I have had type 1 diabetes for 9 years today. I was diagnosed with the onset of type 1 diabetes July 7, 2003. I was life flighted to UCDAVIS and spent an entire week in the hospital and 2 days in pediatric intensive care unit or the ICU. I was 13 years old and close to a coma. 9 years later and I have realized that type 1 diabetes, is, and always will be a part of who I am.
I will check my blood sugar whenever I need to and where ever I am. I am not shy or secretive about my type 1 diabetes. It is an auto immune disease. The doctors told me that it was not anything that I did to cause it. They also said, that I could still have a normal life even with type 1 diabetes. They were right that it was not my fault, however I am not sure if I have a normal life. I have had so far a successful life. With of course, its challenges, from type 1 diabetes. I have had a seizure, Diabetic ketoacidosis a few times, all of diabetic supplies had been stolen in a move, bad sites, no insurance, and the list goes on. I have also had some amazing things happen, like meeting the congressman, helping others t1’s, and meeting other type 1 diabetics. Meeting those other type 1 diabetics changed my life for the better and brought back a new normal into my life. My friends have always supported me through my diabetes by learning and understanding what it is and what to do if anything goes wrong. Not to mention they are pretty tough around blood.
I am a type 1 diabetic, however that does not only define who I am. I am also a Christian, a pastry chef, a business woman, entrepreneur, a 22 year old, a friend, daughter, niece, cousin, a student, a Princess, a dreamer, tennis player, swimmer, golfer, a nanny, babysitter, and not one completely defines me.
I am me. I am who I am. I wear what I think is cute, not what may be in style at the time. My favorite color is purple. I love sparkles. I love to decorate cakes. I love to be creative. I love to dress up and wear tiaras. Type 1 diabetes is a part of me just as my bad eye vision, hypothyroid, ADD, random fevers, and bad hearing is a part of me, but I work with it and I become stronger through my weaknesses.
Since I have had type 1 diabetes I have never let it get me. I graduated middle school, high school, and Abilene Christian University with a GPA above 3.25. I have had and continue to have a great relationship with God. I got my driver’s license. I learned how to decorate cakes and work in bakeries. I have created my own small business Sun Ray Sweets which I hope will be friendly towards people who have to be gluten free. I have lived in the dorms. I have met a congressman and encouraged research for a cure for type 1 diabetes. I have Studied Abroad; I went to Austria, Germany, Italy, England and France. I have traveled around the states and the world. I went to Summit Leadership which is a January short course in Colorado. I have kept myself pure and never kissed a guy. I have learned new skills. I was on the high school tennis, track, golf, and swim team. I have also made it through growing up with all the hormones that cause crazy and scary blood sugars. I have done fundraisers for type 1 diabetes, Best Buddies, study abroad, and now Warren Retrivers. I have puts on a Happily Ever After Benefit Fashion Show which helped me and other type 1 diabetics work towards raising money for their service dog and mine.
Now I am working towards going to a culinary school in Northern California and I am working on raising money for a diabetic alert service dog, through Warren Retrivers- Guardian Angel Service Dogs. I figure if I can do all that with type 1 diabetes, imagine the possibilities of what I can do with a warren retriever service dog by my side. It has been a long journey that has only just begun.
You can also follow my story about my fundraising for my diabetic alert service dog @ http://www.facebook.com/DiabeticAlertDogForSarahRay
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