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[IP] Article on DM and pumping

The following article was in our local newspaper yesterday, written by the
same journalist who did the story on my BASH (50th DM anniv. party 11/4/00) A
large picture of the ugly hog licking the stepdad's face was included in the

March 29, 2001

A healthy future for Elaine
Stepdad inspired by her diabetes battle raises research money

Tribune Staff Writer

Like "being slimed by a four-inch suction cup'' is how Dave Christian
describes being kissed by Passion at the half-time of a University of Notre
Dame women's basketball game. Christian, whose stepdaughter has diabetes, was
top fund-raiser in a contest sponsored by the American Diabetes Association.

Like any tennis player in a close match, 14-year-old Elaine Luedtke uses the
short breaks between sets to catch her breath, think about strategy and
sharpen her focus.

Elaine also uses the break to draw a drop of blood from a fingertip and
measure her glucose level.

If necessary, she pushes buttons on a small device worn on her belt. The
buttons increase or decrease the amount of insulin the device pumps into her

Having Type 1 diabetes -- the rarer and more severe form of the disease --
doesn't stop her from being a serious tennis player, going to sleepovers with
friends or doing other things she wants to do.

Still, the eighth-grader at Boston Middle School in LaPorte is looking forward
to having even more freedom -- a pump that also monitors blood sugar levels
and, ultimately, a cure.

"I would like to see them develop a cure and I would like to be cured,'' she
said. "I believe they will do it.''

Her stepfather, Dave Christian, is firmly in her court when it comes to this

Inspired by his stepdaughter's experience with diabetes, Christian has raised
almost $50,000 over the past two years for diabetes research.

He's the all-time undisputed champion of the local American Diabetes
Association's annual "Kiss A Pig'' fund-raising contest, raising $16,000 in
2000 and $31,000 this year.

"No one has come close to him,'' Paula Keswick, manager of the association's
northwest Indiana district. "He's phenomenal.''

The "winner'' who raises the most money has to kiss a pig. Last year, the pig
was small, cute and pink. But this year, organizers brought out a hog, huge
and mottled with black and brown splotches.

Christian, the president of a manufacturing plant in LaPorte, smooched the
swine, named Passion, in front of a crowd at halftime of a University of Notre
Dame women's basketball game.

 "It was like being slimed by a four-inch suction cup,'' he said.

Diabetes, a growing health problem in the United States, reared its ugly head
in Christian's family in September 1997.

Unlike the more common Type 2 diabetes, whose serious complications develop
over time, Type I diabetes quickly leads to life-threatening health problems.

So when Elaine went to the family doctor with symptoms of constant thirst and
frequent need to urinate, she was sent to Riley Hospital for Children on the
same day.

They got to Riley's emergency department at 5 p.m. and didn't leave until 5
a.m. the following morning. All that time, Elaine was receiving emergency
intravenous treatment.

"It was the scariest time of our life,'' Debbie Christian, Elaine's mother,

The family remained at Riley for the next four days, learning the complicated
regimen of shots and dietary discipline required to survive diabetes.

Things got a lot easier about two years ago when Elaine began using a constant
infusion pump instead of giving herself three to four shots a day. The device,
no bigger than a pager, also frees her from a tyrannical timetable of meals
and snacks.

Dave Christian said advances like insulin pump and monitors that measure blood
sugar within seconds make him believe that research is yielding results.

He attributes the success of his fund-raising efforts to the fact that
diabetes is so common.

"Everybody is touched by it, either by themselves or they know a friend or
relative who has it,'' he said. "It's an easy story to tell.''

But it still takes a lot of hard work to raise $31,000. Christian's "campaign
manager'' in the kiss-a-pig race was Duane Miller, a LaPorte city council
member who is an administrator at the foundry where Christian is president.

Miller sent out letters to everyone they could think of -- friends, business
acquaintances and relatives in 20 states and two foreign countries. Raffles
and bake sales were held at the plant, which makes hardware for caskets.

"No one was safe,'' Christian joked.

Miller and Christian then followed up the letters with phone calls until
nearly half of the 350 potential donors ponied up.

Jan (61 y/o, T-1 11/5/50, pmpg 8/23/83) & Bluda Sue (MM507C 3/99)
http://maxpages.com/bludasue AND http://www.picturetrail.com/dmBASHbashpics
(including an album of the EVOLUTION OF PUMPS)
It's what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts.
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
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