Thomas Family Fund

The Thomas Family Fund was established by Maggie’s parents, Carlson and Patty Thomas.  The Fund honors Maggie’s memory and supports many area not-for-profits while at the same time making funds available for ongoing research in the study and cure of Type One diabetes, which affects more than three million Americans of all ages.In 1975 Maggie was not quite 14 years old when she self-diagnosed her health problem thanks to her health class at Lexington High School.

Testing confirmed that she had Type One diabetes (T1D).  To learn about diabetes and how her peers coped both medically and socially she attended a summer camp for Type One diabetes patients over several summers.  The camp helped her to develop knowledge and coping skills for handling her illness over the course of her life.

As Maggie got older, the dire warnings about the complications that a diabetic could experience proved only too true.  Adhering carefully to a diabetic diet, tending faithfully to sores and injuries, treating her blood sugar levels several times a day and taking insulin injections after testing made her diabetes bearable, though crippling her social life.

Maggie attended college (Meredith College in Raleigh, NC) for four years, graduating with honors, then holding challenging jobs away and later at home.  But diabetic complications began to affect her health and her jobs, finally resulting in “early retirement.” The complications increased, to include kidney failure and dialysis three times a week, happily ending after three years in a kidney transplant.  She endured amputation below the knee of one leg with a necessary prosthesis to follow.  Maggie lost her vision to almost total blindness, and finally gastroparesis kept her 100 percent at home.

Life became a struggle.  Her parents, her brothers and their wives, her family and friends were enormous comforts.  But the specter of who would be long-term care providers if her aging parents preceded her in death was an ever-present, devastating worry.  “We would like to see a cure for type one diabetes (affecting juveniles), or better still, the prevention of this illness so that others won’t suffer the way Maggie did, “said her parents. Maggie lost her battle with diabetes on November 28, 2014.

Maggie’s parents strive to help others understand the suffering that Maggie and her family endured in order to promote funding for research.  It is no wonder that Maggie’s family and her many well wishers support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a private, national organization dedicated solely to making Type One diabetes become “Type None,” hence the Margaret “Maggie” Thomas Fund with CFRBA.