“Children with diabetes can live full, happy, productive lives. I hope my story can stand as proof of that fact.”
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven, Wendy Louise Novak had to create her own path in a world defined by stigma, struggle, and hope.
With little public awareness of her condition, Wendy’s only role model was her fiercely independent father, who grew up in an era when diabetes meant a difficult, and often short, life. He taught her to “follow the rules” and stay self-reliant. That sense of independence carried Wendy through college to a successful career, globetrotting excitement, and a whirlwind romance with her husband, David.
Wendy built a loving family as she navigated the highs and lows of a condition that was still widely misunderstood. Despite tough times, she learned to balance following the rules with following her passions, saying,“I never wanted to be the kind of person who stayed home and worried about whether or not I could take it, and so I didn’t.”
Today, Wendy is the face of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute, which supports groundbreaking clinical services, education, and research to ensure young people with diabetes can thrive. In this honest but uplifting account of a life well lived, Wendy shares what she has learned, including practical tips for managing diabetes.
With a foreword by the author’s husband, businessman, and philanthropist David Novak, Diabetes and Me shows patients and families that a diagnosis doesn’t define your life.
“There are always ways to experience the joys in life, no matter what it throws at you.”
About the Author
Diagnosed at age seven, Wendy Louise Novak proves that it is possible to live a long, healthy, and active life with type 1 diabetes. Today, that determination guides the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute, which works with Norton Healthcare in Kentucky to provide some of the nation’s best care for children with diabetes. Novak also sits on the boards of the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation and Camp Hendon, a Kentucky-based camp for children with diabetes. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Novak splits her time between Louisville, Florida, and New York.
"All parents of children with diabetes should read this book! As a former pediatric nurse and the mother of a son who has type 1 diabetes, I have seen firsthand how devastating a child’s diabetes diagnosis can be for families – and I know how helpful it is to hear from others who are on the same journey. Wendy’s story is captivating, and she includes practical advice alongside compelling anecdotes about the challenges of navigating the ups and downs of diabetes."
—Madeline Bell, President and CEO, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
“Novak’s exploration of how having diabetes has shaped her identity proves both illuminating and empowering. . . An honest and insightful account of living with type 1 diabetes.”
"Wendy’s dedication to Type 1 diabetes education and working to create a better world for patients is unparalleled—as is her spirit. This book shows just how possible it is to persevere and live a long, fulfilling life with Type 1 diabetes."
—Kupper A. Wintergerst, Wendy L. Novak Chair of Pediatric Diabetes Care and Clinical Research
"Diabetes and Me celebrates instances of personal thriving despite a challenging type 1 diabetes diagnosis."
—Foreword Clarion Reviews
"This book is a must read for the millions of people who live with diabetes but also for everyone who has personal challenges they must face."
—Elaine and Ken Langone