Following bouts of rubella and tonsillitis I was officially diagnosed with diabetes in 1974 when I was four years old. At the time I didn’t know what was happening – my little fingers were being cut to pieces for blood tests and my urine tested for sugar levels. Thankfully things are much better today with more accurate testing and better technology. Once I left the hospital I went back to school but I always felt my health was a burden to my parents and older sister but I wouldn’t be here today without them!
I was a straight A student at school and despite the teasing – kids used to call me pin cushion and the teachers had no idea how to handle my condition – I did well. I decided diabetes wasn’t going to stop me and I went on to study fashion design. I am a single mum after having had two healthy, natural pregnancies and I have two beautiful daughters.
I have been through plenty of health scares and discrimination issues. In 2012 I was going through a Workers Compensation Claim and being bullied at work when the stress became too much and I ended up going into a diabetic coma. I was at home, dying in front of my two girls. Thankfully Carmen, who was eight at the time, saved my life. I also went on to win my court case and prove that my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was not caused by my diabetes. I am currently wrapping up a discrimination case with the Human Rights Commission against my former employer for terminating my 20+ years employment due to my condition. I have been through a lot of discrimination but I am rising above it! I am strong minded, passionate and determined to help others living with diabetes.
Let’s help educate Australia and businesses about diabetes and raise more awareness on insulin pumps, health eating and how to turn negatives into positives. I am passionate about supporting others and inspiring them to stand up for their rights and enjoy their lives. Living with diabetes is not all bad!