Amanda Snipes remembers looking at the staples that ran the length of her grandmother’s leg.
“I remember our family was very concerned that it was going to scare us to see her in the condition, but it was one of the most beautiful things I’d seen in my life because our whole family came around to support her,” Snipes said.
Her grandmother, Signe Cain, underwent the surgery to remove blockage in her leg, which she was at risk to develop as a diabetic.
About two years later, her grandmother, exhausted from fighting the disease, stopped taking her diabetes medication and died about two weeks later.
Almost 20 years later, treatments for people with diabetes have improved, and a minimally invasive approach can be used to treat the blockage Cain had, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
“It’s pretty barbaric, some of the treatments that she had to go through,” Snipes said. “Her legacy is that she donated her body to science so they could find our more about the disease so other folks wouldn’t have to go through what she went through.”
Snipes, who was about 8 when her grandmother died, has fond memories of the time she spent with her grandparents. Her grandfather would pick Snipes and her siblings up from school, and her grandmother would make them root beer floats — 1/3 ice cream and 2/3 root beer.
“She was always mindful that the proportions were correct, so it was delicious,” she said.
Snipes and one of her brothers are both hypoglycemic, or have an abnormally low level of blood sugar, the body’s main energy source, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Snipes said she carries butterscotch with her, something her grandmother used to do, but she should be more mindful of the risks of the disorder.
“This interview will probably help solidify how mindful I am of the foods I should eat, because it’s something that stays in the back of your mind — we don’t want to go down that path,” she said.
It’s pretty barbaric, some of the treatments that she had to go through. Her legacy is that she donated her body to science so they could find our more about the disease so other folks wouldn’t have to go through what she went through.”
Signe Cain’s granddaughter