I have been a Type 1 Diabetic now for 17 years. I have always advocated for the importance of research into finding and cure for Type 1 Diabetes. However, I have found it hard being the only one in my immediate and extended family to have Diabetes. Yet my family has always been there to support me through the good times and the bad. Along with my friends who always know how to make me laugh and realise all of the wonderful memorise and good times that I have.
What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
People seem to forget that there is two types of Diabetes type 1 and type 2. After I told someone that I had Diabetes (forgetting to specify which one) they proceeded to look me up and down and state ‘oh, but you’re not that fat though. Maybe you could loose a few kilos and it’ll go away’.
I must admit I struggled to answer them back wondering if I should take what the said seriously.
Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
People haven’t ever said that I couldn’t do something, they have often said I shouldn’t but I never really listened to them anyway, I mean what do they know? No one knows my body the way I do and the signs of my hypos. I tried to not let the things people say affect me but sometimes it can get hard. But my mum always told me to have fun proving them wrong and more often than not I did.
How do you inspire others?
It’s hard to say how I inspire others as I’m not sure if I actually do. My friends say that they would struggle to do what I do everyday and stay positive and that they’re proud of me but I’ve never really thought of myself as an inspiration but I’ve always tried to stay positive for those around me and support them just as they always support me.
Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
When I was younger and just before I went onto the pump I had a hypo and passed out over night (the doctors assumed I must have passed out because of the severity of my hypo) and when I woke up the next morning I had no memory of who or where I was. I remembered nothing, everyone even my parents and brother were complete strangers to me. Upon being taken to the hospital I started the monumental task of learning everything again, I was like a GIANT toddler learning who and where I was again. It was a struggle to learn everything again, mum would ask me if I wanted pasta for dinner and I didn’t know what it was so she would have to sit me down and show me photos of what pasta was. It was a long and tiring process that I hope no one else has to go through.
How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
There has always been good days and bad. I feel that Diabetes has shaped me into a stronger and more resilient person. It has taught me to take every opportunity that comes my way I have represented Victoria (state of Australia) in running, swimming and fashion design (juggling my insulin pump in my garment was a challenge) I haven’t let Diabetes get in the way of my life it has only ever been along for the ride in the passenger seat, It has never controlled me and what I am able to achieve.
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
Oh that’s a tough question but I would have to fight the horse sized duck as I would win the horse sized duck over with a big loaf of bread!!