Joslin awards Victory Medal to New York man living 75 years with type 1 diabetes

Boston -- Joslin Diabetes Center, the global leader in diabetes research, care and education, will present its 22nd Joslin Victory Award Medal this Sunday, Aug. 13, to a New York man for living 75 years with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. Robert L. Bates of New Windsor, NY, will be awarded the medal at his 80th birthday celebration at the Thayer Hotel at West Point, NY. The hotel coincidentally is commemorating its 80th anniversary.

"Joslin Medal recipients are individuals who have beaten the odds against diabetes, and Robert Bates is certainly no exception," says George L. King, M.D., director of research at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Dr. King will present the medal to Bates on Sunday. "Robert has continued to live a very successful and fulfilling life despite the challenges associated with the disease."

Bates is a retired chief train dispatcher for the Metro North Railroad in New York. He and his wife of more than 52 years, Carol Bates, have four children: Jacquelyn, Betsie, Robert L. Jr., and John W.

"I am grateful to receive the medal and feel a certain amount of pride in the fact that I have beaten the odds. At the time I was diagnosed, life expectancy was not favorable," says Bates. "I am appreciative that I received early training and education at Joslin Clinic and have benefited from ongoing advances in diabetes treatment, which have allowed me to live a full life."

Bates frequently communicated with Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., founder of Joslin Diabetes Center, who began treating Bates after he was diagnosed in 1931 and regularly inquired about his health. If Dr. Joslin did not receive a response, he would write again, once even sending a telegram. These letters dated through 1961 reflect Dr. Joslin's dedication to what is now called outcomes research, gathering evidence to support his medical recommendations and refining his approach to diabetes management.

By living more than 75 years

Contact: Jenny Eriksen
Joslin Diabetes Center

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