At 17 hearing you have diabetes is the last thing you want to hear. Anybody with or without diabetes knows that. It brought on depression and mood swings. My friends who had no idea about it abandoned me. But now almost 5 years later, my family and friends have learned just as much as I have every day. I still have days where I would give anything to take it away, but I’ve come to realize that I am stronger with it. God only gives us what we can handle.

How do you inspire others?
I stay strong and tell my story when I’m asked about it. I didn’t give up on my horseback riding when I didn’t think I could keep going.  I want to be a cop someday and that’s still my goal I plan on reaching. I’m going to make it one day. I just have to take one step at a time.

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
I ride horses, it’s something I have done my whole life. When I found out I had diabetes I had to make sure my blood sugar stayed perfect if I was going to ride. It took me a while to be confidant enough to jump and compete again because I was constantly worried my sugar would drop while I was riding. That could still happen but keeping my head up and pushing to do what I love got me through that.

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Diabetes has really helped me with my outlook on life. I’m so lucky to have the support I do from my family. Also it’s helped me to learn how to eat a lot better to keep any other health problems away. Five years ago I would have told you it ruined my life, today I’ll tell you diabetes saved my life. It gave me a reason to prove everybody who said I couldn’t that I could. Just because I have this doesn’t mean it defines who I am.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
I’m running either way haha ducks are mean!

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