Hello, my name is Erin. I am 17 and have had type 1 diabetes since I was 12. My diagnosis was a shock to everyone considering that there was absolutely no history of type 1 diabetes in my family at all. For a year and a half prior to the diagnosis I constantly felt sick. During the two weeks before I was diagnosed, I drank 4 times the amount that I usually did, and had to use the bathroom after each of my classes everyday. My mother decided that I should see the doctor, who sent me directly to the emergency room after sugar was discovered in my urine. From that point on it was like a whirlwind of information being fed to us.
Later, I had the misfortune of experiencing a seizure due to low blood sugar. Of what I remember, it was a very scary thing to have happen for all of us. At this point my family and I decided to switch to the insulin pump. I was taking shots for 2 years before deciding to make this change. Since going on the pump my blood sugars and my HBA1C levels have improved, although I still have the highs and the lows. After being on the pump for 2 1/2 years, I find that the areas where I put my infusion set are scarring and thus don't absorb insulin as well.
Whether it be stuffing envelopes or talking to corporate companies about my story, encouraging them to make a contribution for my cause, I have done and continue to do a lot of work for JDRF. I feel it is extremely important to raise the awareness of diabetes because only through having others support the cause can we get the funding needed to continue the research that is imperative for finding a cure.
I have created a diabetic support group for teens in my county, providing services such as babysitting, speaking, and volunteering at various JDRF functions. I feel it is important for diabetic teens to meet and interact because it shows them that they aren't alone, especially at such a confusing time of their lives. We are basically just a group of good friends who are able to be totally uninhibited by our disease when we are together because we don't have to be worried about who we will have to explain the disease to next. The fact is that our non-diabetic friend are not totally able to understand what we are living with day to day and it's nice to have a group of friends who are. It also provides an opportunity for teens that are not as responsible with their diabetes to learn from those who do look after it better.
I'm looking forward to completing my senior year in high school next year and college. I'd like to study adolescent psychology and voice. I love singing more than anything else. It is my dream to one day sing at the Metropolitan Opera House in NY City. One day I hope to be able to.
If anyone has any questions about the group or just want to talk please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love a pen pal!
Published July 4, 2002
Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 10:16:51
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