My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10.

For the last several years, she has had to monitor her blood sugar, inject insulin, and measure everything she eats and drinks while watching her activity level. This is not easy for a teenage girl in the face of possible seizures or coma, and potential long-term complications including blindness, kidney disease and stroke.

There is hope for improved treatments, like the artificial pancreas technology, to help control blood sugar automatically so my daughter doesn’t always have to worry and our family can worry less.

My daughter and I traveled to Capitol Hill a few years ago to advocate for this technology, and we are seeing progress at the Food and Drug Administration.

We have Sen. Susan Collins to thank for advancing this technology. She also led the charge on the recent renewal of the Special Diabetes Program, which invested in early research on the artificial pancreas.

Diabetes affects 89,000 Mainers. It costs the state $1.2 billion, so this is a program that could reduce health care spending and help us all.

We’d like to thank Sen. Collins for her tremendous leadership in Congress, renewing the Special Diabetes Program and for standing up for us!

Grace Jacobs

Shapleigh