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Monday, December 13, 2010

J and I are BIG fans of The Amazing Race on CBS.  We have watched every season.  It is must see tv for us!  We DVR it and watch it every Sunday after Sweetpea is tucked away in bed.

This year, we were really excited to learn that one of the contestants has Type 1 Diabetes!  She, of course, became our favorite and we watched curiously throughout the season to see how and if diabetes would play a role in her game play.

Nat Strand (left) and Kat Chang (right) made up the team referred to as "the doctors".  Both are doctors in real life (duh) and met during residency at UCLA.  

Nat is 31 years old and wears an insulin pump.  I think it's pretty cool that they're wearing blue.  Maybe that is just coincidence... who knows?!?

Last night, Nat and Kat made history by being the first all female team to WIN The Amazing Race!

We were thrilled!

I love seeing Type 1's living life - FULLY - and not being afraid of anything.  What an inspirational role model!  She is definitely someone who I would show Sweetpea and say, "Look!  She has Type 1.  She's a doctor.  And she ran this crazy race... and SHE WON!  Diabetes didn't hold her back or slow her down."

I loved seeing diabetes on tv!  In the first episode (I think...) they showed Nat testing her bg in a cab after a very long plane ride.  And guess what the number was?  Not 101.  That seems to be the only number that ever comes up on tv and the commercials for meters and such.  I can't really remember... but it started with a 2 or a 3.  And I LOVED that - because that's real life!  A long plane ride, adrenaline flowing... THAT's the kind of bg you'd see!

Did it stop her?  Not for one minute.  Awesome!

In some interviews posted at, Nat talked about what she would do if she won the million dollar prize....

What would you do if you won the million dollars? If we were to win the million dollars, I would donate money to support challenged athletes and to support the search for a cure for Diabetes. I would pay off my debts from medical school and I would buy a baby blue vintage Bronco with the top chopped off.
And at, Nat talked about how diabetes played into the race...

Nat, we didn’t see that much of your daily life living with diabetes on the race. Was it difficult?
It was definitely a challenge. Little things, like, how do you store a month’s worth of diabetic supplies? I change out my pump every two or three days. Insulin has to stay cold, so how do you carry insulin around in Ghana and Oman, and keep it from overheating? How do you carry enough snacks for a month? You know, if I get low blood sugar, I need to get sugar right away and eat, and sometimes you’re doing a leg for 16 hours with no food, my blood sugar would get really high. If my pump setting are time-set in Los Angeles, then when you’re in England, you’re reversed: When you’re normally sleeping, you’re awake! Even when we were trying to get a few hours of sleep, my pump would be alarming, and beeping, and it would need to be changed, it would need a new battery, my blood sugar was too high… [Laughs] All these kind of nitpicky little things that just take mental energy.


Think about packing up a BACKPACK with everything you need for a month.  And then packing all your supplies.... sites, cartridges, insulin, glucagon, things to treat lows, your meter, strips, lancets, extra everything....  That would take up pretty much ALL the space.  

And then dealing with D?  Good grief!  It's hard enough to deal with D in normal life much less on a race around the world.  

Nat said on her profile at that her biggest fear about traveling is not having access to medical care.  I so get that.  That's one of those things that other people take for granted....  but that I've thought about since dx.  I have always wanted to travel abroad..... but the fear of dealing with D in another country is too much for me.  It's hard enough to go to Florida!

So....  CONGRATULATIONS to Nat and Kat - WINNERS of The Amazing Race!

I am thrilled for them both!  They seemed like very nice and genuine women from the start.  

And to Nat....

THANK YOU for showing that Type 1 does not have to hold you back from anything.  THANK YOU for proving that on National TV.  THANK YOU for being such an inspiration to us all!  

And most of all.... THANK YOU for being a role model to my little girl.  THANK YOU for being someone that she can look up to... someone who knows what it's like to live with diabetes 24-7-365.... someone who understands the highs and lows and all the curves that disease throws at you...  someone who is LIVING with Type 1 diabetes... and proving that diabetes does not have to limit you but can make you stronger!



  1. Thats amazing!!! How did she go without eating for 16hours!? I wish I wouldve watched if just for her. Im telling you I have yet to meet a type 1 whos wasnt awesome :)

  2. So happy that they won! And I'm with you...can't imagine packing a backpack with ALL of your belongings (including D supplies) for who knows how long. It is hard enough for me to pack for a weekend adventure!

  3. That is so cool....but dont ya think they HAD to allow her some kind of accomidations? Im thinking there is no bag big enough to carry D supplies for that long! Im so happy for them too! And many kudos for them showing D real life :)

  4. I wish she had a blog of her experience and how she dealt with D on the race. The show didn't focus AT ALL on her being diabetic...pretty much just the first episode where she tested herself then a couple comments here and there. I also wondered if the staff took care of her D supplies and insulin, esp in those hot climates. Besides having D, Nat and Kat were awesome teammates and competitors. So glad they won!!!

  5. I watched every episode this season and was thrilled that she won!!! I was on the edge of my seat with fingers crossed :) She did it and she did it with so much class and strength, they were a great team and it is so inspiring to see someone with type 1 diabetes go through something so challenging and difficult and come out on top. Great show!

  6. Great blog about such an amazing event. I hope we get to hear more from Nat about her experience. I am awe-inspired by her strength and stamina!

  7. WAHOO! I fell asleep and missed the finale. UGH. I am so proud of these ladies. I have never watched the Amazing Race before this year. I started watching b/c of Jo's post about Nat and Kat. What a great inspiration to Type 1s and Type 3s!

  8. Hi All. It's Nat.

    I just wanted to say how touched I am by the blog, and by the comments following. This is WHY I wanted to do the race. It sure was a challenge ( Production did not carry ANYTHING for me - strictly against the rules!!)...but the feedback I've gotten from families like yours has really made everything worth it.

    I'm so happy the message that 'it's a challenge, not a limitation' is getting out there loud and clear. I kind of hoped more would have made the final cut of the season showing the daily struggles of diabetes...but that may only be exciting for those other 'betics our there. :)

    Thank you all so much for your support. And to Sweetpea ... It's nice to "meet" another princess with a pump. ;)

    Good luck with everything.


  9. NAT!!!

    Thank you for your inspiration and thanks for taking the time to comment here!!! We are all so proud of you!!!!

    Hallie...awesome post. I needed this inspiration today and I'm so PROUD to be a D MAMA today!

  10. Nat!

    WOW! Can I just tell you how excited I am that you actually read and commented on this blog?! It's still amazing to me that anyone reads it! Ha!

    That is so incredibly nice of you! I wish you could have seen Sweetpea's face when I read it to her! Priceless! You truly are an inspiration that she - and all other T1's can grow up and do ANYTHING! That's why we fight so hard as their Mama's - to prove this to them! Connie was right - you both ran the race with amazing class and strength - you are a wonderful role model for our kids!

    I am sure that there are PLENTY of D Mamas and D Papas and PWD's that would LOVE to hear your story of managing the race and diabetes! I can not imagine... Of course, I'd be honored to have you come back here and tell about your journey! You are welcome any time you'd like!

    Congrats again! Thanks again! And enjoy this very special holiday season! With love...

  11. What an awesome role model Nat is for Type 1s! Jax and I enjoyed watching her and Kat race this season and wished they would have highlighted D a little more.

    I, along with many others I'm sure, would love to hear more from Nat about racing with D. She is such an inspiration and encouragement to this type 3!

  12. Oh my exciting! There is nothing better than being able to show our little ones that they can do ANYTHING even if they have diabetes. What an amazing role model...thank you, Nat for inspiring all of us!

    Great post, Hallie! ((hugs))

  13. Truly Amazing!! I'm so impressed! Way to go ladies!

    I love to think of our little ones as accomplished adults living full happy lives. Love it.

  14. Wow! I am sooo excited that our kids have such an AMAZING role model in Nat. Her incredible spirit and this accomplishment are proof positive that our kids can do and become anything they want in life. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

  15. Awesome post Hallie - again! I love reading your blogs. We don't get this show over here so I had no idea until I saw you all posting this up, that Nat and Kat had won (or that Nat had T1D). In fact I had only a little idea of what the show was about at all, till I read up about it online, after I saw your post. I had heard of it but not really understood just what a challenge it involved. This is amazing and very inspiring! Nat, thank you for commenting and thank you for inspiring our little ones!

  16. Awesome post, Hallie! Nat really is an incredible inspiration for all of us and our d-kids! And how cool is it that she saw this and commented on it?

  17. Hallie! I saw Nat posted----how cool is that?!

    I agree with you...she is amazing and such an inspiration that our kiddos can do anything they put their mind to!

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