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Have you ever been going about your daily routine (either exercising, traveling, or just spending an evening with friends or family), and you needed to treat a low blood sugar right away, but didn’t have anything on hand? This happens all too often when living with type 1 diabetes. It can be frustrating, scary, and in the worst of cases, a medical emergency needing immediate attention.
Treating a low on the spot can be inconvenient, and always carrying supplies on-hand sometimes just doesn’t happen. Enter: Glucose Revival. This is a company out of Washington state that aims to help people with all types of diabetes manage their low blood sugars more easily when on the go. I recently spoke with the founder, Kris Maynard, to learn more about his solution to low blood sugars to help people living with diabetes.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your diabetes story. When were you diagnosed? How do you manage your blood sugar levels?
I was discharged from the military within one month when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 23. Immediately after being discharged, I became a firefighter/EMT. I loved my job, but unfortunately, after 4 years lost it because of a hypoglycemic/low blood sugar episode in the middle of the night at the fire station. The words my Chief told me the following day crushed me: “Kris you are a safety liability to the other firefighters, I’m sorry but you cannot be a firefighter any longer.” This led me to become inspired to do everything I can to make sure it wasn’t going to happen to anyone else.
What was the inspiration for Glucose Revival? Tell us a bit about the company. What is it?
I created a simple concept, a necklace that anyone can find, with the help someone with diabetes needs in an emergency right inside of it. The Glucose Revival necklace is discreet, carrying 15g of glucose gel within the necklace itself, and it is immediately available to the person with diabetes or those around him or her to use. This is the same solution that EMTs administer daily to those suffering low blood sugar emergencies. The beauty of glucose gel is that it doesn’t need to be swallowed, so if the person with diabetes is unconscious, the gel will absorb right into their gums to treat the low.
How do you think Glucose Revival will help people with diabetes?
The difference between glucagon and glucose gel is that glucagon is a prescription drug. Glucose gel, on the other hand, is a food-like substance that EMTs, teachers, parents, and kids can use more easily in an emergency, because it isn’t an injection. The best part is that the necklace is refillable, so when you use up the 15 grams of gel, you can buy a replacement gel without having to buy a new necklace.
What’s been one surprising thing that’s happened to you since starting this business? Have you met any “famous” people with diabetes? Has it taken you on the road to meet others with the condition?
I have been fortunate in this short time to have met thousands of people with diabetes. Some in professional sports, some national champions, some who have been on television, lots of doctors and healthcare professionals, but the most rewarding thing for me is when I see people make that transition from, “this disease sucks” to, “it is a part of me, and I am going to make this disease awesome, and I am going to thrive!”
Is it for all people with diabetes, or only type 1?
Our product is for anyone with any type of diabetes (type 1, type 2, LADA, gestational, MODY, etc.), and especially for those with hypo-unawareness who need glucose quickly when they fall low.
What do you want people to know most about Glucose Revival?
I am a big believer of three components making life with diabetes easier: an insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and the Thrive (Glucose Revival) necklace. The CGM gives critical information on where the numbers are, the insulin pump can take care of insulin needs, while the necklace can take care of the lows. My hope is everyone will have access to each of these tools to make the management of this disease easier.
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