Age: 29   Year Diagnosed:  2005    Location: Brooklyn, NY

"Let your diabetes in to your life. Let your diagnosis become a part of your story. Let your blood sugar testing and pump site changing routine become a part of your daily routine - just like brushing your teeth. Don't give your highs and lows enough power to prevent you from getting up and doing it all over tomorrow. It took me almost 10 years to embrace this disease and allow it to feel a part of who I am. Once I finally realized that diabetes would be sticking around for a while, I stopped fighting AGAINST it, and asked it instead to work WITH me. I literally talk to my diabetes sometimes. I will ask it to cooperate with me when I want to go on a long hike, to stay quiet and calm when I'm about to walk into a meeting, and to give me a break on the tougher days. It's been a transformative experience to stop fearing the worst that diabetes might put me through, and instead look at my diabetes as just another part of who I fundamentally am as a person. This is not to say that everyday I don't fight to outdo what I was capable of yesterday. But I don't waste my energy resenting diabetes anymore. It's simply not worth it. Not to mention, when I made the conscious decision to change the role diabetes played in my life, an entirely new world of opportunity opened up. I found a whole community of people that I had not allowed myself to know or befriend for entirely too long. I had no idea that I had been missing out on the opportunity to share this journey with some of the kindest, strongest, most ambitious, and beautiful people in the world. And now that I have them in my life, I feel so lucky diabetes brought me here."