Age: 42 Year Diagnosed: 1985 Location: Los Angeles, Ca

“When I was 10 years old, I had a hypoglycemic seizure. It was an eye-opening experience for me. Less than 2 years after being diagnosed, my pancreas was still producing some insulin & my daily doses hadn’t been adjusted to factor this in yet. It’s foggy, but I remember every detail of that night: my father carrying me down the stairs & trying to control my flailing arms; my panicked mother drawing up a glucagon shot while on the phone with my doctor & the 9-1-1 operator; my terrified little brother in the corner, crying. In the course of the night, I full-out slapped our neighbor, and bit both my father AND mother- to the point of needing a tetanus shot! The memories that are most vivid for me are those of my family & how they’ve been affected. When I first started dating my wife, I had an extreme low blood sugar reaction & the one thing that snapped me out of it was her tears- her worry. The ‘Dia-BEAST’ is not exclusive to only us diabetics. It’s easily transmittable to those around us. Even our friends & family lose sleep over it. So I think it’s very important to remember when we’re talking about kids or adults with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, we also include the communities around them that share in the daily struggle. It’s never-ending, but hopefully one day that will change.

Be kind to yourselves. There are lots of rules, restrictions & responsibilities that come with T1D that could wear down even the most resilient person. Make it a point to approach life with a grain of salt (or sugar) & allow yourself to do ‘everything in moderation’ so you don't burn out too quickly.”