Age:  28     Year Diagnosed: 2005    Location: Rowland Heights, Ca

"Growing up we had a family dog that had type one diabetes. I remember my mom giving her shots before she ate. That was the extent of my diabetic knowledge back then. So when the signs of this disease started to be more noticeable in me, we had little idea as to the weight of what that actually meant.

I was given my official diagnosis on January 10, 2005. I was suffering from a sore throat, and when my mom described to the doctor some of my behavior leading up to our visit, they decided to test my blood sugar. It ended up being too high for the meter to read. That was when one chapter of my life came to a close, and this new diabetic one began.  

I was immediately admitted to CHOC Hospital. I owe the doctors and staff there so much for fighting the hard fights and for helping me come to understand what was happening to me. 

However, following all of that, I found it a struggle to keep myself on track. A few years after receiving my diagnosis, I found myself in a stage of semi-denial. I stopped using my Lantus and only did Humalog when I ate. I was barely taking care of my diabetes, and in so doing, I was barely taking care of myself. My actions landed me back in the hospital for a two week stay, during which I had a very long talk with my doctor, who at one point told me, “If you hadn’t come back in when you did, you wouldn’t have made it to tomorrow.” Those words will forever be burned in my memory. 

It’s been truly amazing over the last few years to witness the growth of this community of people like me — but it wasn’t until lately that I’ve become more active in this amazing community. There are quite a few people that I owe a huge thank you to for helping me see all the support that everyone has for each other. It has inspired me to want to do more and help more . 

Having a disease that is so misunderstood, I often kept it to, “I have type one diabetes.” I would speak very little when people asked about the devices attached to me. Lately though, I’ve been more invested in trying to help people understand what we go through. All type one diabetics have a similar fight to fight, but every person’s battle is their own, and everyone has a different outlook and perspective on the disease. But when fellow type ones come together to help each other through the hard times — well, that’s an amazing thing, and I’m so happy to now feel more and more a part of this community. 

I’m seeing my life with type one in a different light nowadays — a better one —  which is due in large part to this ever-growing support system. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of being a type one diabetic. If you choose for it to be, this disease can be viewed as an empowering tool to help bridge the information gap that much of society has about it. My outlook now is more positive and productive then ever before. And that has very much to do with all of you reading this."