THE LIONS CHANGED MY LIFE Two Lives Saved At 24 years old, Marie McCourt had been living with type 1 diabetes for 17 years. As her conditioned worsened, she became so sick that she could not work or fully participate in life. When she became pregnant, doctors told her that her pregnancy would be in danger without an insulin pump, a device that continuously delivers rapid-acting insulin. Unable to afford the pump, her family was unsure where to turn, until they reached out to the Lions. Lions in Granby, Massachusetts, responded quickly to McCourt’s need, and within a couple of weeks her pregnancy was out of danger and she was beginning to re-engage in life. Now 40, McCourt can’t imagine life without the gift she received from the Lions. Q&A: Marie McCourt LION Magazine: What was life like before you received the insulin pump? Marie McCourt: Back then they didn’t have the technology they do now, and the thinking on diets and diabetes was much different. Diagnosed at age 7, I had many struggles with diabetes and never had an easy time controlling my blood sugar. I was very sick for a few years before the pump. I was considered disabled. Just when I started getting it under control, I got pregnant. I was on 12 or more insulin shots a day and had to go to the clinic every day. LM: How did the insulin pump improve your life? MM: The pump is regulated for my body and physiology and gives me a constant stream of small amounts of insulin all day. By regulating my blood sugar, it affords me much more freedom in my life. I can receive insulin without needles while out at a restaurant. I can go on a day trip and not worry about having my insulin with me. I can regulate when or how much I want to eat. LM: What did the Lions’ gift mean to you? MM: It means life to me. It allowed me to have a healthy son and a healthy life. I was able to get off disability, go back to school and work and make something of myself. It allowed me to become an advocate and teacher for diabetes, and talk to legislators in the state and in Washington, D.C., about supporting diabetes research. I feel like I’m a big part of my community now, and I can trace all of it directly back to getting my insulin pump. LM: And now you’re a Lion yourself. MM: My family and I have had more than our share of struggles in life. When my husband and I finally came to a place where we felt we had room in our hearts and lives to help others, the first way I thought of was the Lions. The Lions are among the most welcoming and gracious people I have ever had the joy to be a part of! Lions: have you heard from a beneficiary or a recipient of your kindness, service or charity? Tell us about the feedback you receive from those whose lives you’ve changed for the better. Email a brief description of your correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Thank You” in the subject line.
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