Local Teen Advocates For Diabetes Research

susan and katie phillips

Susan & Katie Phillips met with Congressman Tim Murphy as part of a Promise to Remember Me visit.

Story and photo courtesy of Congressman Tim Murphy’s November 1st e-news letter

It is likely that you or someone you know might be affected by diabetes. With nearly 26 million Americans currently fighting Type I and Type II diabetes, it has become one of the costliest and chronic diseases in the U.S. Last year, $245 billion was spent in healthcare costs in order to treat the disease, and that number is estimated to double by the year 2020.

Meeting with Upper St. Clair resident and diabetes advocate Kathryn Phillips and her mother Susan.

With these challenges in mind, Congressman Murphy met with Upper St. Clair resident Kathryn Phillips and her mother Susan this week in his Mt. Lebanon district office. They came to thank Rep. Murphy for his continued support of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), and to share their personal story of fighting against the disease. The SDP devotes federal funding toward research into the prevention, treatment, and cure of the disease.

Kathryn was diagnosed two-and-a-half years ago after experiencing symptoms of Type I diabetes. Since then, she has worked diligently with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to raise awareness and debunk the myths that surround the disease, for instance that overweight people will eventually develop it, or that those with diabetes are more likely to catch colds and other illnesses.

Individuals with Type I diabetes, like Kathryn, must carefully balance their insulin doses either through injections multiple times a day or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump, and they must also measure their blood-glucose level by pricking their fingers for blood at least six times a day.

Despite the daily challenges Kathryn faces, she continues to lead an active lifestyle, playing volleyball, lacrosse, and snowboarding. Kathryn makes accommodations, like carrying her insulin pump, glucose meter, water, and snacks with her at all times, but she does not let the disease hinder the way she chooses to live her life.