Tag Archives: Coast Guard

Tim Duffy took on the Coast Guard and won


Tim Duffy is an adventurous guy. He ski patrols in Utah, guides clients in the mountains in Alaska and just bought Pangaea Adventures, a kayaking outfit in Valdez. Like me, Duffy is a type 1 diabetic.

While he and I have quite a bit in common, I had never heard of him until I saw the May issue of Diabetes Forecast Magazine. Here’s the link: http://forecast.diabetes.org/magazine/features/outdoorsman-tim-duffy-pushes-limits?page=0%2C0

Seems that when Duffy sought to buy the kayak company, he also needed to captain a boat for his clients, for which he would need a license. After reviewing his health history, the Coast Guard denied his license.

With the help of a lawyer, Duffy fought the Coast Guard, who ultimately reversed their decision and granted him his Master Inland license.

This guy didn’t give up.

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes. I was 22 years old, and I thought it was a death sentence.  A year later I climbed Mt. Rainier, the tallest volcano in Washington. I realized that while I’d have to make adjustments, my life didn’t have to be diminished. In some ways, having a chronic disease has forced me to expand my horizons, challenging me to try ever more challenging obstacles. Just to say I can.

An ancient Chinese proverb posits “one disease, long life; no disease, short life.” Ever since I was diagnosed, this has been my motto.

Obviously, Tim Duffy got the same memo.