My name is Rachel and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was nine. I’m nineteen now and I’m a much happier person now than I was when I was first diagnosed. Today I am confident and strong, all thanks to my diabetes. My diabetes also sparked the beginning of my career as an artist and I have written and illustrated my first book titled, “Type 1der Woman”, a illustrated book for other diabetic kids to enjoy!

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
I was once asked if I could exercise to get rid of my diabetes. There seems to be a constant mix up t1d with t2d so I always explain the difference between the two and that sadly, it isn’t that easy for t1diabetics, haha.

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
People always thought that I couldn’t have cake at a birthday party, or any kind of junk food if I wanted to. And I myself didn’t think that I’d be able to lose weight if I wanted to because my blood sugars always drop after a work out. But today I prove that I can have a slice of bday cake if I want to and that I can lose weight, now that I’ve found a balance with my diabetes.

How do you inspire others?
I inspire others with both my positive attitude and my dream of becoming a successful artist! My book is the very start of my career and has already reached the hearts of young diabetic children and their families and I couldn’t be prouder of what my book has already accomplished!

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Diabetes affects me on a daily basis. On my off days, I still cry. “Why me? What did I do?” I always have thoughts like that. But I like to think I have diabetes for a reason. Whether it be to inspire others, help others learn about it, or help me become a stronger person, I look at diabetes positively now.

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
When I was first diagnosed, I was a terrifyingly underweight, extremely shy, heartbroken, depressed young girl. I was mad and sad and scared that I had been given diabetes, from out of the blue too. But thanks to diabetes and the support of my family and friends, I’m now a confident, strong, mature, positive, healthy, driven young woman. It’s all thanks to my diabetes.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
100 regular sized ducks (though I would never fight a duck, I’d just run away haha)! The thought of a horse-sized duck scares the poop out of me!

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