50 year medal

Your post is blank, Marion.

Blank or not...

I hit 50 years on Christmas Day. I cannot get the Joslin medal. I started investigating it last year. My parents are gone and all family(I have no siblings), the doctor is long gone, the hospitl destroys records after 10 years, I even checked for dentists, eye doctors, etc. No one and no records survive to verify my 1962 diagnosis. I have no way to verify my 50 year struggle.

It would be nice, but not going to happen..... Who would think to ask for such stuff? I guess I had no forward thinking!

Bummer! Maybe TuD should give out its own medals - no documentation needed! You definitely deserve recognition for your accomplishment. We should have a party! Or at least those members who live in your state!

Anyway, Congratulations!

Thank you, Zoe. No one, except another diabetic, could ever understand the struggle.

To be honest, I don't think those of us diagnosed later in life can completely understand either. I didn't have to deal with diabetes at the same time as growing up, adolescence, relationships, careers, etc etc.

It is wonderful that those who have had diabetes for most of their life have been able to effectively manage the disease without much complication for many years. There are thousands who have done this successfully. We all know what we can accomplish and what we have accomplished.

Thus, what good is a metal? It isn't necessary to prove that we are diabetic. We aren't particularly awarded for being diabetic. Being awarded a metal for being diabetic isn't really an award for which anyone needs to be proud. We would have to do the same things to individually manage our personal diabetes, even if there was no metal to be had.

The 50 year award or 60 year award or whatever award is certainly a star in the awarder's crown, rather to the diabetic to whom it is awarded. They would do the same for life, even if the award didn't exist. The only thing the award does is grease the coffers of the organization giving it.

So, Marion, congratulations on 50 years of successful management. I wish you didn't have to do it. It is a great choice for yourself, and a great gift to all who love you, to manage your diabetes for such a long time. You have seen many changes in the treatment and improvements in the methods. You have benefited from learning all that you can and putting to practice what works for you. Here is to another fifty years!

Thank you for all your wonderful and encouraging comments. When I was diagnosed at age 6 the medical profession didn't think I would live for 25 yrs. but I did it and I have a 30 yr. old son and been married for 40 yrs. I have been able to accomplish a normal life with diabetes. I thank god every year for keeping all of my body parts. I guess that is all thr award I need.

I am not at 50 years yet, but I was able to get microfiche copies of my hospital admission in 1976.

Sorry that you can’t find any records or someone to attest to your diagnosis. But congratulations to you on your 50 years.

Do the records actually have to be from 50 years ago? Or if you had a letter (or other document) from, say, 20 years ago that stated when you were diagnosed, would that be enough?

I think there is a 25-year award that I could apply for in 3.5 years, but I'm not sure any records from my actual diagnosis exist (unless you count a handwritten logbook my parents started on the day I left the hospital, which does have the discharge date, which is how I figured out the day I was probably diagnosed).

Congratulations who all who have lived with this disease for 50 years! You are an inspiration to all of us here.

Congratulations Spock! 50 years is an amazing achievement and garners my awe and inspiration.

In a quick review of the Joslin 50 year medal you may still be able to apply if interested: http://www.joslin.org/medalist/apply_now.html.

It appears that they are aware that documentation may be difficult to get from 50 years ago and also accept,

"Some applicants are unable to obtain any of the forms of documentation listed above. In these cases, we will also accept letters of recommendation from two or three of the applicant’s relatives or friends (usually people older than or the same age as the applicant) who can recall the onset of the applicant’s diabetes and insulin treatment. When possible, letters should include references to family and/or local or national events that occurred around the same time to confirm the date in question."

The attachement also has phone and email addresses for questions regarding the medals.

2221-Joslin_Medalist_Application_2012.doc (4.11 MB)

Thanks so much, Capin, but I have no accesss to documention. I contacted the hospital and they have nothing back that far, not even the cards suggested in the ap package or micrfiche of records destroyed. The doctor would probably be over 100 now. I tried to find him, but not surprisingly, I had no luck. I have one cousin who is still alive and I asked her, but she was far away and had no idea. My 89 year old uncle remembers I have Type 1, but that is all.

I might see if my current PCP has the date in his file, but that would just be something he got from me.

It was a long while after I was diagnosed that blood glucose testing became available, so I only recorded stuff when I had to for the doctor. Those were left in that medical file, so.....

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.

I think it's worthwhile to point out that while the medal used to be at 25 years, but now 25 years is just a certificate.

That is astounding progress. It used to be rare for a T1 to live for 25 years after diagnosis. Now it's worth noting, but is not a big deal :-)

Let's all hope that 50 years and 75 years become the same way!!!! Already, many of us are (or are on the way) to being crotchety old senior citizens complaining about these young whipper snapper docs and how they don't know squat. We outlived all the docs from our youth!

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 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.


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.

Good luck!