The Whittier Diabetes Profile - Donor Profile: Twin Sisters Support Each Other
Donor Profile: Twin Sisters Support Each Other
Being twins, Mollie and Jackie Singer share a special bond. Another condition brings them even closer together. You see, Mollie was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, also known as Type1diabetes, at the age of four. For the past six months, Mollie has successfully worn a MiniMed Insulin Pump. Prior to the pump, Mollie’s daily ritual for the last six years included taking up to six shots of insulin, testing her blood sugar level an average of ten times, and then eating and playing according to the levels. She no longer takes injections, but the rest of her disciplined life remains the same. Not wanting her sister to go through the disease alone, the two 11-year-olds have banded together to take on diabetes. They currently travel the country with their Mother, teaching the world about Mollie’s illness.
Not only have they spoken with politicians, doctors and researchers, they have testified at a Senate Hearing, written a short book entitled “The Road to the Cure,” and have formed a support group called Mollie’s “DAs,” or Diabetic Angels. Even though the angels don’t have diabetes themselves, they use their knowledge to assist in caring for someone who does or to educate others, including teachers and parents.
The twins’ mother, also named Jackie, tells the story of a nine year old girl whose grandfather went into diabetic shock at the Thanksgiving dinner table. The girl was a Diabetic Angel and the only one in her family who knew what to do. She saved her grandfather’s life because she chose to make a difference.
Over the years, as the Singer family learned more about diabetes research and admired the work done through the Whittier, Jackie decided to get more involved and contributed her time and public relations skills. She currently serves as Corporate Secretary on The Whittier Board of Trustees.
“People, even children, have the power to do so much,” says Jackie. “Diabetes is not an individual disease – it affects the whole family. Just as families support each other, we all need to support finding a cure for the 16 million Americans who currently live with diabetes.”
Being a child with diabetes, Mollie has many obstacles to overcome that other kids her age take for granted. For instance, when she gets sick, it takes her much longer to recover. Once, due to illness, Mollie missed five weeks of school. Yet, through extra hard work on her part, she was still able to maintain a 3.8 grade point average. “I try to take good care of myself and manage my diabetes so I can live my life to the fullest, but I can never take a vacation from my diabetes,” says Mollie. “I really hope they find a cure for diabetes soon. I’m lucky because I have a special sister, Jackie. She makes life a lot of fun and makes living with diabetes easier – together we can overcome anything.”
When they are not traveling the country on a tireless mission, Mollie and Jackie enjoy roller blading, biking and visiting the beach to swim and “ride the waves” together.
-The Whittier Institute for Diabetes [magazine pdf here]