How long have you lived with

Diabetes?

Recognition Spotlight

“My life expectancy was around 35”

— Laurie, Diabetes Patient, 50-year Medalist


Living with diabetes is not easy, something Laurie Harper knows too well. If you have a story like hers, please consider letting Joslin recognize you.

During a family picnic on Labor Day 1955, Laurie Harper’s parents noticed something very wrong with their two-year-old daughter.

They took her to their local doctor and discovered her blood sugar was over 800. The doctor didn’t know what to do, and immediately referred her to Joslin. “After telling my parents how they'd have to manage me and that my life expectancy was around 35, my father passed out,” Laurie recalls.

After that visit, Laurie visited Joslin every six months. Around the age of eight, Dr. Krall told her, “Laurie this is your disease and you have to manage it. Your parents and I cannot be with you all the time.” This was a critical turning point in Laurie’s life, learning to take responsibility for her own care, and it’s one of the reasons she felt drawn to the Medalist Program years later.

“To this day, I enjoy talking to other Medalists,” she says. “As a wife and mother of three and a grandmother to six, I know I would not be here were it not for Joslin’s training and support. Joslin taught me to be independent and that diabetes is not in charge of my body, I am.”

Let us honor you

Living courageously with insulin-dependent diabetes for over 25 years deserves recognition. Join us.

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After submitting this form, you will receive the recognition application — as well as occasional communications from Joslin, including our enewsletter.

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Joslin’s Medalist Program began in 1948, when the institution first started awarding medals to people who had been living with diabetes for 25 years. Believing that proper self-management was the key to minimizing long-term complications, the program was the vision of Joslin’s founder, Elliott P. Joslin, MD, and served as an incentive for those committed to good, although challenging, diabetes care. As more and more people began living longer, healthier lives with diabetes, Joslin expanded the program. In 1970, the team began awarding a 50-Year Bronze Medal. Then Joslin presented the first 75-Year Medal in 1996 and the first 80-Year Lifetime Achievement Award in May of 2013. The awardees with 25 years of insulin-dependent diabetes are now honored with a certificate.

Note: there are no charges or fees to apply for the program, and you do not have to be a Joslin patient.