Diabetes can’t slow her down

I want everyone to see diabetes through my eyes and know that it isn’t something to be afraid or ashamed of. When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, my family had to adjust to my need for more routine, stricter meal plans, and more, and they still have to. A nurse came to my school and spoke to the class about what diabetes was and how I would need to give myself injections throughout the day, poking my finger, sitting out for a few minutes during phys ed, and more. When my classmates knew, there was no guessing about, “What are you doing? Why do you get to sit out?” They all knew the answers. That one class was my easiest year in school diabetes-wise because the kids all knew. 

I’m super thankful for such a supportive family (my mom, dad, and my brother) and for my friends when it comes to facing daily challenges. They make me feel like my diabetes can’t slow me down.

Remember, a person is important regardless of the cause of the disease

I was born into a poor family; my parents were alcoholics. I was taken from my parents at an early age and placed in foster care. I was always quite fit: I played basketball, hockey and soccer, and sang. I grew up from age 10 in what appeared to be a normal family. For the most part it was. We grew up on a farm. We worked hard and were provided with lots of food as a result of our high [level of] activity. Back in the ‘80s we did not understand nutrition very well and were taught to eat what was made and put in front of us. I was small and underweight in grade 10, at the time I met my future wife.

Due to some troubles at home, I moved out on my own in 1989 when I was in grade 12. I had to work and study, and provide for myself. I survived on cheap food and began to gain weight as I had little time to play sports and was no longer working on the farm. In 1997, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.