Scott Hanselman

Team Hanselman and Diabetes Walk 2010

April 20, 2010 Comment on this post [46] Posted in Diabetes
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Donate to Team Hanselman and help Fight DiabetesI'm here to ask you a personal favor, Dear Reader.

Please donate to Team Hanselman and help us reach our Goal of raising $50,000 to Fight Diabetes...

...during this year's Step Out to Fight Diabetes by the American Diabetes Association.

SHORT LINK: Please tweet and spread this link!


This is a technical blog, but I'm not just a technical person only full of source code and pomposity. I've been a Type 1 Diabetic using Insulin every day to survive for 15 years. I've worn an Insulin Pump for 10 years. Here's a stat for you, unless I'm hit by a truck, Diabetics die of Diabetes, not old age.

This is my story. I will be posting videos and information about the diabetic experience about once a month over the summer.

If you aren't familiar with Diabetes, perhaps my explanation on how Diabetes works using an analogy of an Airplane and the above statistics will help you understand how personally painful this disease is.

Paradigm Revel Insulin Pump Two months before my 21st birthday I started peeing a lot. A LOT. Like I was drinking four 2-liter bottles of Sprite a day and was still thirsty beyond belief. We'd just had a family photo taken and I was 130lbs on a 5'11" frame (for those of you outside the US, that's thin.) I was wasting away and looked like death. My father, a Portland Firefighter and Paramedic for thirty years smelled the sugar on my breath and sent me right away to the hospital where my blood glucose level was higher than the meter could read...and it's supposed to be under 100mg/dl.

I spent that spring learning how to give myself shots, four a day, along with a regiment of pills. Twelve years later I have no side effects, knock on wood. Not everyone is that lucky. I recently went to a funeral of a high-school friend who was the exact same age and succumbed to Type 1 Diabetes.

I currently take three shots a day of Symlin while also wearing an Insulin Pump 24-hours a day, even while I sleep. The pump saves me from an additional six shots a day, which I took for 8 years before the pump. I test my blood sugar by pricking my finger between 8 and 10 times a day - that's about 54,750 finger pricks so far, and miles to go before I sleep.

I consider myself lucky though. My 91-year old grandmother's neighbor friend in the 1920's, before Insulin was widely used (it was discovered in 1921) ate nothing but lettuce and eventually died in childhood. I have friends who have been diabetic for nearly 50 years and had to boil large-gauge needles on the stove before injecting themselves with Pork-derived insulin, basing their decisions on a once-a-day urine check to check their blood glucose level.

Diabetes is endemic. Here's some stats from the NIH:

  • Total: 20.8 million people—7 percent of the population—have diabetes.
    • Diagnosed: 14.6 million people
    • Un-diagnosed: 6.2 million people
  • 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2005.
    • Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2002.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20 to 74 years.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44 percent of new cases in 2002.
  • About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.

I tell you this not to scare you, or ask for pity. I tell you this because it's the painful truth. It sucks, and it sucks big time. I am constantly and consistently afraid that my son will face this disease in his lifetime. God help the children who get Type 1 diabetes. I was hardly prepared at 21, I can just now begin to imagine what a parent of a 2 or 3 year old would go through after a diagnosis like that. I'm even afraid to say it out loud, it's that unspeakable.

The Goal

This year Team Hanselman, led by myself and my wife, Mo, who had this whole idea, will be walking to fight diabetes on Sept 12, 2010. We have set a goal of raising US$50,000. We can do twice that I say.

If only 5000 of you, that's 10% of you, dear readers, gave US$10 to this cause, we've met our Team Goal. If only 1000 give US$50, well, you get the idea. If you can't donate, that's OK. Post about this on your blog, spread the URL or put some of our Diabetes "Flair" on your site!

Last year this time, there were over 5000 people subscribing to this blog (for the technical content, I assume) - this year there are over 14,000.

A Personal Favor to Me

My Insulin Pump Perhaps you've searched the web and found my blog useful in the past or you've seen me speak at a conference or local user's group. Or, you've hung out here for years (this blog started in April 2002!). Maybe you're a blogger yourself and useDasBlog. Perhaps you've visited my Blog Archives and found them useful, or you read the ASP.NET MVC book or ASP.NET 4 book. Perhaps you listen to my podcast.

If you've ever thought about giving a 'tip' to this blog, here's your chance to make that tip tax-deductible! (if you're in the US) You can also paypal your donation to the email address that is "scott (a t )" and I will personally deliver 100% of your money myself.

And please, donate now. In the US, donations are Tax-Deductible and go directly to the ADA. If you like, you can PayPal me and I'll deliver the money myself and I'll match it.

Team Hanselman Diabetes "Blog Flair" and Badges

Please feel free to spread this flair or post them on your blog, and link them to this easy to remember link: It'll bring folks right here to this site.

TeamHanselmanSmallBanner  teamhanselmanlargebanne

If you want to create a better flair, like the one that Jon Galloway created, send it to me, or put a link in the comments and I'll add it to this page for others to use!

LINKING NOTE: brings you here, and takes you straight to the donation site.

SHORT LINK: Please tweet and spread this link!

Thanks for your patient attention, we now return you to our regular blogging schedule.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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April 20, 2010 3:42
Oh my God, I didn't know that you are a fighter against diabetes. My second son has diabetes type I too and he is nine years old. I'm very frustrated and we are trying to stand up and go on. Sadly we live in Ecuador in South America and here there's no good medical advances about fighting with diabetes.

I'm a big fan of you because I develop websites too and this post really surprised to me... Please take my support in your fight and your case is a strong signal that there will be life for kids and young people with diabetes. Regards.
April 20, 2010 3:48
Thanks so much for your support and I send my best to your son.
April 20, 2010 3:49
I watched my father deal with the same illness for many years until it got the best of him 2 years ago. I've seen the struggles firsthand and the difficulties Diabetes brings .. I'm glad to hear you've endured and continue to remain in good health! I'll be walking in Philadelphia myself .. Good luck on reaching your goal!
April 20, 2010 4:43
Damn thats terrible, but your quote 'I was drinking four 2-liter bottles of Sprite a day' would have to be the precursor. That would damage anyone's insulin producing mechanisms after a while. Just keep your kid away from sugary drinks and processed carbs. Look at the glycaemic index of foods as a start
April 20, 2010 5:53
@Nick it was "LIKE I was drinking four 2-liter bottles of Sprite"

Scott, not the same thing, I know, but the sudden onset of diabetes was the first (and not followed-up on) symptom of my dad's pancreatic cancer. By the time they figured out what it really was, of course, it was too late.

Also, having personally seen you with the pumps and the constant adjustment you need to do, I know it must take a toll. I'm happy to see you and Mo doing this.
April 20, 2010 5:55
It's interesting how similar my story is to yours. A few months past 20 and I diagnosed type 1. 13 years later I've got a 6 month old and worry for him every day. Count on my support
April 20, 2010 6:35
I just donated, hope you can reach (and hopefully exceed) your target!
April 20, 2010 6:35
Out of curiosity, in the "airplane" post a few years back, you said there are no "autopilot" insulin pumps. Are there now?
April 20, 2010 6:42
@Nick Before spewing arrogant dribble get your facts straight. Type 1 diabetes is not diet related. In fact, they are yet to discover the cause. There are some possibilities, but nothing concrete.

Scott, I have a six year old daughter with type 1 diabetes, and she is a little champion with her finger pricks and needles. I told her the airplane analogy when you posted it last year and she (as well as the rest of our family) loved it. We will be walking this year as well, In Australia's JDRF Walk for a Cure. Best of luck with this year's goal!
April 20, 2010 6:49
@Brandon Not yet, but they are working on it. See (Scott, hope you don't mind the link, but the more people that know about these advances the better!)
April 20, 2010 6:50
Have you tried a CGM yet? Either separate to, or integrated into your pump?
April 20, 2010 7:26
@Adrian I stand corrected thanks
April 20, 2010 8:54
Thanks so much for the work you do on this annual walk! I've donated once or twice in the past, but now it hits even closer to home: I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic last summer. Your line about looking at your son is painful because I go through that all the time while looking at my kids. 'Nuff said there.

You've got tremendous reach with your readership. Props to you for how open and public you are, and more props to you for the money you're raising.

I'm doing my part by contributing some, searching for some company matching funds, and blogging about it myself.

Thanks, and good luck with blowing past your goal!
April 20, 2010 9:08
My grandmother died of Diabetes which she got later in life. I do always worry about it though.

Thanks for sharing your incredible journey and for stepping forth to raise awareness. I am truly amazed at how well you deal with it, I mean we've hung out plenty of times together and you hide it so well, and never a complaint.

Anyway, I'll do my little to rally folks to support the walk, and you can count on me for chipping in something.

May God reward you for your efforts.

April 20, 2010 9:17
Hi Scott,
Thank you for all the work you do for us developers. I have benefited from your work for years and am happy to contribute to this cause. Thank you also for bringing your personal story to this. We met at PDC this year but I feel like I know you from the blogs, podcasts, and webinars. Good luck. All you devs who are smarter because of Scott, you know what to do!

--Aaron (San Diego)
April 20, 2010 11:01
Thanks so much everyone! I'll have some interesting videos and compelling diabetes-related content that I hope will educate and entertain in the coming weeks.
April 20, 2010 11:32
I realize this may get people outside their comfort zones, but I think you should at least consider that our bodies are capable of ridding themselves of many diseases... provided we don't poison them along the way.

I recommend watching Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days and giving it some thought. Yes, one of the guy they helped in that documentary was a Type 1 diabetic. Inspiring!
April 20, 2010 11:56
Hi scott,
I'll pray to God for your son. He'll be fine soon and everything would be fine.
April 20, 2010 15:02
Hi Scot - I too suffer from type I diabetes and know well what a nightmare it is. Your quote "Here's a stat for you, unless I'm hit by a truck, Diabetics die of Diabetes, not old age." depressed me a bit as I never really thought of it like that before - but I suppose it's the obvious truth I must face.
In any case it's great that you are doing this for the cause - well done and good luck.

@Nick - please don't post rubbish about something you obviously know nothing about - the onset of diabetes creates massive thirst which a lot of people will counteract by drinking sugary drinks - making symptoms worse. I myself did this. The disease has already started by then and the drinks just worsen the effects.

I came here because Miguel de Icaza retweeted your tweet about this venture so hopefully a lot more people will do the same. So, Best Wishes Scot, my thoughts will be with you on 12 September.
April 20, 2010 15:53
Trying to donate, my debit card got rejected, any idea why?

Anyway, just keep going and keep fighting.
April 20, 2010 17:24
I admire how devoted you are to fighting diabetes. I'll be donating(and walking) here in Utah locally. I've been type 1 since I was 2 years old. 28+ years and still going. Keep up the good work and the wonderful blog, Scott.
April 20, 2010 18:12
Hi Scott,

The latest Wired Magazine has an article on an "intelligent" insulin pump. Thought you might be interested. --Tom
April 20, 2010 18:15
Scott, what's the reason you're using the Symlin? This is the first time I've heard about the drug. Thank you.
April 20, 2010 18:21
I'm shocked by the number of manual steps you have to take to complete this. Is there some way you could automate it? *cue the drum roll*

I'll donate as well. Good luck Scott and way to rally people around a good cause!
April 20, 2010 19:06
Scott, I was also going to suggest checking out the Wired article on the artificial pancreas, though I'm sure you have already seen information on it. It sounds like one of the more promising therapies available that could really help you and other Type I sufferers.

What are your thoughts on it overall? I know some people are more driven to find a biological cure for the problem, but this seems like the sort of treatment that really needs to be made mainstream in lieu of an actual cure for the problem.
April 20, 2010 22:03

I've been a long time follower of your blog (and podcast) and they have been a tremendous resource for me, my industry colleagues and my startup. Even our junior resources that now follow you are getting 'hansel-fever' :) The (Terra Media) team will be making a donation to your cause and wish you and your family continued health, and longevity. Best of luck to you and Mo on the 12th.
April 21, 2010 7:09
Sure i will bookmark the page you requested and spread the places wherever i can.
April 21, 2010 19:06
As a fellow PWD I had to donate to support your goal. Thanks for this.
April 22, 2010 15:52
Hi Scott. Just wishing you best of luck. I've read your blog and subscribed to your podcast for a while and even got the Mrs reading it after hearing you where Type 1. Our son who's 3 next month was diagnosed nearly a year ago and it was a major hot for us. He to is on a pump and all i can say is I wisll Bill or Steve (Gates , Jobs) would plough some mony in to pump manufacture these things rock... We have a great team around us (North East UK) and we are going to do some sponsored events for the local trust so more kids can have pumps. I hope you's goes well and pray for you children not to have to go through this we pray every day that our other 2 don't. Best of luck mate and god bless.
April 24, 2010 4:30
Scott, I've added the banner to one of my website but wanted to check something, can I use the graphic directly from your server or do I need to host them myself - I don't want to cause you bandwidth costs esp. as I have no idea if it's performing well and actually getting you some sponsors.
April 30, 2010 10:29
All the best achieving you goal Scott!
May 01, 2010 1:42
You're raising $50k for the American Diabetes Association? The fear mongerers who barely give Type 1 a second glance, have huge overhead expenses, and are intent on stem cells or nothing? Lame, dude. Why not give the money to Dr. Faustman's study? I was just in Boston this past week giving blood for Stage II of the trial. She's our best chance at the moment, NOT the ADA. Not by a loooong shot. They still need about $6mil to start Stage II officially, and $50k would go a long way towards reaching that milestone.

The ADA is ultimately run by human beings. If they find a cure, all those people are out of a job. I'm not saying anyone there is consciously avoiding funding a cure, but deep-down, it's an incredibly large order to spend your life truly trying to eliminate your entire career.

Awesome effort, just slightly misdirected.
May 05, 2010 21:37
I am more than sure that you can get this cured (atleast reduce the no of times of taking insulin / carrying the insulin pump) by doing YOGA every day. It helps & works 100%.
May 14, 2010 19:03
Scott, I've followed you blog for years and have paid particular attention to the diabetes post.

Our son was diagnosed at age four, four and a half years ago now. We have been active in our community with the Walk to Cure Diabetes (with the JDRF) and have done our small part in helping to raise over $100,000 locally. Last year I also joined a national cycling team where we raised just under half a million dollars for the cure.

We have encouraged our son to do whatever he wants to do and lead as active and healthy a lifestyle as possible. Sadly, at 8 years old, he's already had over 16,000 finger pokes. He's also doing MDI (health care program here doesn't cover pumps for kids), so he's had over 6,000 injections of insulin.

Still, he wants to be a geek like his dad - and how cool is that? He wants to get into testing and designing video games. I've actually used you as an example of a 'hero' who's in the tech field. He smiled and said 'really?!' when I showed him pictures of your pump. It makes a parent really happy to see eyes light up like that, so thank you, Scott. Thanks.

I wish you the best of luck in reaching your goal.

May 15, 2010 10:45
Amazing video, and very moving. I really hope that your video gets more exposure and helps raise money for Diabetics everywhere. You have my donation.
May 25, 2010 17:59
What about this guys: perhaps the money would be better spent else where
May 25, 2010 18:19
With respect, the RawFor30 folks are curing Type 2 diabetics. Type 1 is a different disease.
June 21, 2010 18:26
Nice video. Glad to see someone else go through the same process as me. I am curious to know why you did not let the sensor get wet before you hooked up the battery. I typically wait about a hour to overnight. Does it make a different with the readings? Also- great work with the ADA walk. Have gathered my friends to do the Tour de Cure ride in September.
June 21, 2010 23:07
Dena - If I massage the area immediately and hook up the sensor I will get another day's use out of the sensor. The longer it sits in me without being used, the less it lasts.
July 09, 2010 8:11
Hey, maybe I can help out here.... Two earlier comments deserve a response, but I suspect that Scott is just too polite.
I am more than sure that you can get this cured ... by doing YOGA every day.
and Anon
... you should at least consider that our bodies are capable of ridding themselves of many diseases...

The fact is that Scott's pancreas, like mine, is shot. It simply doesn't know how to produce insulin any more. There is no diet or exercise program that's going to change this. It's not a question of eating healthier foods, or eating less food, or losing weight, or exercising more. All of those are good suggestions for healthy living, but unfortunately they won't change Scott's condition at all.

Scott has type 1 diabetes. Juvenile onset. His body does not know how to produce insulin, and with our current medical knowledge, it never will.

That's why he's trying to raise money for research.
July 09, 2010 8:13
Sorry. I think I confused the OpenID system in my previous comment;)
July 11, 2010 21:52
Hi Scott ,i'm iranian and i'm developer too my name is amir and how do i send my help to you
because you are the best human that i see in my life.
August 12, 2010 1:12
Found you through Kevin Smith's Twitter. Thank you for sharing what you go through with your Diabetes. I had no idea that a Type I had to check that often. Pretty profound video to say the least.
September 29, 2010 13:03
hi im from london england im helping my friend rise money so we can do a bike ride from old street to sothend if is posible can someone help us because he has sufferd from diebetes for 13 years we just did a spoursor because we kept geting rejected because we are kids so if anyone does a spourour we will be vary happy.
November 11, 2010 14:35
Hi Scott, my wife is also a diabetic type 1.
Why don't you give the money you raised to Dr. Danise Faustman? it seems her research using BCG is the most promising clue for curing diabetes type 1 disease.
January 04, 2011 4:11
Hi Scott,

I support you fully in the fight against diabetes. I know that type 1 diabetes is different than type 2 diabetes but what I have observed is that with yoga, you can definitely keep the blood sugar level in control for type 2 diabetes! I know one has to mind his eating habits as well, but everyday stress and tensions affect diabetics a lot more even if one is eating healthy.

I have noticed that doing yoga, especially pranayama, reduces stress and has helped diabetics that I know, lead a better life. I was not a believer myself, but I have seen results. I think that you should give it a shot. What is there to lose anyways? Its just breathing exercises.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.