I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 8 months old – October 4, 2001. It’s been an amazing journey….one that has made me the strong and independent 8 year old that I am today. In a sick twist of fate, my best friend was diagnosed with Type 1 just 2 weeks ago. How can life be so cruel? My family is very supportive in our quest for a cure – Children’s Congress in D.C. in 2001 when I was 2 years old, multiple clinical trials at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, and a massive campaign every year from my family to raise awareness and dollars to find “OUR” cure.
I celebrate my diagnosis date every year with a sugar-free party. I am happy, healthy (for the most part), and I don’t let diabetes stop me. I am an honor role student, and I am a great soccer player. I just made the select team in soccer.
Diabetes has changed both me and my family forever. My Grandfather passed away when my mom was 8 years old – he was also a Type 1 diabetic, although he did not die from diabetes complications.
Instead of dwelling on the negatives in my life, my family has chosen to focus on all things good – parties to celebrate my diagnosis date, walk parties to celebrate my health and happiness, and surrounding ourselves with the most incredible network of friends and family that are 100% supportive.
I was on 10-12 shots of insulin per day as an infant and toddler, and I’ve been pumping insulin since before my 2nd birthday. Life for me is about raising awareness and embracing Type 1 with grace and courage.
A strong will and a zest for life is what ensures that I am the epitomy of the face of Juvenile (Type 1) Diabetes.
I never complain and am a very responsible 8 year old. I still check my sugar at least 8 times in a 24 hour period.
I actually learned to count using my meter and my pump – how many kids can say that? (Unfortunately – too many)
I spent 8 days in the PICU once I had a diagnosis, and my parents weren’t sure that I would make it. The doctor’s were SURE that I wouldn’t make it.
I proved them wrong – my mission in life is to set a good example for other diabetics and to hope that my responsibility in managing this chronic illness shows others that with the right attitude, life really can go on. Our “normal” is not the normal that most people are accustomed to.