WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Type 1 Diabetes Update less physically active – Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. It occurs The local cluster has garnered nationwide attention, thanks largely when the body's own antibodies destroy the cells that produce insulin, to Dan Hurley's 2010 book, Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease the hormone essential for converting blood sugar into energy. Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About it. More impor- Young teens are at the peak age for a diagnosis of Type 1, but it tantly, it has drawn the interest of the scientific community. can occur among toddlers at well. NBA star Ray Allen and his wife, "This is perhaps the most profound case of clustering that I've heard Shannon, joined the Wellesley-Weston group after their son Walker of. I don't understand it," says Dr. Mark Atkinson, who has spent three was diagnosed at just 17 months. decades and logged thousands of miles studying diabetes. Atkinson is Eminent Scholar for Diabetes Research at the University of Florida, where he is co-director of its Diabetes Center of Excellence. He said he hoped the Massachusetts study would provide clues that could help unravel the mystery of the chronic and sometimes fatal disease. Having reported on the cluster for WellesleyWeston Magazine in 2009, I returned to the story this past winter for updates from the families and from the people on the front lines of diabetes research. I learned that while scientists were becoming increasingly sophisticated in battling diabetes in the lab and in the field, people like Ashley and Gus and Walker were winning the war on the home front by refusing to let the disease change the course of their lives. "These kids are my heroes," says Colleen Kettle of Weston, who has a daughter with Type 1 diabetes and was herself diagnosed with the disease as an adult. "They are out there in the field with their pumps We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 and their monitors and acting like regular kids." 96

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