If I could’ve put a set of jumper cables on my pancreas to crank it back up, I would’ve! Diabetes hit me when my pancreas shut down in flight training while I was in the USAF. The stress on my body was apparently too much for my pancreas & I tried to push through dehydration, nausea, blurred vision and frustration for 3 months. Eventually, I went to the ER and found my BG was just over 1500! I’ve been trying to #hackthebetes for a while now, because I found out that so many people are fearful & hurting in the wake of #T1D. I wish somebody had come alongside me when I was first diagnosed & helped me focus on what’s important and also reassure me that my life wasn’t over. So, I’m trying to do that every day by posting videos about diabetes on Instagram. We’re completed a short film called #Type1Day1 for newly diagnosed diabetics and my friends at @beyondtype1 are helped make it possible. If we can’t laugh at this thing – we’re crazy! Trust me, there’s enough grumpy cat pictures out there, we don’t need more reasons to complain about what’s not going right in our lives because of diabetes!

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Are you sure you’re not just allergic to sugar? To prove a point, I licked the birthday cake on their plate…while never breaking eye contact.

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
I think #1 pretty much sums that up. Although, I don’t know about proving them wrong. I’m probably just allergic to good table manners.

How do you inspire others?
#hackthebetes videos & daily humor / laughs. I’ve purposefully kept the videos rough, shot on a gopro, phone or something small, and edited on my phone. Just to prove that you can make something every day – you don’t need to have a studio to make good stuff.

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
I’ve been shocked at how much I’ve learned from the social media #T1D community! At first, I didn’t know if it would be weird, but some of the best things I’ve learned have been in comments, asking questions and having some humility. Me walking around like I had it all together didn’t help me or anybody else!

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Stronger. It’s forced me to suck it up and not complain about things as much. Perspective is everything and I could be a whole lot worse off than where I’m at. It’s caused me to pray more & never lose sight of my faith in God – that’s the only thing that’s kept me going.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
I’ll fight that giant horse sized duck as long as you give me the 100 little ones. We’ll tear that thing limb from limb, feathers everywhere, blurred fury of beaks tearing at him… Bonus: if you can get those 100 ducks to wear saddles with baby ringtail lemurs at the reins, I’ll guarantee you 1 billion likes on Instagram.

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