My name is Joseph and I have been type 1 since age 7. I struggled with the disease for years but have finally found a balance of diet and exercise that helps my reach my ideal numbers. In May of 2015 I ended up in the hospital due to complications, and that really kicked my butt into gear. As bad of an event that it was, it made me realize that If I don’t change things I’m in for trouble. I cut my a1c from a 12 to 7.0 in just 9 months and am trying harder every day. I owe my success to family, friends, and everyone in between. The attached picture is of Team Fino at our local JDRF walk 🙂

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
A gentleman once asked if maybe I was just allergic to sugar and not actually diabetic. I had no response for him. I laughed!

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
I was once told my an older women that because I had type 1 growing up, it meant I was supposed to die as a child. I couldn’t believe that someone actually had the audacity to say something so ridiculous. By living a good life, kicking diabetes’ butt everyday, and having a smile on my face,  I consider each day a day that I am proving her wrong.

How do you inspire others?
I am a person who never gives up on my dreams, regardless of what they are. This summer I currently began running races throughout Chicago. My first attempt I came in 3rd place for my age, my next in 1st in my age. This disease has never controlled who I am and it never will. I don’t want people to feel bad for me, rather, be thankful for the things you have. Life is what you make it out to be, and so far, life has been good to me.

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Having diabetes has made me appreciate the little things in life. I find no sense in complaining about things we can’t control. We have to just make the best out of every situation. I was in the hospital for 4 days last spring due to complications with diabetes. It turned my whole attitude around and helped create a stronger, more driven, fearless person. I have such better control over the disease now. It’s amazing what can change in a little over a year.

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
My diabetes has taught me to never give up. It has given me motivation to work out everyday, and set new goals to reach. Without it, I wouldn’t not be as persistent, responsible, or driven as I am.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
Tricks on you, I like the ducks. So 100 ducks lol

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