On September 26, 1992, my daughter Kaitlyn was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since that time, we have immersed ourselves in the world of diabetes with two goals: First, to ensure that Kaitlyn has the very best tools, both medical and emotional, to manage her diabetes, and second, to dedicate our unyielding efforts in pursuit of a cure. For us, it's not either/or: It's both.
When doctors hand out a diagnosis of diabetes, I wish they'd give you a list of tips that can make life happier living with the illness. After my diagnosis, I felt ashamed of my diabetes, ashamed of my inability to control it with diet and exercise even though I literally worked out every single day for nine months straight. I skipped nearly all carbohydrates and didn't eat meat at the time, so all I ate was nuts, cheese, eggs, and vegetables. The doctor didn't put me on insulin right away because I was eighteen, and she wasn't sure if I had type 1 or type 2. But nothing I did was working. It was soon apparent that I was type 1 and that insulin injections were unavoidable. I had no idea that it wasn't my fault. I felt hopeless, hungry, exhausted, and alone.
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