When were you diagnosed and with what type of diabetes?
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on Christmas Eve in 1997. I was four years old at the time.”
What is your greatest daily struggle?
“My greatest daily struggle is to maintain a positive attitude. Some people might assume that having a condition like diabetes has a largely negative impact on my lifestyle. That can be true on occasion, but over time, I’ve realized how important it is to maintain an optimistic outlook. I find it far more motivating when it comes to diabetes related and non-diabetes related issues alike. It’s easier said than done, but I accept it as a challenge that improves the quality of my life overall.”
Have you found any positives about having diabetes?
“I think the most positive aspect about having diabetes is the fact that it has brought me closer to many people. For instance, my mom is also a type 1, so our bond is made even more special. It’s also brought me closer to my dad, who does everything he can to help take care of me and my mom. Last, but certainly not least, it’s allowed me to connect with other people with diabetes in a truly unique way. Through my involvement with the College Diabetes Network and the Diabetes Online Community, I’ve heard innumerable and incredible stories that reflect the resilience of people affected by diabetes. As such, my diabetes has introduced great relationships to my life that I wouldn’t replace.”
What is the best advice you would give to a newly diagnosed person?
“The best advice I could give to a newly diagnosed person is to take everything one day at a time. Some days they will have much better control than others, and I think this is important to acknowledge. It can be tough to handle the ups and downs of diabetes, but acceptance of the lifestyle is a major component of succeeding at it.”
Do you test in public? Why or why not?
“I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t feel comfortable testing in public. I grew up with my diabetes, so it just feels natural to test and administer insulin regardless of my location. Of course, this means that I might get a few funny looks or curious questions from time to time, but I don’t mind at all because it’s another outlet through which I can be a diabetes advocate.”
What is your greatest accomplishment?
“One of my greatest accomplishments so far is earning my bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I completed my undergraduate career in three and a half years, signifying a huge achievement both professionally and emotionally. My transition to life as a college student was a big adjustment, and I was concerned about how I would handle my diabetes away from my support system at home. I quickly proved to myself that I could do anything I set my mind to and excelled at school, meeting a variety of wonderful new people and engaging in life on campus. Moreover, I was extremely lucky to find full-time employment mere weeks after graduating, which showed me that my hard work was bound to pay off.”
You can learn more about Molly by reading her interesting and creative blog posts at asweetlife or follow her on twitter @mj_asweetlife