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A Little Help from a Friend: How I Started Insulin Pump Therapy

When we last heard from MiniMed Ambassador, Jonni Lightfoot, he shared how he manages his diabetes while on the road with his band, Air Supply, for more than 200 days a year. Today, Jonni takes us back 15 years to how he got started on the MiniMed insulin pump with a little help from his friend. Tell us, how did your journey start?

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 27 (now 41). I went to the doctor’s office with symptoms of diabetes, and when they took my blood sugar, it was 425! I had only had a few slices of watermelon and a soft drink that morning. They gave me a shot to bring down my glucose levels, told me about the sliding scale, and sent me on my way. I was afraid and uneducated about my new health diagnosis. I really didn’t know what to do, and had to figure a lot of things out on my own. I read books, talked to other people with diabetes, and of course, went on the internet. However, back then, there wasn’t as much information on the internet as there is today with sites like YouTube and Medtronic Diabetes. The only personable resources available were in person conversations with other people who had diabetes, doctors, or other healthcare professionals.

I continued using insulin shots with the sliding scale for about a year. I did ok, but still didn’t have my blood glucose under control and wasn’t feeling great. When I got together with one of my friends, who also has diabetes, she showed me her new Medtronic pump, and went on to explain how it worked and made her feel better. Needless to say, I was totally intrigued by the idea of feeling better and the idea was like a ray of sunshine for me. I made an appointment with my doctor to see if he thought insulin pump therapy was right for me. After talking with him, we decided it would be a good idea for me to give it a try. Once I had my pump and supplies, I met with the diabetes specialist who taught me how to insert the quick-sets and set my bolus, based on my doctor’s suggestion.

Going back to my friend, I have to say that her information was priceless for me. Having someone to talk to who was in the same boat and understood what I was going through was amazing and so helpful. For the four months that I have used the MiniMed 530G with Enlite, I have found myself in much better glucose control and been feeling much better.

With my new MiniMed 530G system, I am hoping to play a part in helping someone out with getting both their health and glucose levels under a tighter control too. If you have the opportunity to help someone with diabetes, please reach out to them. There are a lot of people who are newly diagnosed, not sure what to do, and afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Of course, friends can’t give medical advice, but they can share experiences, provide emotional support, and help provide good questions to talk about with your healthcare team. If we work together and help educate others based on our own experiences, we can make a huge difference. Hopefully we can help to make a better, longer, and healthier life for someone, just like my friend did for me. It was truly a lifesaving experience and something I will never forget. I am so thankful for my friend.

Connect with MiniMed Ambassador, Jonni, to discuss his real experiences and get a better understanding of what life is like on an insulin pump and CGM.


Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems. MiniMed 530G with Enlite is intended for the delivery of insulin and continuous glucose monitoring for the management of diabetes mellitus by persons 16 years of age or older who require insulin.

Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day. Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to making adjustments to diabetes therapy. MiniMed 530G with Enlite is not intended to be used directly for preventing or treating hypoglycemia but to suspend insulin delivery when the user is unable to respond to the Threshold Suspend alarm and take measures to prevent or treat hypoglycemia themselves.

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