2009- Age 14 lost mum to cancer
2011- Diagnosed at the age of 16 with Type 1 diabetes. Was in hospital for 5-7days. Started in ICU, moved to children’s ICU, and then standard Padiatric ward. At the time in school preparing for my GCSEs in a school I had just started! Now Assistant Manager of H Samuel, and my health has never been better 🙂

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Wasn’t so much a question but a statement which was, “You’re so lucky you can just eat sweets and drink whenever and wherever you want in lessons”. Ummm…no. I am a shakey sweaty mess because I’m in the process of dying!

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
Got told I would struggle working full time, and yes it is exhausting sometimes, but being a manager is something I have pretty much always wanted so, worth all the effort and tired evenings!

How do you inspire others?
I lost my mum at the young age of 14. I have been surrounded by every drug under the sun since then, including everything I experienced whilst in hospital when diagnosed. I see these as mere hiccups in my lifeline, however cliche it may sound, it has built the strength in me today, and I know if I can get through those 2 episodes at such a young age, I can achieve and get through anything 👌

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Being diagnosed so young, whilst I was still at school doing my GCSEs, and having just started a new school in year 10, I really struggled with my diagnosis. I had a build up of all this stress, including the death of my mum, that I just couldn’t overcome or control. I stopped injecting and testing and anything that involved a needle (which is just diabetes in a nutshell really.) I started to smoke and drink and skipped my lessons throughout the following year. I was going down a road that I knew would kill me, so I started having sessions with a counselor. I don’t remember her name, but this lady honestly saved my life, and got me through a stage in my life I thought I could never face. It effects me in work still today when I have hypos and I have to look like a shakey idiot in front of my colleagues and customers! But something I and the people around me have learnt to overcome and joke about, (it’s nice to see the bright side of it all!)

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Challenges are something I can face with ease now. Whether it is life throwing something at me, health complications such as my diabetes, hypothyroidism or celiac disease, or even something at work, I will rise to it and always come out having achieved something. Sometimes with my anxiety I struggle to notice the good I do, but I know deep down, these obstacles are something I never would have even attempted before.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
Oh most definitely a 100 ducks! Horse sized duck? No thanks.

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