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 www.cbs.com, 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 www.ew.com, 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?
Nat: 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 cbs.com 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!