Hi, my name is Jack and 15 years ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Through the years I’ve come to meet so many other diabetics and realized that I’m not alone in this fight. There are some days that are tougher than others, but I’ve learned so much about myself because of diabetes that I’m truly thankful I was diagnosed. I’ve always lived my life to the fullest and made it a personal goal that I would never say to myself that I couldn’t do something because of my diabetes. This disease is a apart of me, but it’s not the whole me. 15 years has been a long time, but when I think of the friends I’ve made and the person it’s made me today, I couldn’t imagine a day without being diabetic. I’ve stayed strong and I’m proud of it.
What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Someone once asked me if my diabetes was contagious. I told them no it wasn’t, but I guess they were just going to have to shake my hand and find out for sure.
How do you inspire others?
I go to a diabetes camp every year in Hudson, Wisconsin called Camp Needlepoint. I’ve gone there for 11 years now. I used to be a camper, but now that I’m old enough I work as a counselor/mentor to many diabetic children. I strive to inspire them to never let their diabetes get in the way of accomplishing anything they want to achieve. It brings the biggest smile to my face when I have a camper at the end of the week tell me that they’re going to come back next year because I was the best counselor they ever had.
How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
My Diabetes has made me the person I am today by teaching me responsibility and always being in touch with my own body. As a diabetic you have to be aware of when you’re blood sugar is high and low so I’m very aware of how my body should always be functioning. To be a good diabetic you have to always be responsible with testing your blood sugar consecutively throughout the day and giving yourself insulin whenever you need it. These values have been instilled in me since I was a kid so this type of responsible living has benefitted me in school and my work as well.