The Michael Lewis Foundation was founded in March 2016 in memory of Michael James Lewis, who passed away on November 25, 2015, due to DIB syndrome associated with Type 1 Diabetes. Michael was just 20 years old when he passed away while working in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He had a positive outlook on life and never saw his Diabetes as a barrier to achieving his goals. Michael was utilizing his gap year at the University of South Wales to gain valuable industry knowledge in his chosen field of Sound, Lighting, and Live Event Technology. In his own words, he was living his dream, and his hashtag #livelikemike has become a symbol of his spirit and resilience.
However, his dream turned into a nightmare when he passed away, but the foundation that was created in his name drew strength from his positivity and the huge influence he had on so many people in his short time with us. The Michael Lewis Foundation has since grown and developed a fantastic working relationship with Diabetes UK, which continues to this day.
The support from so many people led the foundation to win the Diabetes UK Inspire Award for fundraising both nationally and regionally. However, the foundation’s founders knew that this was not enough. They honestly believe that Michael would have driven his career to the highest possible level, and to continue his legacy, they decided to help people directly.
In December 2017, the Michael Lewis Foundation was awarded full Charity Status, providing the opportunity to fulfil the dreams, goals, and desires they had for the foundation when it was first formed: to make a difference to individuals so that other families do not suffer the same pain they have.
The circle of life is painful enough for most people, but when that circle is broken, your whole attitude towards life changes. Nobody should ever bury a child, and the foundation aims to utilize technological breakthroughs in Type 1 Diabetes care to minimize the risk of another family suffering the same pain they have.
The technology available is Continuous Blood Sugar Monitoring, which is now standard equipment made available through the NHS, although some health authorities still struggle to fund this. Unfortunately, the equipment that could have potentially saved Michael’s life is impossible to get through the NHS if you have good control, which Michael did.
The system utilizes Continuous Blood Sugar Monitoring and Bluetooth technology, with your blood sugar readings sent to a mobile phone app every 5 minutes. The app allows you to set alarms showing highs and lows that ring to warn you, and these alarms can also be shared with friends and families.
Dead In Bed Syndrome, associated with Type 1 Diabetes, is when a person goes to bed perfectly well, and their blood sugars drop rapidly for no reason. The majority of people sense the change and wake up, but unfortunately, in this case, the victim does not. Therefore, the body goes into a coma and eventually a heart attack, leaving them to be discovered dead in an undisturbed bed.
The technology that the Michael Lewis Foundation is going to fund would have alerted either the victim or a family member/friend. They could wake the person up, deal with the hypoglycemic attack, or phone 999.
The foundation’s priority for funding will be those leaving home to go to university, as they recognize that lifestyle changes occur at this time, and this can also provide peace of mind to families potentially hundreds of miles away.
The Michael Lewis Foundation’s ultimate goal is to make a difference in the world by reducing the risk of Type 1 Diabetes complications, promoting awareness of this condition, and supporting those affected by it. They hope that Michael’s legacy will live on through the foundation’s work, and they will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that no other family suffers the same pain they have.