I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 7 years old and all I remember is being pulled from school, going to the doctor and mum was really upset – but it didn’t really sink in until I was hospitalised and told to practice using a syringe on an orange. I felt a bit different to the other kids, giving myself needles and not eating the usual party sweets, but I quickly adapted and my parents said I became a happier and healthier kid after the diagnosis.
I have travelled a large amount of the world, spending one year on a round the world solo trip at the age of 25, with a year’s supply of insulin in an esky. On these adventures I found myself in plenty of situations where if I had put diabetes first, I would not have gotten to enjoy the experience. I’ve been anaconda hunting in the Amazon jungle, mountain biking down the world’s most dangerous road in Bolivia and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. All great experiences that play havoc with your sugar levels but taught me what my body would do in these circumstances.
I’ve also worked in many different jobs including sales, water sports instruction, construction, as an attendant at a backpackers hostel and a deckhand on a whale watching boat. I currently run my own business in the finance industry.
Life is now about managing diabetes to lead a fun and healthy life – it’s not about letting the diabetes manage me!