My name is Mitch, and I’m a Type One Diabetic. Diabetes has well and truly changed my life – but by no means negatively! It has made me a better person, it has made me more aware of my health and also allowed me to help fellow children around my age get diagnosed before they seriously get ill. It has showed me that there are no limitations on what you can do, unless you don’t believe in yourself. That’s why I’m proud to be a diabetic; because it has made me proud.

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
“Mitch, if you were having a hypo, could I jut pour a bag of sugar into your mouth?”
No! That as simple as that! You’d probably send my blood sugars so high that I’d probably begin to get ketones and we all know how bad that is!

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
Dozens of times! As I’m into a lot of sports and I’m pretty adventurous, I always like to try new sports or play for new teams. When I was 13, I wanted to really do a martial art or a combat sport of some sort, in particular boxing. So I decided to contact a boxing gym, and when I mentioned I had diabetes, they decided to make excuses on why I shouldn’t join! “It’s too strenuous, you wouldn’t’ cope!” So instead I joined a local judo club, with a more strenuous training programme, and I did it!

How do you inspire others?
By trying to stay positive! And trying to spread awareness for Type 1 Diabetes. Some people in my sixth form feel it’s annoying but they’re wrong! Everyone should have at least a small understanding of an illness which affects so many people, and it filters out the stupid questions such as “can you die from insulin overdose?” Or “what would happen if I injected the whole cartridge!” Just allows people to have an understanding and to educate their friends and family, the cycle goes on!

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
When I was first diagnosed, it heavily affected my life. Sure I was only 6 at the time, but no one in my family or my friend group knew about it. My parents were scared to let me do things and other parents didn’t understand what diabetes was so wouldn’t let me stay over my friends’ houses for dinner or to sleepover because I was a liability. I understand why they acted like that, but at the time, I just felt lonely and left out.

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
It has made me more confident, healthier, and more importantly has made me prouder to be a diabetic. I want to spread the message out! I even changed my Instagram name to @mitchthediabetic so people would remember I was diabetic and ask me about it if needed!

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
None, either way they would peck you to death. And that’s not the way I’m gonna go.

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