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Milton teenager thriving with diabetes — Healthwatch 16

A teen from Milton has been dealing with Type 1 diabetes, but with the help of technology and his care team at Geisinger, he is thriving.

MILTON, Pa. — Mason Friese, 16, of Milton, does not remember life without Type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed with the disease when he was a baby.

"I was so young. We were just getting started on my life."

The disease was something Mason struggled with. He constantly worried about his sugar levels spiking or dropping too low. His wired pump made him self-conscious.

"Started getting older, and I started to rip it out because I was getting so tired of it. I was dependent on insulin for the longest time, but once new technology started coming out, things started getting so much more independent for me."

Before Mason got his continuous glucose monitor, he had to check his blood sugar levels at least four times a day.

"He just wanted to be normal. He wanted to be like everybody else. He would ignore his diabetes as often as he could in a way so that he didn't have to be different," said Stacy Trovitch, a nurse practitioner at Geisinger

Trovitch has treated Mason for several years. She says Mason can now monitor his continuous glucose monitor with his cell phone. His insulin pump is now tube-free, which is a big deal for the teenager.

"He doesn't have to worry about taking it off. When he gets a shower, he doesn't have to worry about taking it off and reconnecting. He can just wear it all the time, and that's how he manages his diabetes," Trovitch explained.

That gives Mason more freedom to live his life. He has gotten into bodybuilding, something he could not have imagined for himself several years ago.

"Having Geisinger teach me how to do this myself and being able to give me these opportunities and having Stacy show me my path and help me there, it's a huge wakeup call for me," Mason said. "I can see my true self."

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