Age: 17
Age at T1D diagnosis: 12

As Owen puts it, “My life has truly been shaped by diabetes but not controlled by [it]. … I enjoy getting involved in as many things as possible!” Water polo, bowling, student council, cliff diving, Red Cross, Model UN, the National Spanish Honor Society, volunteering and mock trial are just a few of his favorite hobbies. Owen has even founded a movie review club. He also educates others about T1D in his own unique way: “It comes up in conversation when people ask, ‘What is that thing on your belt?’ After denying the usual accusations of it being a phone, camera, Taser, pager or pacemaker,” says Owen, “I inform them that it is none of the above, but, in fact, ‘I am diabetic and this here is an insulin pump.'”


Karns youth helps speak to Congress about juvenile diabetes

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JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our strength lies in our exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D.