Age: 26 Year Diagnosed: 2016 Current Location: Paris, France
“Once, I went for lunch with two women from another team at work. One had organized this lunch, so I could discover the other one's job. We were about to start eating so I checked my blood glucose to know how much insulin to inject. During the process, I kept on talking and started to tell her that I had some questions. She suddenly felt very uncomfortable and told me "Oh! Ok, if you want we can do that". I didn't understand what she meant, so I told her that I had to do it to know how much insulin to inject because I was diabetic. Her face turned red. She thought I was going to record the conversation with my Accu-Check ! We both felt immensely embarrassed and laughed !
People often assume that Type 1 diabetics are responsible for their condition because they ate too much sugar or didn't exercise enough. They also think that you can't do some stuff that non-diabetic people do, like working in a stressful environment, traveling, running marathons, skydiving, scuba diving ... and some diabetics actually start believing that they can't do those things... I want to show that WE CAN DO ANYTHING ! The most annoying misconception about Type 1 Diabetics is that they can't eat whatever they want. People look at you and want to make you feel guilty ! I eat whatever I want!
My diagnosis story was not different from others: I ended up in DKA in the hospital. The first decision I made in my hospital room? Be stronger than diabetes. Never let it limit me. Live my life to the fullest. 1 week later, I ran a 10 km. 1 month later, I started a new job in an international environment-friendly cosmetics company. 3 months later, I moved into a new apartment and painted and decorated it myself. 7 months later, I had already visited 15 cities in 7 different countries. 9 months later, I signed up for a half-marathon to raise awareness and I launched my own fundraising campaign. Now, I've founded my own non-profit: Type 1 Family. And on November 4th, I'll run the NYC Marathon with 20 other type 1s with Beyond Type 1. Diabetes made me want to live my life to the fullest even more ! Because I realized how we take it for granted when it's not ! Sharing my story is not about complaining or talking about me. I feel grateful for the life I have and that “only” my pancreas gave up on me. I am sharing my journey because people with Type 1 diabetes are often forgotten or misunderstood. We need to give them their dignity back. We need to pay tribute to the families, to the caregivers and the nonprofits who fight this battle. We need to acknowledge that there is no cure and that we need one. This is my way to fight for a sweet life. I share my story and create a safe place so that children don’t feel ashamed of their condition ever again, so that they know they can do ANYTHING, so that they don’t feel alone and so that they can proudly say that they are everyday life heroes, T1D heroes, and they belong to a wonderful and caring community. And most of all, I run and raise funds hoping that one day we will be able to tell them this is curable.
It’s important to know that even if the only thing that you did today was just survive, that’s great. It’s not so easy to have Type 1 diabetes, and just going through the day without too many issues is already a big challenge. Connecting with other people with Type 1 diabetes is also very helpful. This last year, I connected with a lot of different people and met a lot of Type 1s and it has been very helpful for me — not because I want to talk about diabetes with them — but just to feel less alone, to feel like you belong to a community. It has been the most helpful thing this year.
Here is my advice:
•Accept that you can’t change it
•Think about everything you have
•Admire beauty in the little things around you
•Always find a reason to smile
•Enjoy every moment and capture the good times
•Be proud of your achievements, even the small ones
•Focus on what’s important
•Grow from the bad times and ignore mean people
•Connect with others, they will give you faith in humanity
•Find your tribe and love them hard
•Be the reason someone smiles today
•Every day is a new beginning: take a deep breath and start again!
I am just beginning my journey with this new reality but I understood that others have gone before me and their story can only help light the way. The T1D community on Instagram is a blessing for newly diagnosed like me. Today I want to see my diabetes as something that makes me strive to live life to the fullest. I hope that my story will inspire others and that my experience can help someone else along their journey. We live a daily-life that is almost unimaginable for ordinary people. I hope you feel extraordinary, because you definitely are. And remember, happiness is not the absence of problems, it is the ability to deal with them. Let’s all be Type 1 happy!”