Heidi Rosati was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 16 years ago, when she was still in college. "I had been sick for a long time," Heidi says. "I thought it was stress or the rigors of academia. My fiancée Bill, who is now my husband, came to visit and saw that I was drastically under-weight. He took me home. My parents, Gordon and Jean Lang, are both pathologists. They took one look at me, and took me to the hospital. My blood sugar was 800. "l was actually relieved," Heidi says. "I went to the emergency room with another sick woman. It turned out that she had leukaemia. So I took a positive attitude from the beginning."
"If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish any dream with diabetes."
"I had something I could control: I could go on and graduate from college, get married and live a normal life."
ter Heidi was diagnosed she got married, and within a year and a half had her first child, Dominic, who is now 14 years old. Her second son, Stefano, is 11. "Being in good diabetic control was a must before I even contemplated getting pregnant," Heidi says. "I'm proud of my children and proud that diabetes was an obstacle I was able to overcome."
Heidi played soccer throughout college, and still runs every day. In 1995 she ran Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN. "My husband ran every step of the way with me," Heidi says. "He carried my Glucometer. I was well prepared both in terms of fitness and diabetes, and I finished in 4 hours and 22 minutes. It was a neat accomplishment for us together."
Five years ago, Heidi switched from shots to the insulin pump, and she is a huge fan. In fact, she named her black Lab Cozmo after her pump.
My husband and I recently opened a new business, Retro Roast and Fountain, in Loretto, MN, just outside of Minneapolis. I don't know if it would have been possible without the pump. Working in a restaurant you don't always have the chance to eat at certain time-or even at all. With the pump, that's OK. I don't have to live by the clock or live by my insulin shots anymore. For ten years' I had to get up at the exact same time every day. Now I can sleep in. On shots, diabetes was controlling me. On the pump, I'm controlling my diabetes."
"In the past 16 years I've seen so much progress," Heidi says. "We've come so far. What's there not to be optimistic about? We have so many tools to help us live happy, healthy lives. And I believe a cure has got to be on there in the near future."
|Heidi's advice for others with diabetes?
"Take the bull by the horns," Heidi says. "Study it, learn about it, and you can control it. If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish any dream with diabetes. Positive is the way to go."