Creating a World Without Type 1 Diabetes

Evan Oshima in D.C. as a delegate for JDRF’s 2017 Children’s Congress.


Our 10-year old son, Evan, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) on Feb. 13, 2014.

T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin — a hormone essential to turning food into energy. It strikes both children and adults and is unrelated to diet and lifestyle. It has been 4½ years since the day that Evan got diagnosed. Not a day goes by when we wish he didn’t have this life-altering disease.

T1D affects every aspect of Evan’s life. Before every meal or snack, Evan has to measure the amount of food he is planning on eating and then calculate the amount of carbs he’s going to eat. Then, he has to dose insulin to match the amount of carbs. If carbs or insulin are miscalculated, he will experience negative repercussions: high glucose levels in his body damage his organs, nerves, and eyesight, and low glucose levels can cause loss of consciousness, seizures, or worse.

Unfortunately, lows and highs are a regular part of Evan’s life, as T1D is a difficult disease to manage, even for detail-obsessed people me. Having T1D is often like having a newborn baby. There are many nights we are woken up to the sound of Evan’s continuous glucose monitor (CGM) alarming us that Evan’s glucose is dangerously low or high. We go in, administer insulin or have him drink juice and often have to repeat this multiple times throughout the night.

While T1D is a part of Evan’s day-to-day existence, it certainly does not define who he is. He’s an avid reader (so much so, that he often completely ignores us when his head is buried in a book); an aggressive athlete (baseball is his passion, but also