In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, we're spotlighting some of the One Drop team members who live with diabetes.
"I've Lived Longer With Diabetes Than Without."
I passed that milestone when I turned 15 and, at this point, I don't remember life without diabetes.
But so much has changed since my diabetes diagnosis.
When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven in 1997, I never thought my condition would lead to a career. Not just a career, but a position that would allow me to empower and bolster the lives of people all over the world living with diabetes.
Diabetes: Symptoms, A Diagnosis, and My Support System
I had all the classic symptoms—thirst, frequent urination, extreme weight loss, and exhaustion—and my most wonderful mother quickly took notice.
After learning all the proper needle injection techniques, how to handle blood sugar extremes, and what in the world a chronic condition even meant, my parents and I dove headfirst into the world of diabetes.
We did every diabetes walk, met with every doctor, and hunted down all the latest and greatest organizations we could find and join.
The amazing people at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), American Diabetes Association (ADA), and University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) gave us (and still give us!) hope. I was also fortunate to find friends my age with diabetes at Camp Seale Harris. I didn't realize it at the time, but constantly being around those people—the ever-loud, ever-hopeful community of awe-inspiring movers and shakers—was a huge influence on how I came to see, accept, and live with diabetes.
They not only allowed me to survive, but thrive. Fast forward through college, life in Spain, an exciting stint in the music industry, and voila—I landed at One Drop.
Finding the Online Diabetes Community and One Drop
In 2016, with a crippling healthcare situation and an upcoming election that had healthcare providers running for the hills, I started thinking long and hard about my own health.
Where was I headed with my own diabetes status?
What did all these changes in healthcare mean for me?
So, I opened back up that Pandora's Box of the diabetes community. Inside the diabetes online community (search #DOC on social media), I found what I'd been missing out on for the past 10 years.
This space is full of loud, unstoppable, will-not-take-no-for-an-answer go-getters; their presence, encouraging and their voice, resilient. I am lucky enough to have found One Drop in my search.
Amongst all the amazing blogs on diabetes and diabetes management out there (shoutout to Coffee & Insulin), I stumbled across One Drop and immediately downloaded the app. I started keeping track of my blood sugars and food intake—much more so than I'd done in a long while; soon enough, the app became my accountability partner.
After logging and tracking within the app for a few months, I started to realize the company was on to something.
The One Drop voice was all about changing how people currently manage diabetes. They were people with diabetes themselves! And devoted to making a change.
With their fervent focus on self-care, emphasis on design, upcoming smart glucose meter, and unlimited strips plan, I knew I had to be a part of this revolution.
Life with Diabetes Today
Now, thankfully and gratefully, I am!
I am part of this boisterous, fearless group of individuals. I am living and working with diabetes.
I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by individuals who wake up and face this condition each and every day (and night, for all those sleepless ones with the nonstop beeping!). People at One Drop are relentless in their fight to make a change.
We've all been told a cure is coming. Until then, we are taking matters into our own hands and fighting to make a change.
That is why we're here, doing what we're doing. Not for the love of the job—the job is diabetes—but for the love of this community; for the love of the millions of us all over the globe who want to better manage this condition and live healthier.
While we may not have a cure, we have alternatives. At One Drop, we will always continue to fight for better care.
Because we are all in this fight against diabetes together.