This the first blog post for Diabetes Blog Week 2015. I’m a day late in Australian time, but I’m pretty sure it’s still May 11 somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, so I just snuck in!
This topic is asking us “What have you accomplished despite diabetes, or what has diabetes brought into your life?”
I love this question, I find it pretty empowering. I got diabetes at the start of my final year of high school, which was most probably the most inconvenient time ever! Yet in the past five years, despite diabetes, I have kicked butt academically, graduating high school in the top 4% of the state, being offered Honours in both French and Literature, and gaining admission into the first ever Mteach Internship at The University of Melbourne (I’m boasting but let me have it!). I’ve travelled and lived overseas, strategically filling my suitcase with supplies so I have enough room to fill it with shopping on the way back home.
However, what’s more important, is what diabetes has brought into my life. There is no way I would be in the position I am now if it wasn’t for diabetes. Diabetes brought a whole new family into my life – it started with OzDOC, then grew as I started to volunteer, write, and advocate. At the moment, I think my number of friends with diabetes is possibly nearly equal to that of my friends without it, which is amazing. Professionally, it has given me so many opportunities. I have been asked to speak at functions, and was invited to go to the World Diabetes Congress a few years ago as an Australian delegate. Hell, I just got asked to speak in Canberra in a few weeks and I’m still pinching myself. How is this my life? How am I this blessed to be surrounded by such passionate people who want the same things I do?
Diabetes has allowed me to harness my passionate nature (I never go at things halfway, it’s all or nothing in my book) and direct it into something which can actually create change. If I could write and speak to people about diabetes for a living, I would do it. It’s introduced me to a whole new community, who are a special breed of people – I have never met a group of people more passionate, warm, and welcoming than those in diabetes volunteering and advocacy!
It’s a horrible disease, but the people are anything but!