Age: 31 Year Diagnosed: 2002 Location: San Diego, Ca

“February 5, 2002. I was 13 years old and in the 8th grade. I had recently been called into the school office, along with my mother, as I had been missing a lot of school that year. They said that it wasn't normal to miss as much school as I had been, and stated that if I am truly sick this much, that they have reason to believe something may be wrong. So I get picked up this day and head to the Dr appointment which has been scheduled as a result of that conference. Get checked in, walk to the back, and as normal, weigh me before leading me to my room. First red flag. I had lost 20 lbs. A 13 year old boy who never had weight to lose to begin with. They run a few more checks from there, then as a result of everything so far, they bring this device in, where they have to poke my finger and apply a drop of blood to it. It came back with a number somewhere around 480. They say it's diabetes. We have no clue what this means yet as there were no other members of my family with type 1 diabetes at this point. (A cousin of mine was diagnosed with T1 a few years later.) They tell my mom to take me to the local hospital where they will be getting a room ready for me. I spent the next 5 days there, learning about diabetes, counting carbs, calculating and injecting insulin. I'll never forget how hard it was to give myself that first shot. After 5 days there, I spent about another week out of school adjusting to and learning about this new life and how to control it. I finally went back to school about 2 weeks after that appointment. I came back to a lot of questions from my friends and teachers, but I was back and felt better than I had in months!

The first piece of advice I would like to give other newly diagnosed type 1's would be to learn to accept it as a part of your life and embrace it. You don't need to shout it from the rooftops but do not hide in the closet with it either. Having those around you aware of what is going on can be crucial in the event that you ever need help in an emergency.”