My name is Ciera Sorensen and I’m 22 years old. I was diagnosed in May of 1995 just before my 4th birthday. I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. I met the nurse Don Scott in the hospital when I was diagnosed. I didn’t know then that he would be a man that would change my life forever. He taught my parents how to give me shots and instantly became my dear friend. He introduced me to his camp: Camp Hodia and I couldn’t wait to go. It sounded like so much fun. I went to camp when I was 8 years old. It was my own paradise. I got to meet kids from all over the state that dealt with the same things I did every day. I was a camper for 9 years and I have been on staff for the last 6 years.
I never had a perfect family life. My parents have both been married three times and life wasn’t easy for us growing up. We were constantly in stressful situations and this can be hard on diabetes. It also was the only thing I had control of so it meant that much more to me. I have always been a creative person. I like to be busy. I was a ballet dancer, a soccer player, a basketball player, a painter, a singer, a cheerleader, a pianist, and a sewer. I love to create. I love to laugh. I love life. I adapt with my disease to be able to do these things. I have gotten to know my body. It certainly has never kept me from being as driven as I could be.
When I turned 18 I decided to move to another state. I wanted to pursue a career in fashion and so I did. I picked up and moved without any family there or knowing really anyone besides my roommate. I figured out a job and school and most importantly a disease. This was in 2009 and I was one of the unfortunate ones that got swine flu. Swine flu and diabetes is no joke. I was in the ICU for two weeks and I got through it. I went back to school and kept plugging away.
I went through a really rough patch in 2012. I was working 5 jobs to pay for school. My health started to really suffer. I felt out of control. I was so angry with myself. I thought I was invincible. I flew back to Idaho that summer to attend camp. I needed to make a change. I had worked so hard to get to where I was and I didn’t want to give up. I finally came to the realization that taking care of myself isn’t giving up. It’s being responsible.
I needed to fix myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I began starting to get my blood sugars under control. I was testing 6 or 7 times a day and taking back control of my disease. After three months my A1c was a 6.8. I was happy again.
I picked up school again at Boise State in 2013. I hadn’t received any of my 90 credits from the school I had been attending for the three years prior so I started all over. I could have given up, but I don’t believe in it. When life gets hard you adapt. I now have just a year left in school and I am working in the field that I want to be in. I landed a wonderful opportunity in marketing and I am soaking it all up.
I got through it and I will get through the next thing. Life is hard and so is diabetes, but you can get through anything that is thrown your way. Your health needs to be your motivation. I’ve learned that I need to take care of myself sometimes that means putting me first. It doesn’t make me weak. It makes me a fighter.