« Glucose Goblins. | Main | One Year. »

Dear Medtronic.

These are the sneakers I have.  Just as a sidenote.Dear Medtronic,

How are you?  It's been a few weeks since we've touched base, but I wanted to let you know that my new insulin pump is chugging along just fine at the moment.  It's finally a bit scuffed and I have all my new carb ratios and basal patterns plugged in there - just like the old one.  So thanks for making such a great pump and for having a commendable level of customer service.

Why am I sucking up a bit?  Well, this is a little awkward.  I'm really disappointed in something I've read today.  I've always liked you as a company and I've always been proud to be a part of your user base.  But I received an email from Marcus last night that upset me. 

He sent me a link to the Medtronic Global Heroes campaign, aimed at highlighting the achievements of runners with diabetes.  According to your website:  "A Global Hero is a runner. An inspiration. A person whose life has been improved by medical technology."  Aside from earning some recognition and plenty of product benefits, the Global Heroes will also have this option:  "Medtronic Foundation will donate $1,000 on behalf of each Global Hero to a non-profit patient organization that educates and supports individuals who live with the runner’s condition."

What an awesome opportunity!  I know plenty of strong, talented runners from the blogosphere.  Like Marcus Grimm.  And Anne.  And Ed.  People who are conquering their condition and pushing themselves to higher levels of physical fitness and health.  But only if they fit the specific criteria.

Because you have added a stipulation this year that states: "Runners 40 years or older with insulin pumps and who have had diabetes for more than 15 years are ineligible."

Medtronic, would you care to explain to us how you justify leaving them behind?  Your Global Heroes program is inspiring and can really show people with diabetes how limitless their lives can be.  I understand the need for a CYA caveat, but to forbid them to even participate?  Taking away their option to earn funding for their chosen charity?  That's shameful.

Medtronic, you make a great pump.  But you've made better impressions. 

-- Kerri. 


Perhaps MM would be embarrassed if one of their Global Heroes keeled over with an exercise-induced myocardial infarction?


Felix - I totally get what you mean, but isn't that a decision for the doctor and the patient/runner to make? Shouldn't a 41 year old runner have the right to be a hero, too? Or is it all about covering one's ass?

Not that I will EVER be a runner (Thanks, Dad, for those flat feet and shin splints...), but I would not qualify because I ::gasp:: have had diabetes for longer than 15 years... hey, Kerri, you don't qualify either! Hey! A whole bunch of us don't qualify! Wait a minute!

Medtronic...get your running shoes on... I have a feeling that you might be running quickly to make some changes after hearing from some upset Heroes...

yeah, last year they had a 63 year old who had a heart valve replaced, a 42 year old with a pacemaker, a 41 year old heart attack survivor (who had her attack at age 38)... in fact 6 of their marathoners have heart issues! How is 40/pumping/15 years a criteria??

Great message :(

The longer you live with diabetes the bigger hero you are in my book especially if are an athlete!

Even Master P is pissed.

That is wierd, and I cannot understand the logic, unless they were trying to reduce the amount of money they give out. There's always a motive in a for-profit healthcare system like ours.

Wow, that's just unbelievable, some of my greatest inspirations right now are people that have had diabetes for almost as long as I've been alive (26 yrs) and they're out there competing in triathlons, bike races, marathons etc. Sadly, because of Minimed's stipulations, they can't be a Medtronic Global Hero.

But you know what, we're all heroes everyday, we don't need Medtronic to say, "hey, you're a hero".

We'd be hard pressed to find a diabetic athlete that doesn't have a diabetic following that calls them a hero and an inspiration.

I'm with you Kerri. Young, old, it does matter - if you have been dealing with diabetes and managing it with running long distances - why shouldn't you be considered? It sounds like Marcus Grimm would be an ideal Global Hero - no matter his age - he embodies the idea of Hero. Pretty sad, they put age restrictions on - sounds like CYA to me.

Oh my. What a shame. It seems like the people over 40, and the people who've had diabetes for more than 15 years, stand to gain the MOST from this.

While I also love my minimed pump and their customer service, this gets a great big shame on you.

Diabetes sucks and now medtronics has just added to that suckage.

I love their pump as well and have just started to use the CGM to try walking my 18 holes of golf again after stopping from too many lows, but perhaps I should not as I have had diabetes for 41 years and I soon will be 50 years old.

What a slap in the face this is.

I would be willing to bet it's their legal dept making this decision.

(I have those shoes, btw.)

"Global Hero" sounds like some sort of "Team America" joke to me.

And why limit "Global Heroes" to just runners?

I'd say they botched it from the get-go.

So let me get this strait. Global Heroes are runners under 40 who have had diabetes less than 15 years.

Your right Kerri, that's not fair AT ALL. That Actually SUCKS BIG TIME.
Anyone who lives with diabetes,who is over 40 and has had D for more than 15 years should be "in the running," regardless if they run or not!
They are already winning the most important race of all!
They own their Diabetes and have the longevity and zest for life to prove it!

My first question would be why is it only runners that are global heroes? And THEN why only those under 40/less than 15 years with diabetes?

Very bizarre.

Wow. I can't believe they're doing that... Obviously, a non-diabetic team came up with this promotion at Medtronic.

Sorry, Medtronic, for your shameful attitude. I dare you to respond!

Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)