BISMARCK, N.D. - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund estimates that three million Americans have Type 1 diabetes.
Five times a day, every day, for 67 years, Norman Hastings tests his blood sugar, letting him know if he is keeping his diabetes in check. It has not been an easy getting it under control. He recounts one brush with death.
"I guess I was foaming at the mouth and everything else. When I woke up three days later I come to my senses and asked what happened? Well, I was taking too much insulin,” said Hastings.
He is a rare survivor. According to the National Institute of Health, one in five people diagnosed with diabetes in 1950 died within 20 years. As Norm continued to beat the odds, his battle got easier thanks to technology he never thought would exist.
"I didn't think this pump was going to end up and now the fact that the pump letting you know that you got low blood sugar or high blood sugar, that's got to be a lifesaver,” said Hastings.
Norm was recognized with a 50-year "Lilly Award," for managing his diabetes. Katey Moch, and educator with Sanford Diabetes Center was at the award ceremony.
"For them to see people like Norm that have grown and struggled just like they do but to see that it is possible and you can live with it,” said Moch.
Even after 67 years of fighting and at 80 years old, Norm is confident he will live to see the day when he is cured, not treated. The Lilly Diabetes award also has a 75-year category, which Norm says he feels pretty confident he will get.