Katrina was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in July 2012, at the age of 9. At the time, she really didn't understand what "diabetes" was. She didn't realize that injections and finger pricks would find a home in her daily lifestyle, and that this condition would affect her for the rest of her life.
After 8 months of painful injections, Katrina and her family decided it would be best if she switched to pump therapy. Katrina switched from injections to the OmniPod® insulin pump as it would best suit her active lifestyle as a dancer and swimmer.
After wearing the pod for quite some time, Katrina decided she didn't like the "bandage look" that she felt the pod projected to her. After researching with her parents for a solution to this fashion dilemma, they found nothing. With her 5th grade invention convention project coming up, Katrina had the perfect idea! Why not make a decorative cover to go over the pod? It could be made of a bright color. It could even be reusable. This would help to camouflage that "bandage look" that she felt the pod projected.
This is when KEDZ Covers™ was born. With the help of her dad, Katrina came up with a design. Her dad found an engineering company to make a design and a manufacturing company that could produce the final product. They started off by making several 3D printed prototypes to get the correct fit. Eventually, the correct measurements were discovered, and KEDZ Covers™ began manufacturing. Katrina became the KEDZCover girl, who tried out the product, and even came up with name of the company (KEDZ Covers), which stands for her full name...Katrina Elisabeth Diel. KEDZ Covers™ are made by plastic injection molding machines from polypropylene plastic. They fit conveniently over the second generation OmniPod ® without interfering with the functioning of the pod or adding additional weight.
Katrina has been featured in the Boston Business Journal in January and March 2014, Rhode Island Monthly in June 2014, Diabetes Mine in 2014, Plastics Today in 2014, Diabetes Forecast Magazine in September/October 2016 and multiple other articles.
Katrina, now in her teenage years, is still very active and wears her products everyday. Her KEDZCovers have stayed with her for all of the ups and down of her diabetes. When asked if she ever thinks about her life without diabetes, or how diabetes has changed her life, and if she hopes for a cure, her response: "Of course I think about my life without diabetes. I think every Type 1 Diabetic dreams of a cure, a minute without needles and finger pricks." Diel says. "I think that as much as diabetes is a pain, and I wish every night when I close my eyes that it would go away, it has opened my eyes to more things in the world. It makes you smarter, more aware, and it makes you work harder." Diel states. But most importantly, it has allowed me to connect with people across the world who are just like me. Being able to communicate with others going through the same problem is life-changing, and has given me the gift of so many friends. One of the most important things about finding a cure to diabetes to me is the journey and the impressions we leave in history which will lead to a cure. If we don't work together, finding a cure won't be as meaningful. But if we find the cure together, holding each others hands, it will be worth the journey."