20 years old
T1D for 18 years
I was diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) at the age of two, which came as a shock to my parents. They would spend their days fumbling with the clunky meter to test my blood sugar, and battling with me over the daily injections I needed to take. Their nights weren't restful either; they were often faced with the challenge of deciphering between my nightmares and low blood sugars. The three of us worked as a team – the blind leading the blind. Finding a balance was never easy.
As I approach my 21st birthday, I have been reflecting on the impact of that diagnosis almost 19 years ago. T1D is demanding; each day presents itself with new challenges and obstacles. I’m forced to inject myself with a hormone that could kill me as easily as it keeps me alive. There are no breaks. This morning I walked past a doorknob – my insulin pump tubing got caught, my pump site was a goner.
And while I must cut corners in some places in order to make strides in others, those strides mean so much. Even in my moments of self-doubt and worry, I was supported and encouraged by my parents to take those strides. I attend Endicott College hours from home, where I pursue my passions of dance and marketing communications. With a push from my amazing friends and family, I completed a semester abroad in London last fall. I’m living on my own in Manhattan for the summer. My point is, living with T1D does not mean you can’t accomplish every single one of your goals.