Alyssa

 
 

Age: 27   Year Diagnosed: 2007  Location: Santa Monica, Ca

"I went on a medical mission trip to India in 2016 where I set up medical clinics with doctors and nurses in remote villages. I met many people that had diabetes that had no access to medical resources like we do in America. They didn't even have a place to keep their insulin cold. It was in these moments, I felt so lucky to that I have access to life saving supplies and a loving community to support me with my T1D. I am so incredibly lucky to have an amazing boyfriend, friends & family, and my wonderful co-workers at Myabetic where I work to change perceptions about what it is to live with diabetes. I have been blessed with positive influences and knew I had to pay it forward. After my trip to India my heart was set on becoming a nurse. A few weeks ago I hired a interview coach that went to medical school to help with my nursing school interviews. This coach told me not to tell the admission council that I had type one diabetes because it was a disability, and it could prevent me from getting in. I could not believe that somebody was telling me to hide my T1D! To hide the very thing that inspired me to become a nurse and help others. I politely told him that I could not do that because this is my true authentic self, and that I would never hide my diabetes. My entire personal statement was about being diagnosed with T1D and the journey I have been through overcoming my diagnosis. I am happy to say that I have received a interview to every single nursing school that I applied to. I wanted to share this story because nobody should hide their true authentic self while reaching for their dreams. Our imperfections are beautiful! You should always be yourself. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Mark

 
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Age: 42   Year Diagnosed: 1985   Location: Detroit, MI

"I’ve had T1d since 1985, I was Dx 6 months after my oldest sibling. The best part is, I’ve been able to use my knowledge and experience to work in the insulin delivery and have made a career of my misfortune.  The most challenging part is the daily burden diabetes takes, this can be very overwhelming at times.   Having grown up with a sibling to lean on, and directing one of the largest diabetes camps in the US, I’ve learned no one should take this journey alone.  When I look at a dining hall with 250 T1d campers or a pump support group with 10, I see people willing to help and share their experiences with one and other, this is how we get up each day and fight the good fight that we do."

Racquel

 
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Age: 24  Year Diagnosed: 2007  Location: Toronto, On

"My one piece of advice is build a community. I spent the past 10 years pushing away the fact that I have diabetes - never participated in walks, events or camps, didn't even want to talk to another diabetic. I ended up isolating myself, feeling constantly angry towards it, and poorly managing my diabetes. This year I have met so many incredible T1D's that have inspired me and helped me completely change my attitude towards it all. A simple convo with someone that literally knows exactly what you are going through, makes you feel less alone at the end of the day."

Jillian

 
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Age: 30   Year Diagnosed: 1997  Location: Detroit MI

"One morning, back a few years ago, I found my mom sitting on my bed crying. I woke up and asked if everything was alright, why was she she on my bed? She looked at me bewildered. She said 'you don't remember anything?' I said, "Remember what, mom?' She had tears down her face, she said I woke up screaming and yelling around my house and I couldn't be controlled. She said I then laid back down in my bed and went to sleep. I started crying because I had NO MEMORY of anything that took place. I was scared, why couldn't I remember? I had no control of my body, my memory, nothing. This was before my Dexcom. I slipped into a weird state due to my blood sugar. I hated diabetes even more that day.

People often think you are "limited" with Diabetes. Maybe it's because we look like robots with all these different machines attached to our body parts, or maybe because we have to "shoot up", so that makes us "unable", I don't know, but I'm here to show the world that diabetics are NOT limited to anything, we are limitless! Traveling the world, scuba diving, hiking, dancing, singing, body building, I mean we are called diabadasses for a reason, no?

Chris

 
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Age: 27  Year Diagnosed: 2009  Location: Coconut Creek, FL

“One time a holistic massage therapist attempted to massage the diabetes out of me to heal me...it didn’t work.

My diabetes diagnosis was the catalyst for me to go from studying law to exercise science and know helping 1000’s of people worldwide through motivational speaking and nutritional consulting.

My piece of advice is that your A1C does not dictate your character. Aim to progress and improve but do not degrade yourself for a blood sugar. Blood sugars are not bad or good they just are. The emotion is applied by you.”

 

 

 

 

Cassie

 
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Age: 30   Year Diagnosed: 1994   Location:  Troy, MI

"The best part about having diabetes is the people. I've met some of the greatest people in my life because I have diabetes. I volunteer at diabetes camp each summer, that I also attended as a kid. It is the best week of the summer. The people I spend that week with are some of the kindest, smartest, most fun people I have ever met. Each year I am surprised how all of us come together, each with a different background and skill set, to put the camp together. I learn as much about diabetes management as an adult that I did as a kid when I was newly diagnosed. Diabetes is constantly changing, and it's awesome to be at the forefront of that.

The advice I would give is: 

1. Pay attention in math class in elementary school. 2. You can do ANYTHING you want. I've gone away to college, studied abroad, and traveled the world. Diabetes is mobile and adaptable, just like you. The world is your oyster, so seize your opportunity!

Emily

 
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Age: 29    Year Diagnosed: 1992   Location: Detroit, MI

"I work as a diabetes educator and specifically love working with teenagers. I often talk with them about diabetes burnout. We discuss how diabetes isn’t something you can do alone. We all need help sometimes: sometimes that help is with a site change and other times it might be a listening ear. This support can come from a friend, a family member or even right here on instagram. Find your tribe and allow that support to lift you up!

I LOVE to travel and experience new places. Travel with diabetes is always an adventure. Between trying new foods, lots of walking and being in a different time zone: diabetes can quickly get out of wack. I’ve had a bad site and had to do an injection and site change at 30,000 feet. I’ve gotten frisked because of all the needles in my carry on. I’ve done 4 site changes in one day because the combination of ocean water and sunscreen doesn’t work great for new sites and I refused to leave the beach. So I always say take backups of your backups when it comes to diabetes supplies and meds."

Nicole

 
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Age: 20   Year Diagnosed: 2007   Location: Macomb, Michigan

"When I was in 10th grade I went to go test my sugar. I get back to class and my teacher asks me if I'm okay and I said, 'yeah I'm just high'. The teacher and my friends started laughing and I said, 'not that high!. I mean my sugar is high!'

Out of my 10 years of being a type 1 diabetic, I have experienced DKA 4 times and it's so scary to be in. You have so many thoughts running through your mind.

Never give up, diabetes is really difficult to control and there are a lot of ups and downs but you will get through it."

Sahil

 
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Age: 25   Year Diagnosed: 1998   Location: Detroit, MI

"The thought that we had any control on being diagnosed because we 'ate too much sugar.' It is one of the most frustrating situations when people think you cannot have something or prevent you from eating it because they believe those decisions are what led to being diabetic in the first place.

I was able to submit paperwork through the special aid needed during testing department at my university, which gave me 45 minutes extra in a room for every exam I took. I never ended up needing the full time, but it was awesome getting it.

My biggest piece of advice is to keep glucose tablets everywhere.  Buy 5-6 of the big bottles and keep it in a car, by the bed, in a gym bag, in a backpack, and wherever else is commonly used when you cannot get food in your system right away. Will save you time, money, and fear whenever sugar does dip low."

 

 

Amber

 
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Age: 18   Year Diagnosed: 2016   Location: Detroit, MI

"Since my diagnosis, I have been grateful for the resources such as camp and social media because they have allowed me to meet other type 1s and keep in touch with them. I think this is important because it reminds me that I am not alone in this journey with type 1 diabetes.

My greatest piece of advice is to always be prepared because you never know what's going to happen in a day."

 

Michelle

 
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Age: 23    Year Diagnosed: 2009   Location: Pasadena, Ca

"In high school my pump unclipped from my pocket at the wrong time which led to me accidentally flushing my pump down the toilet. Luckily, I caught it by the cord and had to hold on tight until it stopped flushing and had to pull it out....talk about embarrassing.

Get involved in the T1D community! It makes the biggest difference. It starts off as a support system then becomes a great friendship!"

Sara

 
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Age: 29   Year Diagnosed: 2003   Location: Sweden

"One thing I want to share is how my diabetes has given me so many nice friends around the world. It feels like we have formed an incredibly nice and genuine family with diabetes. No matter who you are, where you come from and how you take care of your diabetes- everyone is welcome. We should be lucky that social media has a great impact and can connect us from all over.

Life does not end. I would like to say that it's only you who can limit to what you can and can not do. You don't have to choose whether to accept diabetes or not, but only you can make the most of the tools you have and get. Don't stress over individual blood sugar values because it will not kill you. Make sure you have fun on this journey and are open to try new things, even changing routines and habits. It can be difficult, but having an open mind will make you feel better even when living with this chronic disease."

Robert

 
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Age: 25   Year Diagnosed: 1997  Location: Simi Valley, Ca

"Everybody who has spent an extended period of time with me has, at some point, uncovered one or more (often more) purple BD sterile needle covers that I use for my insulin injection pen. They find them in their car, under couches, in their purses, in the kitchen, etc. I had a roommate once start a "money jar" where every time he found one of those purple BD needle covers, I'd have to put $1 in the jar. By the end of a full year, there was enough money to go out to a nice brunch in Santa Monica. I've tried to get better about throwing them in the trash, but every once in a while, I'll still find one on the floor and laugh.

I feel really blessed that T1D is a manageable condition. Although it can often be difficult, annoying, and at times a pain in the side (see what I did there), T1D does not prevent me from going after my dreams and living a fulfilled life."

Carrie

 
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Age: 23    Year Diagnosed: 2002   Location: Los Angeles, Ca

"Take everything day by day. You can't tell someone that it's going to get easier because it doesn't and that sucks. All you can tell people is you will find a new normal and you will get through the bad days and weeks and months when you struggle and you will be the strongest person you know and your own hero for getting through it.

Dave

 
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Age: 47    Location: 2016    Location: Los Angeles, Ca

"I was just a guest on Hollywood Handbook, a really funny podcast, and just as we were getting into a rhythm and making each other laugh, the producer said, "Does anyone else hear a distant ringing?" And we did. We all looked around, wondering if a fire alarm had been pulled. I took my headphones off to see if I could locate the noise, and of course it was coming from my very own butt. My insulin pump was failing, on microphone. So that's how I told those guys I was Type 1.

Community is so important. Just being around other people who have what you have- and are ALIVE- eases the stress. Go make a T1 friend, go for a run, have the experience of fixing a low or a high with someone who gets it- it makes a difference.

Jazmine

 
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 Age: 24  Year Diagnosed: 2005  Location: Rialto, Ca

“As a type 1 diabetic I’ve come across many misconceptions about my disease. The first is  that our  lives and choices  are limited. That we diabetics, only have a certain amount of options in life. Especially when it comes to food. Being a T1D just means  I need to make sure my sugars are at a balance, which I’m able to do so thanks to my insulin. The second misconception I would change is the confusion between type 1 and 2 diabetes. Often, people tend to confuses 1 and 2. People like to assume that I’m diabetic because I’m unhealthy. Again, wrong! I was born with type one diabetes, diagnosed at the age of 12. I made no bad decisions that lead me to being diabetic. Honestly, I don’t expect the world to know about my disease, I just ask that they don’t make assumptions.

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12 years my world fell apart. I was all of a sudden categorized as different from the rest. I felt like the only people that ever spoke to me about diabetes were my doctors. Those conversations were really only about my test results or medications. No one ever really spoke to me about living with the illness or advise me on things the illness would affect. There wasn’t anyone I knew in the world that could understand me and what I was going through. Until my fiance, Martin, told me about  diabetic meet-up- groups. A place to meet other diabetics like myself? After  finally attending one, I met the most amazing people that later became my best friends. Not only did they understand what I was going through, but they were also able to help me get through it. They too have gone through conflicts because of being diabetic and were able to gain knowledge from it which I later benefitted from. Ultimately, the point I’m trying to make here is go out there and meet other diabetics! The feeling of finding others like yourself is similar too finding a family. Its an automatic bond and love for one another.“

Andrew

 
 

Age:  28   Year Diagnosed:  2017    Location: Long Beach, Ca

"Whenever someone asks me what my pump is, I usually say its a monitoring device because I'm on house arrest, or a GPS tracker so my girlfriend can keep track of me.

Being diagnosed changes everything, its absolutely life changing. But it doesn't have to be all negative, and you cannot let it define you as a person. Who you are, should not ever change.

Know your rights, you're in a protected class now. I joke a lot about being an ADA class member, but certain places don't always understand certain special needs we may have. For example, going through a magnetometer, with a medical device, it could be dangerous. Know your rights, stay calm and respectful, but never do something that is going to jeopardize your health for the convenience of others."

Lisa

 
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Age: 47    Year Diagnosed: 1991    Location: Los Angeles, Ca

"That it's easy to manage. It's not simply balancing your insulin with food. As we know there are 42 factors that can effect your blood glucose. Thinking and acting like a pancreas is really hard. Type 1 can also be fatal. Too often this invisible disease is not taken seriously because you can't see us "rusting from the inside out," as my good friend likes to say. Well, not only is this disease stealthy -- especially the longer you've had it -- it can also kill you in the short term with a hypo or hyper episode.

A story I'd like to share is hearing the beeping of my insulin pump, and my 3 year old son's reaction to it: "Mommy, is it time to take your insulin?" On the one hand it's good to have another pair of eyes and ears on my T1D, but on the other, I wish my sweet toddler didn't have to see his mom struggle with this disease.

Don't give up hope. A cure will -- for real -- happen in your lifetime.

Taylor

 
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Age: 27   Year Diagnosed: 1992  Location: Santa Clarita, Ca

“I  was diagnosed with a very rare auto immune disorder called IPEX at 18. Most infants diagnosed with IPEX do not live past a few months, the most a couple years. The reason I am a Type 1 Diabetic is because this auto immune disorder attacks your immune system. There have been a lot of sh**ty days living with this disease, but if there is 1 thing that I can be happy about in having this disease, it's being a Type 1 Diabetic.  I have met the most amazing people with T1D that I now consider lifelong friends. Most days, my self confidence is on the lower side because of what my IPEX has done to me physically. When I am with my T1 friends, I feel as confident as ever. They see the friendship I have to offer, but most importantly, they see the love, care, a strength I possess. My IPEX and Type One Diabetes does not define who I am. What lies within me does, and my Type One Diabetic friends remind me of that every time I am with them. I think it’s because we can relate in that we have a life long illness, and that is something special I get to share with so many wonderful people.”

David

 
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Age:  21   Year Diagnosed: 2008   Location: Riverside, Ca

"I once was discriminated for having Diabetes at the airport security . The security guard told me I “didn’t need” my glucose supplies and threw them away right in my face and was very rude about it . That made me feel very bad for having Diabetes and she didn’t even know what I was going through or how that experience made me feel .

One of the biggest misconceptions I wish I could change is that We CAN eat sugar . In fact , we need sugar to stay alive sometimes !

A piece of advice is that it gets better . It may not seem like it does , but over time , you learn to deal with your struggle like a pro and it becomes second nature."