Age: 26  Year Diagnosed: 2016  Location: Century City, Ca

"I was diagnosed with Diabetes at 16 years old. I remember my parents were out of town and I was taken to the doctor by my sister, thank god she was there because I could barely stay awake behind the wheel with such high blood sugar! 

Growing up, I was the kid who played sports all their life and was never allowed sodas or bad cereal for breakfast. Forget processed sugars, my mom would bake our bread fresh weekly! So as I showed all the classic symptoms of thirst, fatigue, and blurry vision, it only took one glucose reading to confirm my suspicions. As soon as the doctor hung up the phone my parents were on the first flight back to Texas.

At the time of my diagnosis I don’t think I really understood the gravity of my situation, but none the less I tackled it head on. I volunteered for a 2 year clinical trial study that was really rough on my body and took a lot of time and effort. I also joined the local JDRF chapter and became a mentor to young diabetics who were dealing with diabetes in elementary and middle school. I wanted to be a part of the solution, not just another person who was coping. In some weird way, I felt like a soldier for good and it was my duty to try to help the next person who would find themselves in my situation.

It wasn’t until college that I found what living in the real world with diabetes is actually like. Living on your own and being thrust in situations that your body can't handle is tough. Parties filled with sugary drinks, living abroad for a year, and playing shows allowed for a lot of unpredictability. I was able to support myself through college by DJing but being a musician and music producer, it’s really important for me to be in tune with my body. Long nights of drinking or strenuous activity playing shows makes me susceptible to lows, and one of my biggest fears is having a low while I’m on stage.

I often look at my diabetes in terms of music, life, and expression. I can’t play if I don’t feel well. What's happening on the inside is usually reflected on the outside. Music tells a story, so I look at my life and ask myself, 'what kind of story do you want to write and tell the world?' "