Age: 36  Year Diagnosed: 2008  Location: Los Angeles, CA

"I had no idea it was possible to be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as an adult, and unfortunately, neither did my doctor at the time. I was started on medication for Type 2 Diabetes, despite weighing 100 lbs and having no family history of the disease, solely because of my age. My health was rapidly deteriorating, and after hours on the internet, I realized I had LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) and was able to get an appointment with Dr. Anne Peters and Donna Miller at the USC Westside Center for Diabetes. They started me on insulin immediately, and my diagnosis was soon confirmed through antibody testing. I was grateful to finally have an answer, but it was a really strange and lonely time. All of the resources and support groups for newly diagnosed Type 1’s were for kids, teens, and their parents. My first Novolog pen was decorated with balloons, and the medical alert bracelets were all designed for little girls. I was working in the entertainment industry at the time, and I quickly began to lose interest and any sense of purpose in my life. It felt like nothing fit. With therapy and the support of family, friends, and medical professionals, I eventually adapted and went on to get married, earn a Master’s degree in counseling, buy and remodel a house, and give birth to two healthy and beautiful baby boys. I used to have a lot of angst about having to mourn the loss of good health in the prime of my young adulthood, but now I’m so grateful for it. It streamlined my priorities and helped me manifest things I previously wasn’t even sure I wanted, but that are now my greatest joys (like being a mom!). I no longer feel betrayed by my body and have a renewed sense of love and appreciation for it. I know it’s tempting for type 1’s to expend a lot of energy proving to themselves and the world that they can accomplish anything non-diabetics can, and that’s true and inspiring, but my biggest piece of advice is to be gentle with yourself- you are doing the work of a divinely designed organ! It’s okay to not be “on” all the time. Prioritize your health- BG control, healthy eating, sleep, exercise, and stress relief are all critical, but don’t forget to have FUN!"