Age: 39 Year Diagnosed: 1986 Location: Rhode Island,

“Just because we don’t look sick doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a cure. We might make this diabetes thing look easy, but it isn’t even close to easy. There’s no rhyme or reason to this disease, and even with the best care and the best intentions, complications can sometimes still come calling. And their effects are devastating. Diabetes, of all kinds, deserves a cure. No one asked for any of this. We deserve better than society thinking that diabetes isn’t worth their attention. We deserve, we fight for, and we advocate for a better life, better health outcomes … we deserve a fighting chance for a cure.

I wish I had known, in that moment of diagnosis, that it was going to be okay. There are ups and downs with everything, and diabetes is part of that ebb and flow, but there is life to be lived — a good life — even with diabetes. I have some extra issues to deal with as a result of this disease, but I will be okay. I need to remember that, especially when I feel overwhelmed now, as an adult. I can’t lose hope, even in that cure that’s been promised to me five times over now. And I can’t, for crying out loud, let any kind of pity party overtake who I am. I wish I had known that I CAN eat that, and I CAN do that, and I CAN work there, and I CAN love him, and I CAN be loved back, and I CAN be happy. I need to remember to go DO and BE without fear of this condition.”