Age: 29 Year Diagnosed: 2006 Location: Newark, NJ

"Growing up, I often found myself in circumstances where I was the ‘only’ in a room—the only woman, the only person of color, the only black girl, the only person with diabetes. That was enough to intimidate me and render me silent. But, as I’ve aged, I’ve realized the importance of my voice, my unique experiences and my opinion. My thoughts matter, they are valid and they are deserving of the attention of others. My one piece of advice for those of you feeling a bit timid, and afraid to claim your space within this chronic illness community is to feel your fear and do it anyway. We need your voice. We need your perspective. Claim your seat at the table.”