Hey how’s it going? My name is Matthew Smith. I was raised in Lexington, Kentucky U.S.A. where I still live today. I am 34 years of age and have had Type one Diabetes since March 30th 1983. As a child I was known as “THE DIABETIC.” I thought that I was the only one with diabetes until I was about 6 or 7 years old. Through my early years I missed a lot of school due to diabetes and ear problems but managed to make it to 12th grade. When I was 20 they told me I would be 21 when I graduated so I made the mistake of dropping out of school. My older brother was diagnosed with type one when he was ten years old. Growing up, my family had to make large sacrifices just to keep me and my brother alive. Diabetes supplies were very expensive and we sometimes had to reuse syringes. In 2008, my brother died of a heart attack; it was quite a surprise because at the time he appeared to be healthier than me. I am currently using an Animas Ping insulin pump. When I was in the hospital being diagnosed with type one God gave me the gift of being able to play drums and I still play! I also fly power kites to keep my spirits up on the days that I feel good and have reasonable blood sugars. One thing I do to give back is I set up a computerized Christmas display at my home each year where the lights dance to the music. I love watching children’s faces seeing and looking at the lights and how they blink to the music. This year I got a special “Diabetes Ribbon” made for the display in hopes that I can get people to donate to JDRF. I hope that my display helps bring awareness for a cure so that no child will ever live with this disease again.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story