Age: 25  Year Diagnosed: 2012  Location: Riverside, Ca

"I am 25 years old and living life as a newlywed with my husband of 6 months, Matt, in sunny SoCal. Back in 2012, I was living in Malibu, CA in the beach city of my dreams just one semester into a master’s program at Pepperdine. About halfway into the semester, my health began to quickly deteriorate and each day I felt like I was becoming weaker and weaker. Growing up, I thrived in school and was at the top of my class. Suddenly, I found it difficult to study or even make it to class. My concentration and focus in the classroom became an issue and I recall one time turning in a blank exam because I couldn’t stop my head from spinning. For the next few months, I experienced all the symptoms you’d expect from undiagnosed diabetes- weight loss, chronic fatigue, weakness, excessive thirst, frequent urination, and so on. After finals, I went home for the holidays and was diagnosed just 4 days before Christmas.

I’ve learned so much in the past 4 years. My journey with T1D has made me realize that I could very well accomplish all the same goals in life—with or without T1D. The only difference is that I have to manually control my non-existent pancreas with a little extra work and effort. Instead of viewing T1D as a setback, I’ve learned to embrace the challenge. Instead of pitying myself or subconsciously convincing myself that I was forever “sick,” I decided that I was not going to view T1D as a thorn in my side. I’ve committed myself to studying T1D inside and out and learning ways to enhance my quality of life and diabetes management. My passion is to shatter the stereotypes, confusion, and stigma associated with T1D and living with a chronic illness. In the past four years, I’ve traveled the world, studied abroad in Europe, graduated with my Master’s degree in Global Business, established a solid career, and recently married the love of my life — all while learning how to navigate and outsmart T1D. The best part is that I have a solid support system to run alongside this journey with me. My dad and 2 siblings are also Type 1 Diabetics, who all have a different story. We are bonded by faith and by fight.  My commitment to myself and to the T1D community is to continue to make each day better and help others maximize optimal health, confidence and a life filled with purpose and meaning."