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Paula (aka PKay)

Paula/PKay received a kidney and pancreas transplant 

but lost pancreas immediately due to complications. Now, 5 years later she received her islet transplant and became

fully insulin free with HbA1c of 5.2

While living with T1DM is always challenging, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s in New Orleans and later on south side of Chicago posed an additional challenge for Paula.  Though she is currently 59, Paula struggled with diabetes awareness and care in less than optimal conditions. Paula lost her first son due to DM, and second son was born with heart defect called the transposition of great vessels, which  required surgery to treat. After her 3rd son was born, she could not bear any more children. Despite those obstacles, Paula decided to persevere and fight the disease. She operated her own business PKay's Health and Fitness. Speaking and specializing in diabetes education, she was nutrition and fitness educator for the After School Matters Program. She always strived to make an impact as an activist for underprivilege youth, in areas others were afraid to go. She also worked at major downtown Chicago events and organizations- City of Chicago, Black Woman Expo, University of Illinois, Live on channel's 5, 7, 26 You & Me in the morning and many others. Spreading awareness fo diabetes, Paula aka PKay advocated the importance of proper diet and physical activity such as hula hooping, etc.

See Chicago News featuring Paula/Pkay


Five years ago, Paula received kidney and pancreas transplant, but lost the pancreas graft immediately and suffer from several major complications.  Her recovery and challenge with blood glucose control continued until 4 months ago, when she received islet transplant. Paula has been off insulin with HbA1c 5.2. 



“I cannot believe that my A1C is 5, something anything I've never seen in my  life. I am so happy and grateful for you bringing me this  help with my future. My ENTIRE LIFE I have been told diabetes would never be cured. I was told and I believed that I would never be off insulin. After 51 years of struggling with blood glucose an insulin adjustments, no words could express nor describe my degree of gratitude for what you have done. Not just for diabetes, but my mind, my body and my soul are set free.  My future is brighter and now I can see clearer in making every goal I have set more possible than ever. Can you even envision my liberties, my light or peace and joy? .May you find joy in my journey and my WILL TO LIVE, well."

July 2022
Celebration of insulin independence with the Clinical Research Center Team 


Paula is an activist promoting diabetes awareness, physical activity and healthy diet. 

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still with CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) prior to the islet transplant

promoting physical activity

at the south side of Chicago


proud mother of two

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