Life with diabetes is difficult, but it doesn’t mean you can’t live well. Listen to the stories of two individuals who haven’t let diabetes stand in the way of a full, rich life.

Transcript

Phil Lofton:

The Problem is an anthological podcast dedicated to fighting the Hydras of Healthcare. Those complicated, big hairy issues that impact health on the societal level. Every season you’ll hear about a different significant problem. And each episode within that season will feature a different discipline or industry’s take on that problem. How it’s being addressed? How it’s being talked about? And the trials and triumphs of those involved clinically and personally. You don’t need a PhD to be effected by these issues. So you shouldn’t need a PhD to learn more about them. Regenstrief Institute is a global leader dedicated to improving health and healthcare through innovations and research in biomedical informatics health services and aging.

 

This season, we’re looking at diabetes care and prevention. Diabetes is a widespread disease that affects 34 million Americans and cost more than $327 billion per year. It can lead to kidney disease, heart failure, amputation, or even death. The prevalence of the disease continues to grow. And in Indiana alone, 40,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes every year. But as significant as those numbers are and as scary as some of the side effects of diabetes sound. It’s important that before we dive into the prevention and treatment of diabetes, we look at individual lives and hear the stories of how diabetes has affected people first and foremost. Here’s Dr. Tami Hannon a Regenstrief affiliated scientist and clinician on her experiences delivering diagnoses.

Tami Hannon:

I’ve cried with parents. I’ve cried with kids. One that sticks out in my mind is in a toddler, who was diagnosed. And this was during the COVID-19 pandemic. The family was uninsured because they were business owners and didn’t think anything extreme is going to happen. And so didn’t think that they needed health insurance, which was going to be expensive for them to pay for. And they didn’t qualify for federal healthcare insurance, so they didn’t qualify for Medicaid. And the amount of stress that these parents were under was just crushing. Because every time a family goes to the pharmacy for their first month of diabetes supplies they’re faced with a bill, when they’re paying out of pocket, that’s usually more than $3,000 for all the stuff they need. Now, this is when a child is diagnosed.

 

I’ve also cried with kids who are graduating high school and going to college, playing college sports, getting a first job, getting married. It is a disease that is burdensome and ever present. But most of my patients who I asked to tell me, what has diabetes given you? They can tell me some way that they penalized their personal strengths to conquer something related to diabetes that has improved them in some way, shape, or form. And that’s remarkable.

Phil Lofton:

Welcome to The Problem. I’m your host, Phil Lofton.

Jalissa Gascho:

My name is Jalissa Gascho. And I was diagnosed at the age of nine in 1999. February of 1999. So 22 years, I’ve been living with type one diabetes.

Phil Lofton:

This is a creative, hardworking, impressive dynamo of a person who happens to live with type one diabetes. And telling the story of her journey with diabetes begins by going back a couple of decades.

Jalissa Gascho:

It’s actually kind of a bit of a family affair. My oldest brother was diagnosed in 1997. He was in high school at the time. And my mom, which through divine intervention in her life, had become a nurse as she was doing schooling and things. So my brother was diagnosed in 1997. Two years later, almost to the day my younger sister was diagnosed in 1999 at the age of six.

 

And at that point, my mom being a nurse, just kind of decided to start checking my other brother and myself, the two who hadn’t been diagnosed yet, just to kind of keep an eye on us. And that was when two weeks after my sister was diagnosed, I was actually diagnosed. So in an awesome turn of events, my sister and I were actually diagnosed over the phone. We didn’t have to be hospitalized because we caught it early enough to not have to go through that experience, which can be, as you can imagine, quite traumatizing, especially for children. So I was nine at that point, my sister was six and my, my brother had been diagnosed two years earlier. So kind of through a series of having a nurse mom who was really smart about it. And then from there just kind of became a family affair of treatment and doing life together.

Phil Lofton:

What were some of the big warning signs that kind of tipped your mom off to the fact that this was something that she needed to be looking for? I mean, obviously it was something in your siblings, of course, but what was it about you that sort of made her ears perk up?

Jalissa Gascho:

Yeah, for myself, I think what perked her ears up was obviously having two children who had been diagnosed. My parents took a trip not long after my sister was diagnosed and took her with them. And during that time I stayed with my grandparents and I had at the age of nine, I was losing a little bit of weight and I just wasn’t feeling great. And I think people at school could tell and they all kind of, and this is my memory of it 22 years later, I think they all kind of thought, “Oh, she’s, missing her parents. And life is just a little out of whack while her parents are gone for the week.”

 

And by the time my parents got back, my mom noticed the actual symptoms, weight loss is one of them in type one diabetes. I was urinating a ton and drinking a lot of water. Those are huge alert factors and I just was not feeling great. And when your blood sugar is really high, you just feel really sluggish and really nauseous a lot of the time. So I think those were some of the bigger, kind of more noticeable signs once my mom got back.

Phil Lofton:

Life went on for Jalissa after her diagnosis. She went to college and learned to communicate about her diabetes, to her friends and roommates and how to keep her parents in the loop as well.

Jalissa Gascho:

When I went to college, there was, Oh man, anytime I think a parent lets a child go, in air quotes, is hard. But especially for parents, I think of children with chronic illness that they have to treat. And at that point there weren’t continuous glucose monitors, which now exist. And I think about this often, how much, probably more peace of mind my parents would have had if they had been able to watch a continuous glucose monitor for me as a child and through college. So when I moved, I went out of state for college. And my mom and I set up, every morning I would call her when I would be on my way to class or at a certain time. We would kind of designate, okay, by this time I will call the check-in let you know that I’m up. Because that’s one of the biggest fears is if your blood sugar goes super low in the middle of the night, then you don’t wake up. And college roommates because everyone is all over the place all the time are entirely reliable.

Phil Lofton:

After her graduation, she found fast-paced work that took her around the country. And while the morning check-ins with her mom eventually ended. Juggling life with diabetes stayed a constant.

Jalissa Gascho:

My work involves quite a bit of traveling and a lot of interaction with people. Talking to them, taking people out for dinner, having a cocktail in the evening, having breakfast with them. A lot of, as some people would maybe call it client kind of relation stuff, which happens over meals or over coffee, or those kinds of things. And the travel component initially it was a little hard to get used to in terms of diabetes, but I’m literally now one of the things I have in my diabetes station is like a travel pack. That’s like kind of ready to go at any time that has extra test strips for my glucose monitor. It has extra insulin, extra pen needles, alcohol spots, all that stuff so that I can kind of just grab and go. And over the course of years, I’ve found different things that work well to take with me to treat low blood sugar that I can put in my work bag, like again, Starburst or glucose gels that are kind of thin and easy to digest really quickly.

Jalissa Gascho:

Travel has not really been too much of a problem. I fly a lot and TSA is really awesome at kind of recognizing diabetic supplies. So I’ve never actually gotten stopped for any of my diabetic supplies or even juice boxes when I’ve flown with them. I think they’ve come to understand that that’s a very normal thing to treat low blood sugars with. I don’t travel with those anymore, because again they over-correct my low blood sugars. But flying has never been an issue and kind of traveling with supplies. I just make sure I have a lot of extra stuff with me because I don’t ever want to get caught without it. I thankfully have never been in that situation. Where I’ve been on the road and run out of something or something’s not worked and I don’t have extra with me. And that’s why I travel with extra stuff because I don’t ever want to get caught in that situation.

 

But the most weird thing to navigate, I think for me as a diabetic in my professional life is these meals with people. Because if you’re taking someone out say for dinner, you’ll get to the restaurant, you’ll sit down. It takes forever to order because you’re catching up, you’re talking about things. And then you order, and it might be 10 minutes before you get your meal. It might be 45. You just never know. And so to time when to take insulin is really tricky because you don’t want to wait until it’s there, because then you’ll your blood sugar will spike because you haven’t taken your insulin long enough in advance. But you also don’t want to take it so long in advance that if your meal comes later, that your blood sugar tanks and therefore, it’s really hard to have conversation because when your blood sugars low, all you want to do is just like sit and not talk to anyone.

 

So like timing that has been tricky. And then for me, because I take injections, I don’t have an insulin pump. Figuring out when and how and where to take the actual injection is really interesting. Some of the people that I work with know that I have diabetes and some don’t. And I kind of pick and choose in my professional career, who I want to be in that kind of like space of knowing. And I don’t want everyone to know. I’m okay with some people knowing, but in some professional contexts, I just want to appear as a normal person. And so oftentimes I will excuse myself to go to the restroom. And then that’s where I’ll kind of take care of it behind the scenes. But sometimes, I’ll take insulin just at the table. If I’m out with friends, that’s definitely what I do. So sometimes, in professional contexts, I’ll do that as well, but I kind of read the situation for the most part.

 

But in terms of my professional career, I’ve been really blessed to be surrounded by people who love me and want me to succeed and therefore care about this part of my life and want to make sure that they understand. I travel with my boss all the time. And he knows, and he’s very in tune with what I need and what needs to happen and how to help if I ever need it.

Phil Lofton:

The day we sat down to talk, Jalissa was marking a big milestone of her diabetes experience.

Jalissa Gascho:

Today’s my 22nd diabetes anniversary. We call them diaversaries. So today is the 22nd anniversary of when I was diagnosed. And that to me, every year on my diaversary, I’ll like eat something chocked full of sugar. So I’m hoping to get some donuts at some point today. That’s like my kryptonite when it comes to sweet things. And I know that that will kind of like mess me up for a little while, unless I treat it exactly correctly and exactly at the right time. But every year on my diaversary. I just kind of like, let that be what it is. And today is the one day a year that I will let myself kind of go into this mode of this really sucks. And I hate this. And why me? And I kind of let myself have a little pity party because every other day of the year, I don’t let myself go there. Otherwise it would be impossible to like navigate through daily life if I was living in this mindset of this is really frustrating.

 

This is a daily grind. It is a daily, you have to show up every day and like own it and execute really, really well because it’s a really, really long haul. Like the things that I do today say I take a year of not doing things well, that doesn’t have an impact on me next week. But that has a pretty big impact on me 20 years from now and what my life looks like at that point. And my health looks like at that point. So it’s a really heavy and frustrating thing to navigate every single day, but I can’t let myself live in that mindset.

 

So this is the one day a year where I let myself feel frustrated and kind of like feel the weight of that and what that really means. And I think that’s an important thing for anyone with chronic illness to honor and acknowledge the weight of it, but not let it consume you. And so the way that I don’t let it consume me is I let myself do it one day a year. And the rest of the year, it’s just pick up the mantle and move forward with it.

Phil Lofton:

So where’s your head at this diaversary? How is this diaversary unique? What sort of things are coming to mind for you this time around?

Jalissa Gascho:

I don’t know that there’s necessarily anything unique this year. I think when I hit 20 and it was two decades, that was a big one. And I did I really wrote about it. I did a post on my Instagram about it. Just kind of, it was the most vulnerable I think I’ve been publicly about what it’s like to live with diabetes. And kind of what other people into that, what this day is for me in terms of, I let myself feel it and I let myself be frustrated by it. And I let myself feel the why me factor. And that was the first time so,that was two years ago, that was the first time I really let other people into the day and understand what this day is for me. And so since then, it’s felt a little bit more like this is just what I’m doing today. And so today doesn’t necessarily feel super different than say last year’s diaversary.

 

I think as I get older, I crave more, someone or people to experience it with me. I’d love to end up doing life with a partner at some point in my life. And part of that is kind of like sharing the burden. Not to say that if I ever got married or something that someone would really understand, because I know that that’s not the case, unless I were to marry a diabetic. Which would be kind of cool. But if I ever have a spouse, they won’t understand, they can’t understand, but there’s some things that you can share.

 

And so I think as I get older on this day, I kind of like wish for that in some ways that might be a little personal. But I think, as a single woman who’s very independent, most of the time I’m good. And I’ll just keep moving. And so this is the one day where I kind of feel like yeah, it would be nice to share the burden with someone. But outside of that, I’m going to try to get some longs donuts. I think today that’s my goal.

Phil Lofton:

At the end of the day though, she’s never going it alone in her diabetes journey. It’s a family experience shared with two of her siblings.

Jalissa Gascho:

I cannot imagine doing this alone. I think as a kid, I didn’t necessarily realize how rare it was for three of us to have diabetes. I remember like some talk of it being a little bit of a rarity, but I don’t think I really grasped it until I was older. But my older brother is eight years older than I am. So he went off to college a year, a year and a half after I was diagnosed. So we didn’t talk about it much. But my younger sister and I are two and a half years apart in age. So we did that diabetes life together growing up and now as adults, and we’ve all been involved in different things.

 

My brother was a soccer player and he played all the way through college and then some after. So he’s super active. My sister and I both played soccer and then we played tennis and we were both in music. So we kind of all operated in some similar patterns. And I kind of talked about, my mom was super proactive with talking to our coaches and our teachers and anyone at the school who would come join her on a day before school started. And she would just walk them through, like I said, all of the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and what to do in those instances and where things were. The nurse, kind of like diabetes station at home, the nurse would have stuff at school.

 

And once we got to high school, we would keep most of that, I would keep most of that in my locker as my sister would. And I recently found out my brother had to keep it at the nurse’s station when he was in high school. Which I think would have been a really frustrating thing in high school. High school’s already super vulnerable but then you add on the like, Oh, it’s lunchtime. I got to go to the nurses station first, so I can take my insulin before I go eat lunch. And it just becomes weird. So I’m grateful that my sister and I were able to keep that stuff in our lockers. And then for her and I, if we were ever in a bind, I could say to her, “I need this. Do you have it in your locker?” Which was super, super helpful.

 

And even to this day, we do some of that when we’re home. Like over Christmas, my brother’s Dexcom failed. And my sister was like I’ll give you one and next time you come up to Michigan, just bring one of yours with me. So that they weren’t without one for a long period of time. So that was kind of like the cool thing is we could not share supplies, but share supplies when we needed to. And when my sister comes to visit me, if she runs out of like glucose gel or things to treat low blood sugar, I’ve got tons of it on hand. So it’s nice to kind of feel like we’ve got each other’s backs. And I think as an adult now that’s been, I think one of the most cool parts of having siblings who understand, especially as an adult, because things start changing and what works one day might not work the next.

 

And so we didn’t start talking as the three of us really about what was working and not working and how things were going until maybe like six or seven years ago. When I first got the Dexcom and we started texting about, what is it like? How’s it working for you? Because we’ve all been very syringe and vial of insulin. My sister and I were the first two to get the pens. My brother eventually migrated one of his insulins over to the pen. So it’s been this,” Okay, why don’t you try that? Let us know how it goes.” My sister got a pump. So she’s kind of like the guinea pig in the family for the pump. It’s working great for her. My brother and I ask her questions all the time. So we have this chat going the three of us.

 

And I think my brother was the one who labeled it “Diabetic Sibs for Life”. And so, every day we probably text once at least once a day about different things. And screenshot our Dexcom like, “Oh, I can’t believe I’m having this kind of day or look at this perfect day. This is awesome.” And random things, I started realizing at some point in time that oats were making my blood sugar spike and stay high for a long period of time. And then eventually we’d come down and oats are supposed to be more of blood sugar stabilizers. So I just texted them and was like, “have you guys ever had this problem with oats?” They both have. And so that made me feel a little less crazy. It was like, okay, I’m not the only one that’s experiencing this.

 

Diabetes is a very serious condition. The biggest fear that you have as a parent is that your child does not wake up in the morning. So diabetes it is a life-threatening condition. And it is a bit of the sword of Damocles, always hanging over your head by a thread. That this is something you can’t choose to ignore. It has long-term potential health drawbacks, and then a very short-term very immediate, absolute existential threats to the life of your child.

Phil Lofton:

That’s James Hamstra, father to Will. Will’s a teen living with type one diabetes, but he and his family haven’t let that diagnosis stand in the way of some truly remarkable experiences. Why don’t we go all the way back to the beginning? What was your experience with receiving your diagnosis of type one?

Will Hamstra:

Well, I had spent a day with my mom about a week before we got diagnosed and she was noticing that I was drinking a lot of water and using the bathroom a lot. And she drinks crazy amounts of water, but I was drinking double, maybe triple of it.

 

So she got concerned and we decided that we were going to go take labs. Which we went to a doctor and he recommended a blood tests and a urine sample and all those stuffs. So we went across the street to the hospital to get a blood test. And then afterwards, when you’re headed home in the car, my mom got me a hamburger to make up for it, which was great. And then I said, “Does this mean I have diabetes?” I had seen a school sort of presentation about what diabetes is. And I remembered those are one of the symptoms that she was like,” No, no, I’m sure. You don’t. I’m sure it’s fine.” But lo and behold, two days later I got pulled out of class and hopped in the car and she says, “We’re headed to the hospital.” I’m like, “Oh, what happened?” She’s like, “They just told us to get over there.”

 

So when we got in there, I was in the patient bed being all patienty and stuff. And they walked in and announced diagnosis. And it was pretty shocking, even though I didn’t truly think it would be it, but I just considered it in my mind, but it was still mind blowing.

Phil Lofton:

And how old were you when you got your diagnosis?

Will Hamstra:

I think 12, right?

James Hamstra:

Yeah.

Will Hamstra:

I was around 12 years old. One reason, I think we didn’t figure out that I had diabetes for a while is because I would play soccer, like a madman, three practices a week. And my dad would coach three teams, one with each brother on it. So there was a ton of athleticism in my life, which meant that I was running off most of my food. So I didn’t get into any like dangerous areas that’s why we didn’t figure it out for a while.

 

But then during winter, I just thought I didn’t like going outside as much because it was like cold and stuff. But it turns out that my blood sugar was just higher over the winter because I wasn’t playing around as much. So after I’d got diagnosed, when I would have like a signal with my coach. Like if I felt low, I would hold my hand above my head and then he would be looking for it and then he’d see it. And he’s he call a timeout and call me out of the bench. And after that I would eat my stuff and get back on to the game.

Phil Lofton:

For a few years, Will’s parents had been planning a really special trip for their family to see the world. But once a diabetes diagnosis entered the picture plans got a little bit more complicated.

Will Hamstra:

My parents had been planning a huge trip across the world where they would explore everything for several years beforehand. And we were saving up for it, looking at stuff. And some things went right and some things went wrong, but in the end we got enough money to go on the trip. But when we were planning to head over the trip and then I got diagnosed with diabetes. They had to stop and think is this trip still going to work? What’s it going to look like? But they decided it would. And that we would just roll with the punches.

 

And the first punch, in my opinion was when we got off the first plane, we forgot the go bag with all my insulin supplies and stuff. On the first plane, we made it about 500 feet and then we’re looking around and we’re like, Oh, and then my dad and I just sprinted back. We said like two words and we’re like, “go bag.” And just sprinted back. But thankfully the plane hadn’t left yet. They were cleaning it out. They got us or stuff back. So that would have been terrible if we lost it before we even really explored anything.

 

But after that, Europe was pretty great because they had lots of accurate carb counts as far as other countries go. And it was pretty fun. It was pretty easy to manage. But then when we’re headed over to Vietnam, they’ll give you a bowl of soup or pho or I think it’s pho.

James Hamstra:

Pho.

Will Hamstra:

I never know how to pronounce that word, but you’ll have no clue how much carbs it is. You’ll be like, “Oh, okay. So this looks like 20.” But in reality could be 70 and send you high for a couple hours. So I got pretty good at guesstimating, but it was still difficult to handle.

 

And that was also another thing that happened is so, a desktop transmitter, which is what reads your constant glucose monitor your CGM. The transmitter, not the sensor, the transmitter failed within like three days. The second one. So what normally lasted us three months lasted was three days. And we ended up having to buy a Vietnamese meter. So we had to prick for blood and finger back to the old days. And that was more difficult to hold up with.

 

Then when we get to Australia, I think I forgot my meter in my backpack because I wasn’t accustomed to bringing it on. So then we had to buy an Australian meter, but little did we know when we pricked and got 18.3, we freaked out because 18.3 is below 40 low. And I’m like, but I don’t feel low at all. And then we discovered that we had to make a math calculation to use this new meter. So every time we wanted to get our blood. We’d prick with a new meter, put in a new meter thing, we hadn’t before, then we’d have to calculate it with math. So yeah, that was certainly interesting. But there was a lot of interesting things that happened over the trip, but overall it was great. It was fantastic. It took a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it. And I’ll remember it forever.

Phil Lofton:

Oh my gosh, man. That’s like the best SAT, math prep you can buy. That’s amazing. Had to do like two semesters worth of Algebra all the time on this trip. That’s crazy.

Will Hamstra:

Looking back on it. Yes. At the time oh, I didn’t have a calculator or paper and pencil, things are not going so well.

Phil Lofton:

So give me a list where all did you guys go on this trip?

James Hamstra:

We were very lucky. This is a trip that Mickey and I before we got married, as we were getting engaged, we kind of talked about what we hoped our life would be like together. And we always wanted to spend some time living overseas with our family to be. Both of us were fortunate enough to do the Indiana University Honors Program in foreign language. And so we both spent a summer in France, living with French families, taking school every day. And Mickey turned that into actual French fluency. My mind is much more on the functional level. But that was a fantastic experience for us. It really shaped our perspective. So we knew heading into our marriage that we really wanted to do this. We left for Vietnam a few months before we managed to misplace Will’s cell phone before we even got on the bus.

Will Hamstra:

That’s true. We left it on a bench.

James Hamstra:

Yeah.

Will Hamstra:

Then we came back, grab it and the janitor there said, “Someone had grabbed it and ran away with it.”

James Hamstra:

So yeah

Phil Lofton:

Oh no.

James Hamstra:

So, that was connected to his continuous glucose monitor. So, that was one of our first experiences in having to improvise. But that also let us do kind of a test flight as well, flying home with Will and figuring out that we needed to do pat downs. With his continuous glucose monitor, we couldn’t really walk through a traditional airport x-ray or the micro meter screeners. And having to adapt when things break. So we actually came home from our trip overseas with five different blood sugar meters. Because getting new testing strips and stuff ended up being so impossible. You were better off just buying a new meter.

Phil Lofton:

At the end of the day, James has learned a few lessons that have helped him, Will, and the family move forward together.

James Hamstra:

We’re incredibly privileged. Both Mickey and I, like I said, have a lot of higher education. We didn’t realize it at the time of diagnosis, we’ve had an incredible support system and this is still not easy. What I would want people to know about diabetes, having type one diabetes or living with type one diabetes, be you a parent or a sibling, is four things. So first find your people. You really need to have a support system and that will help you navigate logistically, emotionally, spiritually, but you really have to find your people. Second is plan for what you can, create systems. We use checklists. We use our go bag that leaves the house. Whenever we do. And third deeply understand why you are doing this. For us our why is to enable Will to live a full life. And in our family, that means trying with varying degrees of success, but trying to approach type one diabetes with grace, humor, and love.

Phil Lofton:

Life with diabetes is difficult, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t live well. Whether it’s a life with great adventures like Will or jet setting work like Jalissa. With the right management, diabetes can be just one part of a person’s story. Music this episode was by Everlone and Blue Dot Sessions. Our theme and additional musical cues were written and performed as always by Continuous Monitoring. The Problem is produced at Studio 134 in the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana, where we connect and innovate to provide better care and better help. Learn more about our work and how you can get involved at regenstrief.org and see bonus content from this episode, including sources, pictures, and more@reganstreep.org/the problem. The problem is written, hosted, edited, and produced by me, Phil Lofton with additional editing by Andi Anibal, John Erickson and Jen Walker. Web design and graphics are by Andi Anibal and social media marketing is by Jen Walker. Special thanks to this season’s advisory council including, Tami Hannon, Janet Panoch, Lisa Yazel, Julie Pike and Tiffany Doherty.


Guests

Jalissa Gascho

Jalissa Gascho [she/her/hers] lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a 22-year T1D vetaran. A passionate advocate for inclusion and the celebration of diversity through the arts, she works in the music industry, serves on boards of directors and advisors for arts organizations, and enjoys playing music with friends. In her spare time, Jalissa is still learning how her body engages with food, exercise, and insulin – a truly never-ending journey.

James and Will Hamstra 

Will Hamstra is a freshman at North Central High School (Indianapolis) in the International Baccalaureate track. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, skiing, tabletop games, and wrestling with his younger brothers. Will is a Life Scout at Troop 56 where he earned a National Heroism Award for Life Saving.   

James Hamstra has been married for twenty years to Miki, the Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Will is the oldest of their three sons. James is a business transaction attorney who works with entrepreneurs, small businesses, and technology companies. He enjoys swimming, bicycling, writing, and camping. James co-founded two non-profit organizations, coaches youth soccer, and helps run Troop 56. 

The Hamstra family has hosted more than twenty exchange students from six different countries and realized a lifelong dream by living overseas during the 2019 fall semester. 

Tamara Hannon, M.D.

Dr. Hannon is a board certified pediatric endocrinologist with specific training and expertise in patient-oriented clinical research in youth with obesity, conditions of insulin resistance, and diabetes. She serves as Director of the Pediatric Diabetes Program at Riley Hospital for Children, a program serving more than 1800 pediatric diabetes patients across the state of Indiana and surrounding states. She is currently an investigator on multiple projects to prevent diabetes or restore insulin secretion in individuals with diabetes. Her undergraduate degree is in Nutrition Science, from Purdue University. She received her medical degree from Indiana University and did her pediatric residency and pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN.