Name: Ali Age: 23  Year Diagnosed: 1997  Location: San Clemente, Ca  

“Regarding my diabetes, my parents (who are the opposite of helicopter parents) instilled trust in me until something I did, proved otherwise. To say the least, their trust was something I took advantage of. It wasn't until the results of my pediatric endo appointments that they would become upset, therefore I would respond upset, and it became this ongoing cycle of me not understanding diabetes, refusing to accept diabetes, resisting any diabetic community and overall rebelling against my parents when they would try to offer support or help. This inconsistent pattern of self harm lasted until I had an extreme life transforming moment- I had moved away to college (with an ultimatum to take care of health) and had made increasing improvements to do so, when I woke up in the hospital from a going into a diabetic coma. That was when I was 18 years old, which is an entire story of itself (and I love to talk about that story but am trying to get to the point simultaneously). It was unlike the only other seizure I've ever had (3rd grade, I had the flu), this was so profound, it felt like my invitation from God to take this opportunity to FULLY wake up from this diabetic nightmare I was so numb to living. It was like divine intervention, something that shifted my entire perspective of what living with type one diabetes meant to me. For me, I feel type one diabetes AT ALL moments of the day, it doesn't matter if I'm 123, 288 or 60, I am always feeling the signals that my body is sending me. Living with type one diabetes gives me the sense of not only how I am constantly feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually, but that translates to how I communicate with the world around me. As a creative person and artist, being in tune with my health allows me to connect to the world around me in my truest form. And like that, my health has become the single most important factor to my livelihood. I still experience many highs and lows (no pun intended) living with type one,  but the difference for me now is that I feel constantly reminded to check in with myself, diabetic-ally and intuitively, by listening and trust my body, and celebrate this gift of life!”