I feel passionate about promoting diabetes awareness because it’s a chronic disease that affects young and old Australians and there is huge misunderstandings about how we are diagnosed and why it exists.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 9 years old in 1992. I don’t remember the date, but it was at Christmas time because I remember the decorations around the children’s hospital wards. My brother who is five years older than I am was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he was only 7 and my parents had just migrated from Chile leaving them with little support at the time.
Living with diabetes has been challenging over the years, especially with the transition from being a teenager to becoming an adult. I have witnessed many people tell my mum “Oh, it’s easy – it’s manageable” – if only they were able to walk a day in my shoes. Diabetes is 24 hours. Seven days a week. No break. No holiday. It is something you are constantly thinking about, from the minute you wake up to the moment you lay down to sleep and the hours in between. But it should never stop you from doing anything.
I am now 30 years old and I spent the last five years living in China and South Korea with my partner. I am healthy and thankfully don’t have complications. I want to be a mentor for teens and young adults and offer my support to help them live their lives to the fullest.