SPOKANE, Wash. - More than 30 million Americans, or nearly 10 percent of the population, have diabetes. It's a fact Kris Maynard knows all too well.
"Working as a firefighter/EMT and living with diabetes for the last 20 years, I've seen and experienced myself the most common emergency that we face - Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar."
When Maynard was diagnosed, he says he was kicked out of the military because of it. But that wasn't the end of it.
"A few years ago, I lost my job for two years because of a low blood sugar," said Maynard. "And so, it was just something that I wanted to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else."
Maynard is an active person, so he needed quick access to glucose while out biking or running. That led to the idea of a necklace with glucose gel in the tubing.
"So it just gave me an easy access to carry something, hide something, have something ready for me to be able to take care of that next low blood sugar."
He shared the idea with his doctor, who said, "'Why don't you make this available to others to give them a chance? To help them?'" recalled Maynard. "And so, because people living with diabetes is so important to me, it's something i wanted to give back to the diabetic community."
That led to the founding of Glucose Revival and its Thrive glucose gel necklaces, which are really easy to use.
"It's a quick release with magnets on there, so it can be taken off in a moment's notice," explained Maynard. "Then it just becomes uncapped and I can give it to myself by squeezing the gel right into my mouth."
And if a diabetic isn't able to administer the glucose on their own, someone nearby can uncap the necklace and do it for them.
Each Thrive necklace features a pendant with a blue circle, the symbol for diabetes.
"It's a symbol that's not as known as the pink ribbon, like for breast cancer."
But Maynard hopes it will be one day. And after recently learning his son will likely become a diabetic himself, his mission has even more meaning.
"To offer something that can help him live the fullest life. To help protect him. Yeah, it resonates and hits home with me," said Maynard.
But it's not just about his family. He's determined to keep fighting for diabetics everywhere.
"I want to one day leave my firefighting job, so i can commit fully to this, because not enough is being done."
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