Diabetes Forecast

Age and Beauty

By Kelly Rawlings, Editorial Director ,

From top: Lillian Bailey Trudeau Richards with her parents, Fred and Rachel Bailey, in 1912. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania nursing program. Lillian enjoyed nearly 30 years of marriage to her beloved first husband, Joseph Trudeau, who died in 1966.

One of the joys of working at Diabetes Forecast is that we hear from you on a regular basis. We hear from longtime readers, new subscribers, and people who admit to “borrowing” the waiting-room copy from their doctor’s office. Each letter is unique, but sometimes a really special one comes along, such as the e-mail from Heather Baldwin.

Heather wrote about her grandmother, Lillian Bailey Trudeau Richards of Williamsport, Pa. Lillian turned 100 in September 2012. She has lived with diabetes for more than 70—yes, 70—years.

Lillian has spanned the spectrum of diabetes care—she used to boil glass insulin syringes and now wields an insulin pen. During a century well lived, she has worked as a nurse, enjoyed a nearly 30-year marriage, and raised two daughters. Now she resides quite independently in an apartment at a nursing center. She still does her laundry and knows that although she can’t eat too much of her favorite food, ice cream, there’s no reason to turn it down entirely. Lillian attributes her health to her faith, eating a balanced diet, and getting regular physical activity. And, of course, insulin and blood sugar checks.

Diabetes, unlike some of the other conditions that Lillian witnessed as a nurse, is manageable, she says. We may know that intellectually, but Lillian is walking proof. Her story makes my heart glad.


Kelly Rawlings, PWD* type 1
*Person with diabetes



Take the Type 2
Diabetes Risk Test