Age: 28   Year Diagnosed:  2005  Location: Dallas, Tx

"I’m trying to think of something unusual or different, but I think early on I used to be more sensitive about people asking questions about it. One time I snapped at one of my college basketball teammates pretty harshly, when I think he was just curious more than anything else. I think he was just asking about my pens (I was on MDIs at the time) and I just flew off the handle at him. I try to use it as a reminder that curiosity isn’t always invasive and people can have good intentions with their questions.

When I was in college i answered a question in class and brought up that I had Type 1 Diabetes. It was one of the first times I’d personally stood up and said “I have diabetes AND...” publicly and really taking ownership of it. After class a friend who I’d worked on a few projects with and seen around school came up to me and said “I had no idea you had Type-1 Diabetes, my cousin just got diagnosed and the doctor told him he couldn’t run triathlons anymore. I know you play college basketball so maybe you could email him and encourage him?” Long story short, I sent him a few emails back and forth, encouraging him that he could do whatever he wanted as long as he took care of himself. 6 months later I got an email with no subject line, just a photo of him holding a medal from running a triathlon. 7 years later in a hotel in Bogota, I was thinking about the way that email made me feel, and that was the beginning of Diabetics Doing Things.

It gets better. Take it slow. Talk to other T1Ds. Talk to your parents, get them someone to talk to. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not dope. Test your blood sugar. Exercise and stay hydrated. Use Diabetes puns liberally. Be careful of bad diabetes related fonts."