little hug from us. Just curious, do you guys plan on getting a pump at some point?
Comment by Shamae on April 2, 2009 at 7:49am
Hi Ronda--Sydney started pumping in October...8 months post diagnosis. I guess, like with anything, at first it was a whole new wave of knowledge and a little intimidating and overwhelming. Sydney was pretty used to injections at this point and inserting the site was difficult. However, after that first day of her not needing any injections and being able to recieve all of her insuling via the pump, there was no going back. We change her site every 3 days and generally there are still some tears or aggrivation on Syd's part but as soon as it's done, she is good. It is a real simple process to insert a new site...we caught on quickly. Of course with something like this, it has it's learning curve and that can be difficult but overall, I wouldn't go back to injections unless I absolutely had to. The freedom with the pump is amazing. Syd loves it...she named her pump Daisy. Once we got through that first month or so, I felt like I had the hang of it much better. Of course, as with anything, we have our up and down days emotionally and sometimes it can be challenging having a 5 year old hooked to a pump 24/7. We have times (only twice) where the tubing has snagged and ripped her site out, but those are quick fixes. Overall though, the pump has been great. Her numbers have been better. Her A1C's have been better and I attribute that all to her pump.

Now as for why we chose the minimed 522. For us it was really only a choice between the Animas and Minimed. Both have neat features and both would have done a great job. One of our educators has Type 1 and she uses the minimed and that was really our deciding factor because when we need help, it is great to go with someone who uses that pump on a daily basis. I love the minimed pump though. It is one of the smaller pumps so it works well with a kid...Olivia looks like a petite girl like Sydney. I love the quick set insertion sets. It makes insertion a breeze. Other insertion sets you have to push the needle/canula in manually. With this set, you don't and it rarely messes up. I don't think it has ever messed up on its own...without human error being a factor. So I love that plus the minimed has some great safety features that I absolutely love. It is very simple to use...only 5 buttons. This makes it easy to teach other people how to use it. I think I would have been happy with the Animas is a good pump as well but I haven't had any issues with the minimed. Plus they have a 24/7 support line. We have called it after 11pm before and got to talk to a tech. That is wonderful and reassuring. I don't have anything negative to say about any other pump. I just know that we have been very pleased with the minimed. If you have anymore questions just ask!


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