When Amy Taylor runs in Reykjavik this August, she'll run on the power of insulin.
Taylor has type 1 diabetes, the less-common form of the disease, in which the body stops producing insulin, a hormone central to the processing of sugar in the body.
An athlete most of her life, she's been a distance runner since 2008, when she first became an Islander.
One morning last July, Taylor started a morning run when suddenly her eyes wouldn't focus.
"I was running down the trail and I couldn't see," Taylor said. "I was wearing my husband's old glasses. It was pretty bad."
She soon became too sick to run.
She had already experienced other symptoms: Thirst, tiredness and frequent urination, which she brushed away.
The eye problem made her see a doctor.
A blood test identified the problem. A doctor prescribed met-formin to lower her blood-sugar levels, and "that brought my vision back."
Her mother is diabetic, so the risk was always on her mind.
"But she was at 22, so I thought I'd gotten over (the risk)."
The incident happened on July 21. On Aug. 1 she started insulin therapy. After such a healthy, active life, the diabetes diagnosis was a shock.
She has run five since her arrival on Vancouver Island, including in October, less than three months after her diagnosis.
At age 30, her pancreas had suddenly stopped producing insulin.
Initially she was put on a daily regimen of five insulin injections. Today she uses an Insulin pump, a small device that feeds a steady stream of life-the medication into her blood.
In November, she decided "to make lemonade" from the lemons life had given her. She signed on with the Canadian Diabetes Association's 'Team Diabetes' to take part in the Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland.
Team Diabetes supports runners at marathons around the world. Participants must raise at least $6,100 for the association, which offsets the participant's airfare and accommodation.
She looks forward to running in Iceland, which is where her mother's family came from.
"And I love running, because it helps regulate my blood sugar, and I'm fundraising for my disease. If I can help find a cure for my disease, how can I not do that?"
Darrell Bellaart, Daily News / Amy Taylor runs for exercise and to train for a half-marathon for Team Diabetes in Reykjavik in August.;
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