Perhaps the longest living Type 1 person in the world. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3, Lillian Stamps has defeated the illness by using insulin daily for the past 86 years. According to Dr. Kariampuhza, Ms. Stamps’ endocrinologist, she could be the longest living person with diabetes.
“Lillian was diagnosed around a time when different medications were being discovered to help with diabetes,” said Dr. Kariampuhza. “She had been put on every medication to help treat it, she was diagnosed at age 3 and insulin was discovered in 1921.”
Born in 1926, Ms. Stamps remembers her childhood as being a difficult one, where she was put on all different kinds of insulin that were newly invented back in the 20s. Her parents kept her insulin cool in the water well in the front yard because refrigerators were expensive.
“They didn’t have all the things to check your blood sugar like they do now,” said Ms. Stamps. “You used to have to test urine, and when it was blue or green that meant it was low and I would get to eat something.”
Ms. Stamps was given an award for living with Type 1 diabetes for 75 years and will be getting another one this year for 80 years - for recognition of exceptional achievement in living courageously with diabetes for more than 80 years, from the Joslin Diabetes Center, the world’s largest research center in Boston Massachusetts.
“Diabetes affects many organs, usually people will die due to the complications from diabetes,” said Dr. Kariampuhza. “I have nominated her and arranged for her to receive medals for living with diabetes for this long.”
Dr. Kariampuhza has written to the American Diabetes Association three times to nominate Ms. Stamps to receive a medal for 25 years, 50 years and now 75 years for being committed to her health and managing her diabetes for 86 years.
“I’ve been her doctor for more than 10 years, she is extremely committed to taking care of herself,” said Dr. Kariampuhza.
Ms. Stamps continues to use insulin and manages her health by eating well and is cared for by the staff at Brookdale Tyler East in Tyler. According to Ms. Stamps, the hardest years of her life were her teenage years, because she found it difficult and embarrassing to always have to say no to certain foods or drinks.
“I never was married or had children because they told me I wouldn’t live long enough to do any of that,” said Ms. Stamps. “I lived a normal life, and my favorite thing to eat is ice cream, but it has to be sugar free.”