Kathy Goswitz, now 62, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 19. Her sunny disposition masks decades of struggles with numerous complications of the disease, including hypoglycemia unawareness, a kidney transplant, toe amputation, and other ailments.
Fortunately, diabetes management has improved dramatically since she was diagnosed, Kathy says. “You can live a fulfilling and happy life [with diabetes],” she says. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes today don’t encounter the thick, painful needles and doctors who say, “You’ll never eat anything you like again,” that Goswitz remembers so well.
Despite advances in care, she and her husband, Tom Goswitz, firmly believe that more needs to be done to advance diabetes treatment and find a cure. To help make that happen, they have included a bequest in their will to support diabetes research at the University, and they make regular current use gifts as well.
The couple says they chose to support University research because they had a positive experience after Kathy had her kidney transplant here. “The people were good,” says Tom, who tended to his wife as she recovered. In fact, he was so grateful for her care that he made fudge for the clinic staff as a way to say thank you.
The Goswitzes say they also chose the University because of its position as a world leader in diabetes research and their belief in supporting their local community.
Both Tom and Kathy are active volunteers— Tom coaches baseball at Cretin-Derham Hall, both volunteer for a senior meal service, and they also participate in fundraisers that help provide holiday meals for those in need through the West 7th Boys Club in St. Paul.
While they are passionate about many causes, Kathy and Tom say they want to help propel type 1 diabetes research at the University because its researchers are so close to finding a cure. “We really need to do something about diabetes,” says Kathy. “The time to do it is now.”
— Robyn White