When I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes in 2003, my whole life changed – well I think so because frankly, I don’t remember…I was 3. People with diabetes and family members both know that diabetes is a group effort. One person cannot manage it alone. Growing up without fancy insulin pumps and the Dexcom CGM, I was constantly watched by bewildered, but good-hearted teachers and loving family members in order to maintain my blood sugars. Being a counselor for younger children with diabetes, I learned that we mature quicker. Children in elementary school should be worrying about their multiplication cards, not whether they need to go get a shot. However, that is not the case for kids with diabetes.
It was not until high school, I started to deal with my diabetes on my own. I will not lie: I did and continue to fall on my face due to bad decisions, miscalculations, or simply the unexplainable diabetes issues. It is hard. There is no instruction manual. Being a teenager basically, a young adult is hard. We all have so much we strive to do in our lives and for many of us this includes the desire for a college education. Some go to college to be educators, therapists, marine biologist, social workers, graphic designers and some of us come to college undecided. College with diabetes can be challenging because as we all know: diabetes is a continuous job. So the idea of growing up and going to college can be scary. But we are warriors, are we not? Diabetes, while frustrating, should not control our lives. Reach for help if you need it and remember: while it may feel like you are dealing with diabetes on your own, trust me, you are not. We have so much to give to the world. Let us help each other to reach our goals.