LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Over 25 million children and adults in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes. That’s over 8 percent of the population.
In people over the age of 20, there are almost two million new cases of diabetes every year.
One local man says that his type 1 diabetes controlled his entire life — that is, until now.
“You get low, you get tired. Many things happen. I’d start seeing cross-sighted, my muscles relax when I get low on sugar,” David Martin said.
It was the diagnosis that changed Martin’s life at just seven years old, bringing challenges that those without the disease would never face.
“I didn’t feel good. I wanted to play — I just fell to the floor,” Martin recalled.
“One thing, I had to move into a bedroom by my mom, because I started going into convulsions at three in the morning from being too low on sugar,” Martin said.
“So my mom would jump up and take care of me.”
As the years passed, he learned to deal with the disease, but the dangers and complications always stayed steadfast in his mind.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to break down sugar. Type 1 diabetics must have insulin shots to stay alive.
“I’m 55, I really want to find a cure – not just for me, but for other people,” Martin said.
His quest for a cure brought the avid cyclist to City of Hope, where a cutting-edge therapy called an ‘islet cell transplant’ is giving patients a new lease on life.
While doctors say it may not be a complete cure, this father insists that it’s his medical miracle.
“I call myself a diabetic 1 that’s insulin free,” he said.
Now, Martin is dedicated to educating others that diabetes is not a dead end diagnosis, and there is hope of becoming insulin-free in the very near future.
–Jessica Holmes, KTLA News