I have been living with diabetes for 20 years now. All I can say is that despite the hardships it has given me, it has provided more purpose to my life. I have met some of my closest friends through volunteering at Camp Kudzu and also feel honored to help promote healthy life styles to children that are still trying to figure out how to best cope with diabetes. Having grown up with diabetes has made me the person I am today and without it I do not believe that I would be who I am now, and personally it has turned me into the best version of myself.
Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
I’ve been told many things that I shouldn’t do. Thanks to Camp Kudzu I learned that I can do almost anything with proper maintenance. I have gone scuba diving many places, flown aircraft, and gone on crazy last minute trips thanks to proper education and ability to keep proper care of myself.
How do you inspire others?
The biggest is through Camp Kudzu. Something about educating the young children about how to live a healthy lifestyle while still having fun and doing everything they want is extremely rewarding. I had role models do the same for me and having the ability to pay it forward is extremely rewarding.
How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
I am a very compassionate person to those with any sort of disabilities. Whether it be a simple sprained ankle to the worst condition you can imagine, I try my best to accommodate everyone in my life. Despite the fact that I need little assistance in my lifestyle, I want everyone else to live comfortably even if it means having to take one for the team.
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
I would prefer a horse sized duck. Ducks can get a bit vicious and I fear that 100 of them would overwhelm my abilities. With a singular target I feel that I can focus my attacks and eventually conquer the monstrosity.