(Memphis) Heart disease, limb amputation, even death are all risks of Type-One Diabetes.
It’s a lifelong illness that impacts nearly three million Americans.
But scientists right now are working on an artificial pancreas to make it easier to live with the disease.
Callie Compton wears a bracelet on her wrist she never takes off. It’s in memory of her friend Lyndsi who died two years ago at 12. Lyndsi was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the year before she died.
“That phone call was the longest two minutes of my life,” recalled Callie.
Seventeen year-old Callie has suffered from the disease since she was two.
She has to check her blood sugar levels at least 10 times a day and wears a pump which delivers insulin to her body. Callie calls the pump her “life support.”
“You can’t even see straight. Sometimes your blood sugar is so high or low. Everything is blurry. Then there’s days where it is really bad. I’ve had seizures and passed out in public places,” expressed Callie.
But the people at the Memphis Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation hope an artificial pancreas being tested right now does well in its human trials phase.
The people testing it out wear it outside their body. It’s both an insulin pump and glucose monitor.
“It puts them together so they can communicate and automatically regulate your blood sugar for you,” said Sherry Bennett who volunteers with JDRF.
While doctors continue working with the medical device, she hopes to raise money to help find a cure.
“This is what we call our technological cure until we can find a biological cure,” said Bennett.
A cure is something Callie says she’s been waiting for, most of her life.