7/11/2016
A Ballerina, a Berrie Center T1D Patient
and Diabetes Advocate

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Katelyn Prominski is a Broadway dancer (she was the lead ballerina in Flashdance the Musical, performed in Dirty Dancing and Singin’ in the Rain, to name just a few) and has danced some of the great ballets as a corps de ballet member of the Boston, Pennsylvania and Suzanne Farrell Ballets. She is an expert on the Balanchine technique. She teaches, judges, sings, acts and models.

But her favorite role these days may surprise you: Katelyn is one of 10 people recently selected to be “Dexcom Warriors.” Katelyn is helping to publicize the new G5 Continuous Glucose Monitor System, which she uses to help manage her type 1 diabetes (T1D). Her fellow “Dexcom Warriors” (a role she calls, “an honor”) include an Olympic skier, a young kayaker, a mom with two kids and a 5-year-old.

“My glucose sensor,” she said, “is such an amazing machine. My fiancé can get my blood sugar numbers on his i-phone. And so can my mother and my diabetes educator at the Berrie Center. What I love about it are the trending arrows. I remember before I had the sensor, I would get ready to do a show, and all of a sudden my blood sugar would drop, and I’d be in a sweaty panic. This warns you before you feel your low. It’s changed my life.”

Also on her list of life changers, is the Berrie Center and its Co-Director, Robin Goland, MD, J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes: “She encouraged me to get a glucose sensor in the first place, and she’s working on me to get a pump,” said Katelyn. “And that’s great that she’s working on me, because dancers don’t like to put anything on their bodies that might show or get in the way of hands-on partnering. I know it would probably be better for me.”

“Dexcom posted a blurb on Facebook asking people to share their stories,” recalled Katelyn about first becoming a Warrior. “From that initial reach,” she said, “they got a few thousand responses and began whittling down the numbers. They called around 100 people for phone interviews, and then interviewed about 20 people on Skype.”

Katelyn is stoic, to say the least. She continued to dance, despite being sick for a long while, before she was finally diagnosed with diabetes in 2012. “I was really sick, but I guess didn’t know how sick I really was,” she recalled. “Dancers are like no other people,” she said. “Part of it was just the avoidance of the ballet dancer and my extremely high tolerance for pain. You know…everything is always beautiful at the ballet.”

Katelyn says she didn’t even know what a carbohydrate was when she received her diagnosis, so her learning curve, at least in the beginning, was straight uphill.  “Before I was diagnosed,” she said, “I was trying to gain weight because people thought I was anorexic so I just ate donut after donut. I had to completely change how I was eating.”

Born and raised in Arlington, Virginia, Katelyn, studied at the Washington School of Ballet. When she is not performing in a show she is teaching in Manhattan at Ballet Beautiful, a high-energy, ballet inspired workout on the Upper East Side.

Click here to watch Katelyn in the Dexcom commercial.