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Wall of Honor, UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

Many UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence patients have inspiring perspectives and incredible achievements of their own to share.  Each month, we honor a patient who is successfully managing their diabetes.  Candidates for pediatric and adult "Patient Honorees" are nominated by their care team.  In the Diabetes Center of Excellence waiting area, you will find displayed photographs and testimonials from those selected for recognition.  We hope they inspire and encourage others living with diabetes.  

  • September 01, 2019 Cameron


    Cameron was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 22 months old.  Like many 7 year-olds he enjoys playing sports. He and his family do a wonderful job keeping his blood sugars in a healthy range.  Cameron's story includes going to diabetes camp, throwing out the first pitch at JDRF night at the Paw Sox and the school project which rewarded him a fun experience.  FULL STORY

  • August 01, 2019 Alyce Sneddon

    Alyce Sneddon

    Alyce decided to take control of her diabetes after years of neglecting it.  Her complications from uncontrolled blood sugars includes diabetic neuropathy in her legs with very little feeling below the knees.  She recently developed kidney problems and after her uncle passed away from kidney disease as the result of diabetes complications, she decided to take action.  LEARN MORE

  • July 01, 2019 Emilie Cloutier, Diabetes care at UMass Memorial

    Emilie Cloutier, RN

    Emilie Cloutier, RN, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was only 13 months old, so she’s never known life without it.  Now, 25 years later, she’s a pediatric nurse at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence in addition to being a patient in the adult diabetes clinic.  FULL STORY

  • June 15, 2019 Sophie


    Sophie admits that living with diabetes can be challenging.  She experienced “diabetes burnout” around the age of 13.  Today the recent high school graduate is the volunteer co-chair of the American Diabetes Association’s Youth Leadership Program and she interacts with and mentors other young people from throughout New England living with type 1 diabetes.  FULL STORY

  • June 01, 2019 nicole johnson miss america diabetes

    Nicole Johnson - Miss America 1999

    Nicole Johnson won the Miss America title in 1999.  She became the first Miss America with type 1 diabetes and the first contestant to publicize the use of an insulin pump.  Today Nicole is a nationally recognized diabetes advocate, National Director of JDRF Mission, and one of the biggest supporters of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence.  READ MORE

  • May 01, 2019 Paying it Forward: T1D Warrior Bags

    Paying it Forward: T1D Warrior Bags

    Braden and Colby were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in successive years.  They are united not only by T1D, but also by how their kindness inspired each other to "Pay it Forward."  FULL STORY

  • April 01, 2019 Ed Adamson

    Ed Adamson

    Edward Adamson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1967 at the age of 5.  Uncontrolled blood sugars during during his youth led to kidney failure and eventually a transplant at age 35.  Diabetes education from UMass DCOE has him now living a healthy lifestyle and embracing technology, which recently brought his A1c down to 6.9%.  FULL STORY    

  • March 01, 2019 Diabetes Patient Success Story

    John Gianette

    John lost nearly 25 pounds in just over a month.  His primary care physician referred him to the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, where he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  His blood sugar was above 500 with an A1c near 13%.  John and his care team developed a plan to get those number into a healthy range.  His second A1c was down to 5.4% with an average blood glucose of 94!  FULL STORY

  • February 06, 2019 Rick Becker

    Rick Becker

    Rick Becker was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 31, with an A1c of 12%.  Today, 19 years after diagnosis, his A1c remains between 6-7%!  Rick's story speaks to the importance of respecting your diabetes and its many potential complications. It also shows us that despite challenges, one can still do the things they enjoy.  His strength and perseverance is contagious. FULL STORY
  • February 01, 2019 Sean Busby

    Sean Busby - Riding on Insulin

    Sean Busby is a professional snowboarder living with type 1 diabetes, who travels to remote corners of the world on snowboarding expeditions. While training for the 2010 Olympics, he endured a complicated diagnosis of T1D. He's since founded Riding On Insulin – a nonprofit organization that hosts action sports programs for kids, teenagers, and adults living with T1D. Each winter, they hold an all-day camp for young people living T1D and their siblings at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA.  FULL STORY

  • January 01, 2019 Tim Weeden Diabetes Triathalon

    Tim Weeden

    Tim was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 8 years old.  Now 41, he has maintained an A1c between 5.8 – 7% for the past 30 years.  His interest in the science of disease progression led to a career as a research scientist.  He also participates in full ironman races, and does not let his diabetes get in the way.  FULL STORY  

  • December 14, 2018 Gian-Carlo


    Gian-Carlo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) during the summer of 2015 after completing 6th grade. He enjoys soccer, snowboarding, and skateboarding.  Over time and with plenty of experimentation, Gian-Carlo and his mother have worked with the UMass diabetes care team to get his blood sugars under control.  FULL STORY

  • December 01, 2018 Jane Bennett

    Jane Bennett

    Jane Bennett was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes exactly one week from her 31st birthday.  She was advised by her PCP to see Dr. Richard Haas at the UMass DCOE.  Jane had been trying to get pregnant, and was told to stop, until she could get her A1c from 15% to below 7%.  That was all the motivation she needed.  Dr. Haas strongly recommended that she begin using an insulin pump, to help get her glucose under control.  Within 6 months, her A1c was down to 7…and she was able to get pregnant right away!  “I love Dr. Haas,” she said.  “He calmed me down and assured me I can have a baby and live a normal life with diabetes. He called me every week during my pregnancy.”  READ MORE 

  • November 05, 2018 T.J.


    TJ was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2017 at the age of 4.  He began full day Kindergarten this year, and his numbers are doing very well.  Since diagnosis, he has become more social due to all the interactions with his care team and caregivers.  They get to see his silly, funny, and larger than life personality. When asked about his diabetes, TJ explains, “I take shots because my pancreas broke.  I’m still regular.”  FULL STORY  

  • November 01, 2018 Sandy Grone

    Sandy Grone

    Sandy Grone was originally diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her early 70’s by her primary care physician in Florida.  She was scared and overwhelmed by all the new information being thrown at her.  After moving to Central MA with her daughter’s family 6 years later, started seeing Dr. Nina Rosano at the UMass DCOE, and Dr. Rosano correctly diagnosed her with type 1 diabetes! 

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