Tarah Gibbins


I’m Tarah, I’m 24 years old, and I was diagnosed with T1D in June 2015. The doctors first diagnosed me with diabetes in April, but assumed that because I’m overweight, I was a type 2 diabetic. My A1C was 14, and they didn’t even consider the possibility of it being T1D. I had been going to the doctor once a week for two months because I thought type 2 medicines were making me sick. I walked into the ER for fluids after being violently sick for a month straight, was admitted to the ICU for DKA, and walked out as a type 1 diabetic. This is major change to my life, but it won’t stop me from living it to the fullest. I’m thankful for my wonderful endocrinologist, type 1 diabetic communities, modern science, and my wonderful friends and family who support me every step of the way.

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
I get asked often “Why do you choose to do shots instead of changing your diet and exercising?” I always respond with “I didn’t choose this, it chose me. No diet change nor exercise can replace my insulin dependency.”

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
Yes, I constantly get told “You can’t eat that.”

How do you inspire others?
I try to inspire others by letting people know that no matter what the circumstances, someone somewhere would gladly trade places with you. The struggle of being diabetic is no comparison to some of the greater struggles people face every day, no matter how challenging it can be at times.

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
If anything, my diagnosis has made me stronger. It’s made me realize I am a strong person, and that I can handle anything thrown at me. It’s made me realize how strong other type 1 diabetics are as well, including my little brother who was diagnosed at 13. I never understood the struggles he faces, until now.

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
It’s made me more thankful for this life I’ve been given.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
Horse. I’m terrified of birds. A duck is a bird, right?

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