Moreau details battle with diabetes

Published 12:00am Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dr. Carol Moreau has been through a great deal of struggle throughout her life; despite these struggles. she also has had a successful career.

Moreau, now a retired marine biologist living in Gantt, spoke to the Andalusia Lions Club Wednesday to raise awareness of diabetes.

“So far, I’ve beaten the odds 51 years with type one diabetes,” she said.

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Moreau was diagnosed at age 12 with the disease.

She has exceeded doctor’s predictions of her life expectancy by closely monitoring her health and researching her illness.

Over the years, Moreau has benefited from gains in medical research and techniques used to combat diabetes. One of those was an experimental procedure called a pancreatic islet transplantation, which involves taking islets from the pancreas of a deceased organ donor and transferring them into the patient.

Once implanted, the beta cells in the islets begin to make and release insulin.

Complications after the procedure meant Moreau was able to enjoy only eight months of “normal” life.

“We know there’s no such thing as normal but I knew what it meant to live without diabetes,” she said.

When the anti-rejection medicine began damaging her kidneys, Moreau decided to go back on insulin.

She explained that scientists are researching how to produce an unlimited amount of islet cells, but this will take several years to find.

“I look at my life with a positive attitude that things will only get better,” Moreau said.

She now uses two service dogs – Annie, and new puppy, Bella – to help monitor her blood sugar level.

According to Moreau, her dreams of beating diabetes began when she saw Neal Armstrong land on the moon during her college years.

“(After seeing Armstrong) I thought, ‘If we can do this we can beat diabetes,’ ” she said.

During her speech, she noted that 8.3 percent of the entire U.S. population has diabetes.

To make a contribution to diabetes research, visit chicagodiabetesproject.org.

 

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