Age: 36 Year Diagnosed: 2008 Location: Chicago, IL

“Dating in your mid 30s is rough, but having to explain that you aren't taking drugs at the table to someone you just met is even rougher!

A misconception I wish I could change is that we are only diagnosed when we are really young. I was 26 so I knew what it was like to live without diabetes for a good portion of my life. While I am thankful that I didn't have it when I was in college, it's tough being diagnosed later as you don't have as much support like diabetes camps or family living with you to help you navigate the first few years.

I was diagnosed because of a random blood test, before I even had symptoms. I still had a very small amount of insulin production and because of that, my doctor encouraged me to participate in a research trial for people in my specific situation. While I ended up getting a placebo and the test therapy did me no good, I loved working with the research team and appreciated the process of participating so much. It's something that I feel like every diabetic should do at some point because of the amount of time they spend with you talking about your diabetes. I had a nutritionist at my disposal that I could meet with for free at any time and I got to meet a lot of other diabetics in my specific situation. I got to know the doctors and researchers very well throughout the 2 years I was part of the trial and it made me feel like I was part of a larger effort to find a cure.”