I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at nine years old. I will never forget being with my mom at the doctor’s office that night and being told “your life will be changing forever.” All I understood at that time was that I needed to be strong for my mom, and being the little miss independent that I was and still am, that I would be giving myself all the shots from that day forward (except the very first one). While most get sent directly to the hospital for a few days, my journey did not start that way. My mom and I had to drive around to several pharmacies trying to find one that was open to get me insulin that night. I call it my Dependence Day instead of Independence Day (July 3, 2003). Fast forward almost 20 years later, I am on an insulin pump and CGM, and thriving. I aim to spread awareness wherever I go and educate others about diabetes because it is so important to understand a disease that many times gets misunderstood. I once had a dream that I was in line for ‘the cure.’ That line was so long and I was told that I would be the last person to receive it because they ran out. I looked back at the line and woke up before I had made the decision to either continue to live with the disease that changed my life forever or be cured. When I woke up, I thought about what I would do and how I could save someone else who may be struggling more than me. How much it would mean to give the cure to someone else. Because of that, I think I would have paid it forward. This disease is not easy by any means, but we have a choice to embrace it and help others who may be struggling with it. We’re our own community with so much empathy and strength. To all my diabuddies out there, you got this. Keep believing in yourself and know that you will be okay. Everyone’s journey is different, but we can continue to live happy, healthy, and long lives – and always hope for a cure (for everyone). ❤
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