A Canadian Olympic rower and marathon runner, Chris Jarvis, age 26,exhibits the endurance of most elite athletes. However, few wouldknow that for nearly 13 years he has lived and struggled with type 1diabetes.
While on a scholarship at Northeastern University inBoston, he missed a rowing workout because of his diabetes. Hiscoach indicated that he would not make the varsity team because ofthe diabetes complications he experienced. Determined to prove hiscoach wrong, Chris fought back and earned his seat on the varsityboat, eventually being voted team captain his senior year.
As Chris's dedication and commitment to rowing grew, so did his needto tightly control his blood sugar, and to keep it from getting toohigh or low. When Chris competed in the 2004 Olympics as part of theCanadian national rowing team, he tested his blood sugar by takingas many as 20 fingersticks a day. Though Chris realized this typeof constant monitoring was necessary to keep close tabs on hisglucose levels, it was difficult to fit into his ever-demandingtraining regimen.
Now, Chris no longer must follow this schedule because he's startedusing an insulin pump integrated with continuous glucose monitoring.This new system displays updated glucose values every five minutes,and is designed to sound an alarm if glucose levels get too high orlow. People like Chris can now take immediate action with theirinsulin pump before glycemic fluctuations lead to an emergency.
Chris explains, "It's just a quick touch of a button and you seewhere your blood sugar is and all the extra information that comesalong with it." Now armed with more information about his glucoselevels Chris is able to better control his diabetes, "It gives you areal sense of confidence knowing exactly what's happening inside ofyour body rather than trying to guess with instantaneous bloodchecks."