Lala Jackson


Lala Jackson

29 years old

T1D for 18 years

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 10, I was lucky to have a care team of doctors, nutritionists, clinical diabetes educators, and more who were adamant that I kept experiencing life as the adventurous little kid that I was and that I should never feel like my diabetes was holding me back.

As I’ve gotten older, while I definitely try to stay focused on everything that I CAN do, I do have times of diabetes burnout, which I think everyone with T1D does. Times when we just want it to go away, times when we realize how overwhelming it is that we will carry this disease until the day there is a cure, if it's in our lifetime.

The most overwhelming times almost always have to do with getting access to the things I need to take care of myself. Before health care laws changed, I couldn’t get health insurance coverage for thirteen months after I graduated from college, and that was scary. A single vial of insulin can cost several hundred dollars without insurance, and I use up to three vials a month. Test strips, other medicines, insulin pumps, pump supplies – it can all add up, and we all need help to manage it all. I’m thankful though – as technology is improving, as new treatments are researched, and as I’ve learned to become a better advocate for myself with insurance and health care providers, life gets easier. I think for all of us with T1D, the thought that it’s never going away can be really overwhelming, but we’re also so incredibly thankful for the help we receive along the way.