Kris Maynard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 22 when he was in the military. He had no family history of the disease, and he had no idea what he was about to get into. “I didn’t know the trials and tribulations were going to come or how it would impact my life or the lives of those around me,” he writes in a blog post on his website.
But he learned quickly. Diabetes kept Kris from being able to re-enlist in the military, cost him a job, and, as a runner, he dealt with frustrating, and scary, low blood sugar episodes.
When his children had to call 911 in the middle of the night while the three of them were on a camping trip, Kris was ready to find a better solution. That night was the night that the Thrive Pro necklace was born.
“When the EMT’s arrived, they rubbed glucose gel on my gums, within minutes I awoke, became alert and everything was okay, I did not need to be transported to the hospital,” he told Diabetes Daily. An EMT himself at the Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State, Kris was surprised he hadn’t thought of carrying glucose gel before.
It was true that Kris hated carrying around bulky juice or snacks when he was out running or hiking, but after the camping incident, he knew he needed to have something on-hand at all times. Something quick and easy for anyone to use, and preferably something that didn’t look ridiculous. So he designed the Thrive Pro. It looks somewhat like a glow necklace, but the tube of the necklace is filled with 25 grams of glucose gel and has a diabetes blue circle charm.
“I look at this necklace as a type of medical alert necklace… but with a solution! In a time of low blood sugar and the state of confusion I wanted something you didn’t need to look for or with friends and family in time of panic they wouldn’t need to look for something to help,” he said.
He designed the necklace with 25 grams of glucose gel because the 15 grams recommended for lows isn’t always quite enough for him, and at times Kris has been able to use a portion of the glucose in the necklace, seal it back up, and save the rest. Wherever he goes, and whatever he does, he has his glucose at the ready. He doesn’t even have to have a pocket.
So how does the necklace work? When you need glucose, simply unclasp the magnetic plug on the back of the necklace and squeeze out the amount of glucose you want onto your finger or into your mouth. The gel should be rubbed onto the gums for quick absorption. Kris says that the glucose gel in the necklace is “just as quick as anything else that’s out there.”
Kris and his wife have been working on getting the necklace developed for a couple of years, and now they have help from Michael Ebinger, the director of the Center for Innovation at Washington State University Spokane. They’ve been working on evaluating the market for the product and finding a manufacturer.
If all goes as planned, the necklace will be available in the next few months at glucoserevival.com.
Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.