Bridget Foley

Inner West, Sydney

I have always lived a healthy lifestyle, even before I was diagnosed with type 1. I ate well, played a lot of sport and really wanted to do well in my HSC, but was having trouble focusing in class. When I went to the doctor, he ordered some blood tests as part of my check-up. I was in school with my friends when I got a phone call saying that my mum was picking me up to take me directly to the doctor and not to worry.

I was diagnosed in 2007, when I was in Year 10. No one in my family had a history of diabetes and I was probably the healthiest person I knew; I was pretty shocked when I got diagnosed.

I spent a week in hospital after I received my diagnosis and felt very isolated. I was probably the most unhappy I have ever been and will ever be in my life.

There was a silver lining though. While I was in hospital, thinking “why me”, I found a solution! I decided if I did well in my HSC, I could go to uni and study ways to help others be healthy and avoid developing preventable chronic conditions – I made this my goal.

Since being diagnosed, I now have an Exercise and Sport Science degree and work as a Personal Trainer. I also run exercise sessions with overweight kids, assist in research of children’s health, effects of sedentary behaviour and have a Masters in Public Health. I have been working hard to achieve what I set out to do back in 2007.