Tell Us About YOUR Badass Story!

BADASS DIABETIC LLC is a platform for you to share some of the awesome things that you are doing.  Your stories have the ability to move, touch and inspire us all to "play" this life to the fullest! Please DO NOT BE SHY!! We want (need) to hear from you.  Be part of the movement! 

At some point (often when we need it the most) we have heard someone's story and thought, "that's exactly what I needed to hear today". Your story has the opportunity to impact someone else in need. 

Once your story has been reviewed, you will receive an invitation that will allow us to submit your post on the site for the world to see.

 BADASS OF THE WEEK

Kaleena Yoder

I was diagnosed April 21, 2011 and just celebrated my 8th year as a diabetic. I was diagnosed at the age of about 9 and a half and was extremely nervous about what was going to happen to me and how people will judge me. All my friends were so supportive of me, but when I got into middle school I was scared to play sports because I had to quit dance. But with help from my doctor and all my coaches they helped me learn how to do everything so I wouldn't get hurt. I played sports through my sophomore year of high school until I quit due to a serious injury. But I am a very musical person and have had music in my life so my Junior year of high school I had the opportunity to apply for the Drum Major position at my school. I was nervous to do this because I didn't know how all the marching, training, and directing would affect my blood sugar. But after getting on a pump in 2016 I have upgraded 3 times and am now on the Medtronic 670G and Guardian G6. This is the best pump and sensor I have been on because while I was training, directing, and marching I was able to stay in range even when I couldn't stop and check my blood sugar. Now as a graduating senior I am looking back at all the things I said I would never be able to do. I've played Volleyball, Golf, been in Band, was made drum major, and will be graduating college with my associates degree two weeks after my high school graduation. Diabetics can do anything they want and I always make sure my diabetic friends know that.


Grace Gammell

This is Gracie! She is 3 years old and has had diabetes for almost a year, this coming May! She had all the classic symptoms prior to diagnosis setting off red flags to her Mom, resulting in a urgent care trip and a blood sugar reading over 600. She was diagnosed and got a new baby brother within a few weeks of each other and has handled it all like a true warrior! 
She enjoys all life has to offer! At the top of the list she loves , swimming, gymnastics, running with her Dad, dancing, baking and all things animals! She never lets diabetes hold her back and gets to experience anything her heart desires with the help of her Dexcom and Omnipod! 
Gracie loves her devices and showing them off. Her Dexcom G6 is often referred to as her, “fast button” and she will give it a push before winning any race. Gracie proves to everyone around her how , brave, special, confident and happy you can be, despite type one!


Victoria Ruane

I’m newly diagnosed at the age of 44 and I am determined to still be as active and strong as I have always been. At 30 I went through IVF after losing 3 pregnancies. During the process I was diagnosed with Hasimotos Thyroiditis. This is why I could not carry. Once medicated, I had a successful IVF treatment and twin pregnancy. Having HT I knew I was at risk for other autoimmune diseases. Now that I have both HT and T1D I am determined to be in the best condition/shape of my life. I am also raising a t1d. My daughter was diagnosed at 5 and is now 13. We hike, climb, camp and travel. I lift and do HITT style workouts. In addition I am a runner. I am figuring out how to do all of this and how it affects my blood sugar but I am not letting it stop me. I have never let it hold my daughter back either.


Isobel Bishop

Hi! I’m Isobel (@type1diabella), I’m 23 years old, and I have been a type 1 diabetic for 16 years. I was diagnosed when I was 7 and that’s when my world completely changed. Fortunately, I had (and still have) a very supportive family. My mom, who is my #1 supporter, did everything in her power so that I could live a wonderful life. Everything was great! My A1C was 5.6% and I was happy and healthy. 
When I started high school, my mom loosened up the reigns. I became the person in charge of my diabetes for the first time ever and unfortunately, I did not take care of my diabetes…at all. I don’t remember graduating high school, but I do remember being rushed to the emergency room the day after. I was in DKA and my organs were shutting down. Several years later, my A1C was still high and I was not properly taking care of myself – definitely diabetic burnout! 
Fast forward to 2016 - I moved to Kentucky to pursue my dream of finishing college and becoming a dietitian. And after a long road of “recovery,” I am finally able to say that my A1C is almost back down to where I want it. 
I have a 6.5% A1C, I use the tandem Tslim pump and Dexcom g6. I am president of University of Kentucky’s College Diabetes Network chapter and I am an outreach support volunteer for JDRF. I am passionate about diabetes and helping those who need that extra push of motivation to achieve their goals. I graduate from college next semester and will continue on my path to becoming a registered dietitian and then, after 1000 hours of working with diabetic patients, I will take the exam to become a certified diabetes educator!
Throughout the ups and downs of my own personal diabetes management, I was able to figure out that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to help others. I want to prove to the world that it is possible to overcome what may seem like the impossible. Diabetes is a pain, but that won’t stop me from living my life to the fullest! 
“Wisdom from yesterday, strength for today, hope for tomorrow”


Michael Keene

I was diagnosed with Type 1 on Martin Luther King day 1991 at 5 years old. I had been brought to Joslin Clinic at my mother's behest after arguing with my pediatrician. Seeing the iconic Citgo sign will always serve as a reminder of where and how my life changed. 
My parents were always there for me, encouraging me. They never let my disease be what defined me, they let me define it. I was active in youth sports year round even into college. And when there wasn't a game or a practice I was still running a basketball court, biking or throwing a football around. 
They also did well to teach me independence with my disease. They wanted to make sure I understood the importance of self care. I was involved in several peer support groups growing up too. But my independence from my disease, my ability to not let it define my life also made me feel different from other diabetics and alienated me from these groups. It made it difficult for me to relate. And over time I grew away from them and the community as a whole. 
My adult years were rough. My independence streak led to years of poor care for my disease. I forgot all that had been instilled in me. I began to drink, a lot. 
But now two plus years sober I am beginning to find my diabetic identity again. I am embracing who I am and taking care of myself. I began hiking in 2015 and have since finished two prominent hiking lists in the Northeast US. The Appalachian Mountain Clubs NH 48 4000 Footer and NE 67 4000 Footer lists. 
I also have completed a half marathon and two of what we call Ultra hikes (20 plus miles, 10k of elevation gain in a single day). The two I completed are called the Pemi Loop and the Presidential Traverse, each in under 16 hours. That's a combined 50 plus miles and 20k of elevation gain! Active as I was at a young age I never saw myself doing these! 
I also met the love of my life while hiking in the White Mountains and we are getting married this June hiking up Cannon Mountain. She has dove in with both feet getting to better understand diabetes and is always looking for me on and off trail. We make quite the team.


Jennifer K

Hi! Im Jenn (@typeonebetic) and my goal is to share my story so people don’t have to go through what I did So let’s start at the very beginning. It started in June of 2017 and I was 23 years old. I was extremely sick, throwing up and lethargic. I went to the ER. They gave me an IV bag. Told me I was dehydrated And sent home. I felt better for about a week.  October 2017- I lost 15 lbs. I was always in the bathroom either peeing or trying to throw up. My boss told me I was being dramatic and kept sending me home early. I slept almost all the time. I finally went to the doc and they said it was a cold and told me to take DayQuil. November 2017- I’m still sick. I go back to the doctors and they told me I had mono. I was still loosing weight. December 2017- I’m using the bathroom CONSTANTLY. I assumed it was because I was pumping myself full of vitamin c and water to get rid of the mono. I took two weeks off of work to sleep and to take a vacation. On that vacation I was literally in the bathroom every 45 minutes day and night. March 2018- They had me in the doctors every 2 weeks “monitoring my mono.” I was now gaining weight. I had a ultrasound done, turns out I have a liver disease. They said it was life threatening and to change my diet. But I was only eating lettuce, water and oatmeal. Literally, I couldn’t keep anything else down. They said it was because I was over weight. April 2018- They did a finger poke at 8 am and my fasting blood sugar was 180. They told me I was a type 2 diabetic and to eat healthier. I stopped eating all together. During this time eating vertically nothing I gained 30 pounds. So I was back to my original weight. A month later they tested my BG and it was 101. Not too bad! But they decided to run further testing because I still felt like crap and I wanted answers. May 15th 2018. (Now 24 years old) I get a call while at work and they tell me to come In to the office ASAP! They gave me a basal shot of insulin (toujeo) to try to regulate my blood sugar. No one told me why I was getting the shot until after and they hooked me up to an EKG, and a blood pressure cuff. I was finally told that my doctors were wrong. Still with no idea of what my actual diagnosis was. I heard chatting in the hallway. I am a type 1. My A1C was an 11.6. They didn’t tell me what that meant, but they told me I have an autoimmune disease. After about 50 minutes in the doctors office they sent me home with my toujeo and instructions to take it at night until they could get me in. A week went by and I went back to the doctors where they gave me a brief explanation and a huge bag of supplies. They basically told me that me me not eating saved me from going into DKA.  There is no history of t1d in my family, so they didn’t suspect it. I could’ve been diagnosed in June of 2017, but the docs didn’t do anything. But the IV saved my life and eating only lettuce reduced my A1c. it was probably a lot higher.  I’m finally on a pump as of February 2018 and my A1C is creeping on down to a 8.7. My advice to all of you: Trust yourself. Listen to your body. Stand up for yourself! You are your best advocate and you know yourself the most!! Going through all of this made me realize I am a lot stronger than I thought I ever was!!! Keep on keeping on, diabetic badasses!!!

Before diagnosis I was a hiker and a runner. I spent hours on the trail or running at dawn. When I was sick before diagnosis running wasn’t something I felt motivated to do. But I keep trying to at least hit the gym once a week. Then when I got my diagnosis, I was obviously terrified. But once I was feeling better, and after the summer I started running again. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. My body had fluctuate for a full year and I was weak as hell, but I missed the thrill of running. I’ve gained a lot of weight back since diagnosis, and honestly it was a couple days ago when I ran and felt confident doing it. The diagnosis for sure held me back but it wasn’t the desease, it was the fear of it. I was afraid I wouldn’t be as good as I was before and I didn’t want to fail. But man, running with diabetes is even better than running without it because I can see the results on my meter! I’m planning on running my first 5K post diagnosis soon and it’s going to be a lovely race! 


Gretchen Guinther

Hi my name is Gretchen Guinther! I have had diabetes for 15 years, I was diagnosed when I was about 2 years old. I also have, anxiety, and depression so sometimes my blood sugar is a roller coaster! I went to a diabetes camp for about 6 years and it changed my life! Being a part of the diabetes community has been the best decision I ever made. It can be a lot of work but it’s always worth it. 
I decided that instead of hiding or being ashamed of my diabetes I would do my best to empower others through it! I have had diabuddies and take anyone I can under my wing. I get so much joy out of helping newly diagnosed kids love their diabetes even though it is an adjustment. I want to spread awareness about diabetes and let people know you should be proud of it. 
I love to take photos showcasing my pump, or pump sets ( they are even in my senior portraits). In the past I have modeled for pump photos, camp advertisements, and love show off my diabetes every chance I get. 
After 15 years I realize that diabetes made me strong, independent, and confidant in who I am. Don’t ever let your diabetes hold you back. I have been to 39 states, gotten a record time while rock climbing, I am a club president at my school, I get straight A’s, I go to the gym almost every day and continue to grow still. I will be starting college in the fall to peruse a degree in my passion, sign language! 
If there is one thing I can tell you it’s this, be proud of your diabetes, be strong in it, shout it from the rooftops because you will be glad you did, and if you ever need a helping hand with that let me know because I’d love to help!


Lisa Molin

Hi there, I’m Lisa (@autoimmune_training) a 34 year old girl from Sweden! I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was nine years old. I also have 4 other autoimmune diseases (celiac, hypothyroidism, addison’s disease and premature ovarian failure). It’s been tough with several diagnoses and lots of medicines, but my diabetes and other diseases never stop stop me from doing what I love to do! And never will.
I’m working a lot, traveling around the world and try to live a healthy life. Sport is is my biggest passions and makes me feel so much better and stronger. I’ve played football since a was a kid, I’m running a lot, doing workouts at the gym and I love to do outdoor training!
My blood sugar is pretty often a rollercoaster, but I’m very happy I have a Freestyle Libre, which helps me a lot. A few years ago I was convinced to try an insulin pump. I used it for a year and it was absolutely great (my A1c was better than ever during this period). After a year I decided to go back to pens though (thought that was easier when I was doing sports etc). I’ll maybe try again and next time without a tube, which I used to have. 
Sometimes it requires a bit extra planning and consideration, but It’s fully possible to live normal life with diabetes! You can do whatever you want to do and be whoever you want to be!


Ben Tzeel

I got told no a lot as a kid with diabetes.
“No, you wont be able to play baseball (or any sport) at a high level.”
“No, you wont be able to get a 6 pack or lift heavy weights.”
Even my first endo told me, “no, its going to be hard for you to have an active lifestyle since exercise will drop your blood sugar.”
I was only seven at the time, but as I continued hearing this same narrative through the years, it just added more and more fuel to my fire to be able to not only accomplish these things, but EXCEL.
What happened? I ended up playing baseball through part of college, got that 6 pack, squatted and deadlifted over 400 lbs, and haven’t slowed down a bit…in fact, with age, it just keeps getting better and better.
I used to feel like I had to work doubly as hard as someone without diabetes, but that’s just made me stronger. Any limitations you have come from your mind – you


Dan Bernard

Dan Bernard is an outdoor adventure athlete.  He enjoys pretty much anything physical outside.  A few of his favorite trips include white water rafting category 5 rapids in Maine, zip lining in Saint Lucia, swimming with sharks in the Caribbean, skydiving over Missouri, hiking the Napali Coast in Kauai, bungee jumping in New Zealand, repelling in Malibu, rock climbing in Yosemite, riding his motorcycle cross country, and hiking the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail from Georgia to Canada.

Dan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as an adult in his late 20s.  He was already passionate about traveling and experiencing adventures all around the World before his diagnosis and continues his adventurous lifestyle post diagnosis.  Treating T1D as what it is - nothing more than a circumstance to figure out how to manage - is a big part of Dan’s message. Having T1D doesn’t motivate Dan to alter his life to try to “beat diabetes” nor does it discourage him away from doing what he loves.  Diabetes can only have as much power over you as you allow it to.

With over 20 years of Personal Training and Mindset Coaching experience, Dan Bernard has worked with thousands of clients all over the World.  Dan is a husband, father, T1D warrior, educator, motivator, and mentor. With his unique ability to be compassionate while truth telling, Dan is well known for connecting with his clients in such a way that they begin to create results in their life that were previously unattainable.  Dan has founded Badass Diabetic LLC and DiaVentures Inc. to help facilitate his personal mission:

1. CREATE A PLATFORM FOR AN EMPOWERED COMMUNITY OF TYPE 1S TO SHARE THEIR STORIES OF THE AMAZING THINGS THEY ARE ACCOMPLISHING AROUND THE WORLD.

2. HOST BADASS EVENTS FOR TYPES 1S TO GET TOGETHER AND HAVE FUN.

3. PROVIDE NUTRITION, EXERCISE AND MINDSET COACHING TO ENABLE TYPE 1 DIABETICS TO TAKE COMPLETE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THEIR HEALTH.

4. RE-BRAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE TYPE 1 DIABETIC.


Tianna Brandt

I was diagnosed at age 15, a young girl just starting out high school. It was something I would have never thought I would have happen to me. I finally picked myself up and started giving my insulin in no time. For a girl with a needle phobia it was quite a rough start off. However, you have to get back up and keep on going. I have realized that this disease does not stop me from being who I am. It just builds character to personality.


Miranda Newell

"How long have you been a diabetic?" That's how I learned I had Type 1 Diabetes. At 28-years-old, laying in a bed in the Emergency Room, the nurse came through the curtain and asked me, "how long have you been diabetic?" I remember stuttering and trying to find an answer while I muttered "....I'm not?" That's when I learned my blood sugar was over 700 and I wouldn't walk out of that hospital the same person I was when I entered the doors of the Emergency Room that night. 
My older brother is a Type 1 Diabetic, so it wasn't a foreign diagnosis to me, thank goodness. He also was diagnosed as an adult - at the age of 22. I think my mom took it worse than I did. She drove the hour and a half the next morning to be with me while I met with my endocrinologist, filled prescriptions, and gave myself my first injection. We were at my kitchen counter as I made a wrap for the two of us to share, we did the calculation for how much insulin to inject and then I stood there with the needle hovering over my belly,for what felt like eternity, before I had the guts to actually stick it in! I remember thinking, "OK, that was nothing, I can do that." As if I had a choice, right? Six months later I got my first insulin pump and I love the security it provides. I love seeing my insulin on board and having the ability to adjust my basal rates based on my physical activity, cycle, illnesses, etc. A year after getting my pump, I received my first CGM and I feel like my life is SO MUCH EASIER. Being able to view blood sugar trends with foods, activities, etc. has truly made my life with Diabetes feel much more normal, and slightly less of a huge guessing game! Since being diagnosed, my A1c has not been over 6.1%, with the bulk of my A1c readings being at 5.5%. I attribute this to staying active and living a low-carb lifestyle - with the occasional bolus for a cupcake or a giant bowl of popcorn, because...duh! I recently began an Instagram page to connect with other Diabetics around the world and I have been loving every minute of learning from others. Living with a chronic disease comes with so many emotions and seeing others share your struggles is a comfort everyone deserves. Let's follow each other! @sugar.coated.t1d I'd love to learn from you!


Kristin OBrien

Hi, I’m Kristin. I was diagnosed the summer of 1996 at the age of 9 years old. I was diagnosed one year after my older brother Tony was also diagnosed type 1. As a teenager I spent a lot of time doing the wrong things, making mistakes and not taking care of myself- not realizing that it could cause long term problems. By the time I was 16 I had been in DKA 3 times in the span of 2 years and spent a great deal of time in the ICU at the local hospital. 
Once I was engaged to my, now, husband Matt, at 19 years old- I strived to take better care of myself to not only better my own life but to not place the burden of this disease on the ones I love.  2 days after our wedding in Las Vegas, Matt woke up to me having a seizure in bed, choking on vomit and eyes rolling back, due to a dangerously low blood sugar. I experienced a mild brain trauma and had lost the ability to speak for about 20 hours and struggled over the following weeks to gain full speech back. After the birth of both my son in 2011 and my daughter in 2015- I struggled with severe lows.  About 2 years ago I had my first experience with diabetic delirium from a fast dropping glucose. It has since happened a couple more times, each time worse than the last- experiencing full blown hallucinations, panic and anxiety, and being convinced that I was already dead. 
After going through all of that and the loss of one my closest friends who died having a low blood sugar behind the wheel, I spend a lot of my time researching all that I can about this disease. There is so much that isn’t discussed or taught to diabetics. I truly believe that as a community, we are each other’s best teachers and advice givers. While being type 1 has been devastating, exhausting, and annoying- I’m happy that the type 1 community is so strong.

Aside from my involvement in the type 1 community, my life is filled with all kinds of things that keep me busy and keep me going. I am the mother of two incredible, energetic kids who always keep me on my toes. I’m also the singer of a disco and funk band called On The One- my band mates are my second family.  I grew up dancing and have always stayed in love with ballet. In the next year, my goal is to open my own ballet school and bring the same joy that dance has always brought me to a new generation of kids.  My favorite thing to do in my spare time is plan and take trips to Disney World. I’m a kid at heart who believes that it really is the happiest place on earth. Plus... they have the best snacks ever! I have diabetes, but diabetes does not have me. I will continue to live my life doing the things I love with the ones who give me my reason to keep fighting.


Izabella Lewis

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I’m Izabella Lewis, when I was three I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (1/4/08) on April Fools Day. My dad took me to the doctor’s to get blood tests done as I was sick for a while. He got a call back saying I needed to get to the hospital right away because I was a diabetic. He couldn’t drive because he was such a wreck. His sister drove him to my mum’s work and that’s when my dad told my mum. She didn’t believe it and laughed and said funny joke. It wasn’t a joke. I always get asked “did your first shot hurt?” , “how did you feel when you were diagnosed?” I don’t remember, I can’t remember a life with out diabetes so I feel like it wasn’t such a hard thing to adapt too & all the changes. I’m 14 now and I’ve had a tough few years, I was in hospital last November due to my lows I stayed in their for a week where my endos dropped my insulin dramatically. I was supposed to be having 60 units of insulin a day but I was having 88... I’m trying my best to stabilize my levels and get on a pump, but it is hard and there’s many days where i just want this disease to go away and for me to be “normal”. But I know that teenage years are probably the hardest for diabetics. Diabetes is really tough and there’s so many obstacles but I’m glad I have family & friends that support me and help me, anyone that’s having a tough time with your diabetes or mental health please know it gets better, it takes time... you’re doing an amazing job.




Sara mobäck

My name is Sara Mobäck and I got T1D over 16 years ago at age 13. I started to blog a few years ago. I was living in Los Angeles where I studied Business Administration, and was not so open at all about my diabetes. After a while I started to notice a guy back in Sweden who talked about his diabetes. But not in a good way. He talked to his followers about his diabetes as the worst thing that had happened to him. He wrote on his social media that life as Type 1 diabetic was anything but good, it was not possible to practice physical sports, it was difficult to travel, difficult to meet a partner, it was tough for social life with friends / parties etc. I got really chocked. I couldn’t get this out of my mind. All I was thinking about was that all that he said wasn’t true. Because my Diabetes hadn’t affected my life in a negative way. For example, I had moved to the United States, I was training actively, I had no trouble meeting new friends and being accepted and I could definitely go for a party and enjoy life.

This was the starting point for me to show other diabetics that what prevents you from doing things you want to do - is yourself and how your thoughts can prevent you from doing things you want to do. I knew it would reflect to my followers and myself as well. I believe that everything is about what every individual put energy and power on. It’s clear that life as a Type 1 diabetic is not always a pleasure, but it is often the same for those who do not have diabetes (but other disease or problems). Right? Everyone has their ups and downs. 
I wanted to show to other diabetics that it is actually possible to live a fully normal life with diabetes. It is possible to travel, train, party, be spontaneous, etc. without permitting diabetes to be a problem. I wanted to show, and are showing, that it's about what kind of attitude you have. The setting of the disease as well as the acceptance of it.
I have today Swedens largest blogs about type 1 Diabetes and a growing Instagram account, @Diabeteskvinnan1, a name that means “Diabeteswoman” (like “Superwoman”). I am a Swedish diabetes advocate and I have overcome anorexia nervosa and orthorexia. In addition to type 1, I also has celiac disease and a nut allergy (peanuts), and I was presented at the 2018 DEEP conference in Amsterdam about her experiences with Type 1 diabetes and eating disorders and was talking for BD Diabetes Care in Amsterdam in October 2018. 
I talk a lot about the importance of eating vs insulin. Girls and women with type 1 diabetes are twice as likely to develop an eating disorder as those without diabetes.  It's not the blood sugar who should decide what you'll eat, it's what you want to eat that should determine how much insulin you will need. The balance is so important.


Hannah Brown

My names Hannah Brown, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on May 1, 2008. I was 10 years old. I’ve encountered many obstacles with diabetes mainly emotionally and mentally. As a young woman I found it difficult to accept this auto immune disorder many times. The light in the darkness for me was when I’d go to diabetes camp. I went for four years and then discontinued going due to some situational issues! That caused a rough patch for me as I was 14 years old. From 14 years old to about 19 years old I swear I started to go into denial about my diabetes. It was very hard for me to accept and I was in and out of DKA from age 17-19. Finally when I was 19, it wasn’t like I had an aha moment I just decided I wanted to do better. I’m very thankful that I started caring for myself as I managed to get my A1C from above 16% to 6.9% as of November 2018. Little did I know this hard work was going to pay off in ways I couldn’t imagine.. on 12/03/18 I had a heart attack (I am only 21 years old) and then on 12/10/2018 I had a stroke. Both which I didn’t know I was having. When I had the heart attack I drove myself to a walk in clinic to be told I was having heart burn. And when I had the stroke I went to bed not understanding what was happening. It wasn’t until 12/11/2018 that I went to the hospital and some how managed to survive it all. My cardiologist looked at me and said due to my perfect diabetes management he thinks that’s what helped save my life. I have endured a lot for only being 21 I’m pretty healthy so the heart attack and stroke were baffling to doctors and myself. I will say I’m grateful for every new day I am given and always ready to tackle each new day with a wild ambition.


Michelle Soccodato

Hello, I am Michelle and I am a diabetic. That is what the nurse in the hospital said I would have to say for the rest of my life. It was a shock to me at 31 years old I could be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was just pregnant less than a year and a half ago wouldn’t have they have seen it then? I took the glucose test while pregnant too and didn’t have gestational diabetes, so how could this be? Well I sat in the er November 30th 2018 and this was my diagnosis. I was sick for three days throwing up and the day I went to the er I could barely breath. The nurse said that was because of the ketones that’s built up in my body. 
Well less then a month and a half later my a1c is down from 10.8 to 8.2. I am on mdi currently but soon getting an omnipod and Dexcom just waiting on the shipment! I made a diabetes Instagram and joined the diabetic community. I research daily and listen to podcasts, read books and blogs, and educate myself as much as possible on my new diagnosis. I have a lot to live for. I have a little son I need to be strong for. So I have a long fight ahead of me, but I have diabetes, diabetes doesn’t have me.



Klara Borgström

I was diagnosed with diabetes type 1 at the age of 13. That is almost two years ago. I went to the hospital once every third month as a part of a big study to better understand when and why diabetes type 1 develops in children. It only took about half an hour to take tests. Me and my sisters nurse always complimented us about how good our blood sugar, HbA1c and so on were. The last time I went to this study I only remembered my nurse coming back with a frown on her face from the room with all the machines where she had put our vials with blood for testing. I didn't think about it a lot but she did't compliment about how extraordinary our tests were. 
Two, maybe three weeks passed and then my mother told me we were going to the hospital again. I asked why and she said it was something wrong with my test so I had to go check it with the doctor. I was sure it was nothing wrong, the doctors had surely just made a mistake. We did a glucose load and my blood sugar rose way to high. I felt like there was something wrong. Then the doctors started explaining that I had diabetes type 1. I still somehow felt they had made a mistake, what could i possibly have done to deserve this? Can I still play handball and dance as much as I wanted? Do I have to plan every single moment of the rest of my life? Questions like this were rushing trough my mind and I was pretty choked. 
The following weeks I only took 0,5 E insulin to breakfast to stop my blood sugar from rising. My blood sugar was really stable (some of my beta cells were still working and producing insulin) Then I started to take injections to every meal and I was starting to fear my needle. I got really bad anxiety every time I had to take insulin. I learned to count carbs, prick my fingers and bolus again when my blood sugar was too high. I started to realize that this lasted the rest of my life (unless there is a cure). I could never "pause" from my diabetes. The first year was a struggle, but then i got Omnipod, and everything since has become mush easier. I live my life just like I want to now, diabetes can't stop me.
After some months I started wearing my Omnipod and Dexcom with pride, I'm proud to say that I am stronger than my diabetes. I didn't do anything to deserve this, but I can survive it! Family, friends and the whole diabetes community has made me accept my illness and supported me. After I started my diabetes account on Instagram, @klaratype1 I've learned more about others with diabetes and how they manage their lows, highs and everything between. The thing I like the most about being diabetic is being a part of this diabetes community and having so much in common with people I've never met. The way diabetics I never even spoke to compliments me on my photos is really nice. We diabetics need to stand up and support each other.


Mandy Musgrove

Hi I’m Mandy and I’m from Florida. I was diagnosed in October 1985 at the tender age of 11 months. I was so sick that I was not expected to live but miraculously walked out the ICU 3 days later. I’ve been on a pump since I was 14. I just recently got the Libre and love it. I live by the rule that Diabetes does not run my life, I run it. I do not let it limit me at all. Which I guess explains why I have 12 tattoos and will continue to get more. I feel that I am somewhat old school when it comes to my Diabetes. I never use the latest and greatest that is out there. I can’t say that I’m one of those people that says they are glad that I have Diabetes, I’m just not. Has it made me into the person I am today? Absolutely. I believe God allows things to happen to people that He knows can handle it. I’m forever grateful to my friends and family who have loved me and supported me every day of my life.


2018 BADASSES

Kate Hall

My name is Kate Hall and I was diagnosed with type one diabetes eleven years ago at age ten. I knew I was really sick when I was first diagnosed, but there was a peace inside of me in regards to the situation. When the doctors told me I had to get my first shot of insulin, I took the needle from them and injected myself. From that moment on I knew I could do this.
Although there wasn't a doubt in my mind that I wouldn't let this disease get to me, having diabetes didn’t come without fears. My first and only fear was if I was going to be able to do the normal things that other kids do. I played sports all year long and for the first couple of weeks after being diagnosed with diabetes I had to sit out from soccer practices and our championship game. When the doctors gave me the clear to participate, I told myself I wasn’t going to let this disease stop me from doing anything ever again. From then on I had no fear, only motivation. My work ethic that was created from having diabetes rolled over into my love of sports as well. If I could manage type one diabetes starting at a young age, I could do anything. When I started getting better at track and field, I became completely motivated to become the best that I could be. I set goals every year throughout high school, starting with my huge goal of making the 2016 Olympic trials when I saw athletes like Allyson Felix and Brittney Reese dominating at the 2012 trials on tv. At the time I was only a freshman in high school and jumping five feet less than them and running a second a half slower in the 100 than them. After working hard every day for four years, I set the national high school record in the long jump and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Since then, I have won two NCAA titles and I'm currently jumping professional with my sights set on the World Championships and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I attribute my success and work ethic in my sport to having to work so hard from a young age to manage my diabetes. 
Type one diabetes has taught me more about myself than anything else has in my life. It taught me to work hard no matter how difficult a situation seems and to turn seemingly terrible circumstances into something beautiful. Every kid dealing with diabetes or a different disease needs to know that you can be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do. Let it motivate you to better yourself in all aspects of your life.


Paul Reid

Hi! I’m Paul. I was diagnosed in 1986, a type one world before pumps, pens and CGMs.
I wasn’t always an outdoorsy type of person. I was comfortable doing the usual 9-5 gig, living the commuter life and relaxing on the weekends. I wasn’t all that fit either. I wasn’t into running or fitness in general, maybe a casual 2km hike, maybe a bike ride here and there, and camping was always car camping, a relaxing getaway from the house. But that was about the extent of my outdoor interest. Being type one certainly depressed me and I was definitely burnt out because of it.
It wasn’t until about 2010 that I began doing a lot more outdoors driven activities, longer hikes, climbing outdoors, and signing up for the odd 5k run. Fun stuff, but not easy stuff (at least that’s what I thought) I noticed things changing with me when I was engaging in activities outdoors. I was no longer depressed, and felt that old type one burn out diminishing.
These weren’t easy times. I was wildly unfit, and I weighed the heaviest I had in my whole life. But I had this attraction to the outdoors that I couldn’t shake. More camping trips came about, more climbing excursions out in the desert and in the mountains, more kayaking and snorkeling in the ocean, more and more of these activities filtered into my lifestyle, as the stoke for the outdoors intensified, the weight of the “type one burden” was lifted and evaporating from my life.
It wasn’t until 2012 during the planning of a group hike with 8 friends to summit Mt. Whitney in one day, where I was disappointed at the lack of info available out there for type ones on the how-to’s and the what-if’s when venturing into the backcountry, let alone trying to successfully summit one of the highest mountains on the north American continent. With the help of my Endo, I did, however manage to wrangle a phone conference with some other mountaineering type ones and medical specialists who had first-hand knowledge of how high altitudes can effect blood sugar, and how to prepare physically before an expedition like this. I thought, wow, there’s a whole lot of useful info out there for type ones in the outdoors, and I wondered how many other type one’s were in a similar situation. (that summit was successful, by the way :) !!!
Over the years I have summitted over 200 peaks in and around California, leading small hiking groups on day hikes, trail runs and outdoors climbs. I went and got my wilderness medicine certification and continue to organize outings but now with more of a focus on the type one adventurer by starting “Type One Outdoors” via social media and web platforms. “Local Treks” is an ongoing meet up thing, local outdoor adventures with outdoorsy type one’s in the greater LA area, with the emphasis on the type one adventurer. But not just for type one’s, supporters, caregivers, type one friends & family members strongly encouraged to join in the fun, type two’s & type three’s also welcome and encouraged. Chatting with each other on the trail about all things T1D is a great way to connect our common condition with our common stoke for the outdoors, plus, I share lots of useful outdoors info about how to get out there, off the grid, safely and with confidence on our local trails and mountain tops. 
My hope is to inspire all kinds of type ones to get outdoors, to get dusty, to get sun burnt, to get rained on, to get off the grid safely, and with the confidence knowing how to deal with that pesky blood sugar, and all our gadgets, devices, medications, glucose highs and lows and climb out from under that type one burnout and get stoked for adventure in the outdoors!


Brianda Martin del Campo

My name is Brianda and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes January 2018, at 28 years old. This diagnosis was a life changer. My first doctor appointments were a blur. I saw a doctors and specialist for about a week or so until they figured out what I had. I didn’t know anything about diabetes. I didn’t know what an A1C of 14 meant. It took me a while to get a hang of everything that comes with this diagnosis, but I didn’t let let it stop me from doing the things I love. Minor setback major comeback!


Kacey Creel

I got diagnosed when I was 7 years old. When I first got type one I was so confused about what was all going on that I thought everyone got this weird thing I was going through eventually, I had just got it sooner than all my friends. However, I realized soon this was just something that was going to make me “different”. My parents taught me right then and there that diabetes was not going to get in the way of me wanting to do things. So I set a goal to play softball at a 4 year D1 university. Which I did. While growing up I attended Texas Lions Camp which is a camp for kids with physical disabilities and also type one diabetes. This is where I first got the passion to be so involved with the diabetic community by being a camper and also a camp counselor for super awesome kids with t1d. I graduated TSU and decided to go right back for another bachelors which is now where I am currently at. I am attending Stephen F. Austin State University majoring in Food and Nutrition and also minoring in Spanish. When I got to SFA I realized quickly I needed a community. I was missing my teammate/ roommate from TSU who also had type one diabetes. Well I heard of an organization called the college diabetes network which is a nation wide club that has chapters in over 130 universities. My campus did not have a chapter so that pushed me to create a chapter of my own. This was about 2 years ago and now the SFA chapter of the college diabetes network has about 25 members in it. It’s been so awesome meeting and connecting people with diabetes to other people and also raising awareness. That is the plan now. To continue to raise awareness and most importantly make connections with people who have diabetes. The diabetic community is so strong and is such a great thing to be apart of to help me get through this diagnoses.


Michael Gray

My name is Michael Gray. I am a husband, a father, a personal trainer, and also a type 1 Diabetic. Of all of those things, I have been a trainer the longest. For over a decade I have had the pleasure of working with awesome people; helping them lose weight, get stronger, and meet their fitness goals. It has been one of the most rewarding things I've been a part of. Right after being a father and husband, of course.
I was diagnosed with type 1 relatively late in life, at 37 years old. To say it was a shock would be an understatement. I had devoted the last 10 years of my life to not only helping others live their healthiest life, but also myself. How was this possible?
After the initial shock wore off, and I accepted my new reality, I read everything I could about the disease, including the best ways to manage it. I quickly learned that exercise and diet are two of the biggest tools we have in diabetes management. That was right in my wheel house.! While I wouldn't say that I'm grateful for my diagnosis, I will say that there have been a few silver linings. First, it forced me to look at how well I was taking care of myself, and I upped my self care game even more. I can honestly say that my diagnosis caused me to be the healthiest that I've ever been. Second, I saw an opportunity to help others. Marrying my knowledge of diet and exercise, and my personal experience with diabetes, I formed www.thediabetictrainer.com. A website disgned to help type 1, type 2, and those with pre-diabetes live their best lives!


Taylor Reynolds

I was diagnosed 16 years ago. I was 10 years old on a family vacation to New York. I was a soccer star that loved to be outdoors. A lot of people like to say your life shouldn't change too much just because of diabetes. But it does change your life. It changes how you think, how you feel, how you live. It's always been hard for me to be a "good" diabetic. Up until I started the pump 6 years ago, I was in DKA every year like it was a normal thing for me. Now I'm on the pump, and though it's still difficult, I've been doing immensely better with my life. Thankfully, I have a strong support system in my family and meeting new people who can relate! You're doing your best and that's all anyone can ask for.


David Miller

Hi there! My name is David. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes about 10 years ago. When I was first diagnosed I felt incredibly overwhelmed, lost and struggled to manage this new diagnosis with school, work and staying active. My first endocrinologist and diabetic educator more or less gave me some less than helpful old school tips on how to manage diabetes, some basic information on carb counting and then sent me on my way. The first few years were honestly a struggle. No matter what I did, I felt like I was failing at this whole diabetes thing. I became self-conscious and felt embarrassed about having diabetes. 

My turning point was the day my endocrinologist told me I should abandon my career as a paramedic and find something that provides more stable hours and is “more structured.” To this day, I can still feel the anger that I felt when those words came out of her mouth. It was at the moment I realized that I am going to own my diabetes and I am not going to let this disease run my life or dictate what I do. After this realization I have felt significantly more confident and open about life with diabetes. 

From my job as a flight paramedic to my passion for backpacking, skiing, exploring new places and doing all of the other things that I love, being a type 1 diabetic hasn't stopped me or slowed me down from accomplishing my dreams. If anything, I feel more empowered and more confident in going out and chasing my dreams. Living with diabetes can be challenging, but if this is a challenge that I can face and manage each day, the sky is the limit for other things I can accomplish! 

This upcoming April, I will be setting off on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail! While I have a number of reasons for wanting to go on this journey, one of my driving reasons is to inspire others, even if it is just one other person that is thinking about a thru-hike or something just as crazy, but has that nagging "I won't be able to do it because...." to overcome whatever that barrier is and go do that awesome thing they have been thinking about.


Kristi Caporoso

Diabetes has been my life since before I can remember. Being diagnosed at 13 months old meant I never knew anything different. Personally, I think this was better for me. I think it's harder for kids and young adults who are diagnosed after forming their lives and their identities without type 1. When I was young, I always went to diabetes camp. Every year. I worked there until adult life took over. This had a huge impact on my career and my life now - I knew I wanted to work with children, and that I loved working with chronic illness. I spent some time volunteering in the hospital, meeting with newly diagnosed families. My parents always told me about a girl that came to visit them at Mt. Sinai when I was diagnosed as a baby. She was about my age now, healthy, a functional adult. They told me that she was the only person that was able to reassure them that I could have a normal life - more so than the nurses, doctors, and medical team. Currently, I'm a licensed social worker in a children's hospital. I'm very passionate about working with children and families who are experiencing any type of adversity, and type 1 & chronic illness always has a special spot in my soul.
I started my blog (https://diabetic-truths.blogspot.com/) when I was in college. I'm a pretty introverted person, and I never thought about using my voice to advocate and educate about type 1. But after seeing so much misinformation about the disease I became aggravated. I started with the name Diabetic Truths because my goal was to shed light on the facts and reality of type 1. I fell out of the blogging for awhile after college, but since I've resumed I've been blown away by the presence of the type 1 community. There are so many of us doing so many awesome things! The community has definitely helped me get back into running - I had my first 10k this year and just signed up for my first half (yikes) - and given me so much motivation to get out there and try new things. It's a constant reminder that type 1 can't hold us back.


Charlie Cates

Hi, I'm Charlie, and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes back in 1996 at the age of 9. Since then, I have been experiencing how exercise and different ways of working out affect my blood glucose levels. One of the first things I remember being told the day I was diagnosed was, "Don't worry, you will still be able to play basketball." That may have not been a concern for most, but for me, it meant everything. Those words gave me the permission I needed to do anything I wanted to do from there forward.
I played basketball competitively all throughout high school and for four years in college. I also got really into learning about exercise and sports performance and how to get my body to perform its best. This eventually led to me getting certified as a personal trainer in 2009 and eventually graduating with a Master’s of Science degree in exercise science in 2016. Throughout my entire life, exercise has been a constant. It has always been present; it has always been something I have had to manage; and it has always been something I have used to help manage by blood glucose levels. From playing four years of college basketball, biking through the entire state of Wisconsin, hiking the Grand Canyon, and training as a powerlifter, I have experienced many different forms of exercise. And through it all I have noticed some consistent trends with how certain ways of exercising affect blood glucose levels.
As a Type 1 Diabetic, I was told early on that exercising was something I needed to do. However, I was never given any guidelines as to HOW to exercise, and this is what makes all the difference. After graduating with my Master's degree in exercise science back in 2016, I started applying what I had learned in the classroom to what I was doing with myself and my clients in the gym. By applying very specific exercise principles and controlling for certain variables, exercise has become something that has stabilized my blood glucose levels instead of sending them on a roller coaster ride.
I have taken this work and put it together in the Fit4T1D program - the first exercise program that is built from the ground up to help Type 1 Diabetics exercise in a safer, more sustainable manner. You can find out more about the Fit4T1D program at www.fit4t1d.com as well as on Instagram (@fit4t1d) and Facebook (facebook.com/groups/Fit4T1D/). Exercise is something that has allowed me to control my diabetes each and every day since I was first diagnosed instead of feeling like diabetes was controlling me. My mission is to help other Type 1 Diabetics feel the freedom that I have always felt by empowering them with the knowledge of how to exercise appropriately for their body.


Danielle Westbrook

I was diagnosed in 1997 at 12 years old. I had always been tall and thin growing up, but no one realized that it could be something more until I got the flu and was diagnosed with type 1. Growing up as a diabetic(and without a pump or CGM) wasn't always easy and I was far from perfect, but my family always taught me to never let it hold me back. I did what most kids did, went off to college, studied abroad for a year in Ireland, went skydiving in Hawaii, and just lived life. I'm so thankful growing up that I was never told no I couldn't do something because I'm diabetic. It wasn't until I was pregnant with my first son that I really started focusing on my diabetes and found how amazing it is to connect with others in our badass T1D community. I didn't share or talk much about it until then and now I love educating others. I'm a mom to 2 beautiful boys, which I worked really hard and am proud both were healthy pregnancies and natural births, and hope to inspire others that it is possible for us diabetic women. I'm also a wellness coach, and believe in a wholistic approach to health and my diabetes, and am passionate about helping others thrive. I love food and cooking, visiting new places, and going on adventures with my family. Being type 1 diabetic doesn't define me, but it has made me stronger!


Nina Juan

My name is Nina and I was diagnosed with T1D 12 years ago. If I’m being honest, I was pretty terrible with coping at first. After lots of work and help from the awesome T1D community, something hit me: I will never wake up being anyone else. That means until a cure comes, every day will involve diabetes. And guess what? I still have some pretty damn good days! I try to be as open about my diabetes as humanly possible, and it’s proven to me I can do anything, if not more than someone without it. Diabetes has knocked me down, but also catapulted me forward, and I plan to keep on going. - Nina J.


Sage Donnelly

I’m an 18 year old professional Whitewater kayaker and stand up paddle boarder. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 3 years old, celiac when I was 8, and hypo thyroid when I was 11. I started seriously competing in kayaking when I was 7 and it took off from there. Since then, I have gained a world championship title in freestyle kayaking, am top ten in the world in jr. womens canoe and kayak slalom, and am a top finisher in most of the extreme races I do! I train three times a day about 6-8 total hours per day and my goal is to show every diabetic out there that it’s possible to achieve any goal you have even though you have diabetes. It will be hard and there will be times when you feel awful and want to quit, but always remember that you’re making yourself 10x stronger both pysically and mentally.


Kyle Hartley

My name is Kyle and I was diagnosed 16 years ago. I have been on and off the pump the whole time depending on my work situation and what was covered by insurance. I never really had control of my diabetes until I started on a CGM. Initially the Freestyle Libre and now to Dexcom G6. I have brought my A1C down from a 9.1 to a 6.2 in just a few months of being on them. Amazing technology!
Being a paramedic, and working in an ER, it is nice to be able to help people and especially other diabetics. I love to find other diabetics and talk about the devices I have and how they have worked for me!


Darrell Greene

25 years. That's how long Darrell has been in the fight. He was diagnosed T1D in April 1993. It wasn't easy at all. Think about it. There was no internet. No google to turn to for quick answers. There was no badassdiabetic.org for support so he learned the hard way how to control his blood sugars. Pamphlets. Yes. Pamphlets. He's far from perfect, but his last A1C was 5.7. Not bad for a TV news anchor in Memphis, TN who's about to turn 50 later this year. In addition to being a husband and proud father of two, Darrell is passionate about helping others in their T1D fight. He's a chapter board member and congressional advocate for JDRF. He's done dozens of news stories about the fight for a cure and for the technological advances being made to help T1Ds live healthier lives. In August, Darrell became one of the first 10 people in the US to receive the new @eversensecgm implanted continuous glucose monitor, which he calls "freakin' amazing!". His prayer is that advances like that can help others avoid complications, like his hemorrhagic stroke in 2016. It knocked him down, but not out. Darrell is back on track, fighting T1D, working out while working on his golf swing, and doin' the news every night at 5, 6, 9, & 10 for @fox13memphis !


Allison Hahn

Hi, my name is Allison and I have had Type 1 Diabetes a little over two years now. I am 13 years old and play volleyball. Being in the hospital was very scary trying to learn everything and not understand what it really meant. It took some time, but after a few months I realized this is just part of my life now. Nothing stops me!! I Don’t let my diabetes keep me down. I love to stay active and exercise, and my nickname from one of my favorite teachers is “sporty spice” .  I love being outside and going to the beach or pool with our hot Chicago summers. My favorite place to vacation with my family is Sanibel Island, Florida. But, boy can the waves sometimes in the ocean make my Dexcom fall off!!! I have the best mom and dad and little sister and an awesome group of friends who really understand my disease. They always have gummy bears in there locker for me if I’m low. I’m walking in my second JDRF walk this September and have an even bigger group this year joining “Alli’s Army”  Some days are hard and I get through them, but I would really love a cure!!


Brian Bobé

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 17. I struggled with diet and proper daily maintenance. I’m now 34 years old and have been a police officer for almost 12 years. I work out on a daily basis and began a basic plant only diet almost a year ago. I still struggle daily with taking proper care for myself but I have a team at home that helps me with my struggles. I’m constantly reminded to keep fighting the good fight!!!! Badass Diabetic!!!


Dana Cumberworth

     Hey there! I’m Dana Dempsey Cumberworth 33 years old and currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Diabetes became a part of my life when I was 25 in graduate school at Wake Forest University. You see, I was studying to become a physician assistant and during a lab in our Diabetes unit was dumbfounded to find my blood sugar was almost 700!! (Normal bs is around 100). 
As you could imagine my diagnosis left me in total shock! I felt deflated and embarrassed. I saw it as a weakness... all the blood sugar testing, injections, planning ahead.... blah blah blah. It’s 24/7 blood sugar babysitting! I could not believe myself, an extremely active, past college basketball athlete was getting this news!
     Only close family and friends knew of my diagnosis. I didn’t share it with the world until about 3 years ago. Initially, I had the thought of biking across America so I could raise a ton of money!! Then I found about the JDRF 100 mile bike rides. The question was how in the world was I going to raise all the money?! Well I decided to share my story on social media about my diagnosis in PA school. By doing just that, I opened up the pathway to where I stand today. I was not portrayed as a victim or a weak person to those who encountered my story. The response across the board were words such as - inspiring, strong, advocate, leader, and my absolute favorite label: BadA$$.
     My goal is to NEVER let Type 1 win. I have no different life than the next person. Yes there is a lot more planning ahead, trips to the pharmacy for insulin and wearing blood sugar monitoring devices etc. But I have a great job as a physician assistant for orthopedic surgery. I have completed 2 full 140.6 Ironman races. I soon will have tackled 3 JDRF 100 mile fundraiser rides and raised over $30,000 for the JDRF. I even became scuba certified diving with sharks and traveling around the world. Plus I married Colin, my rock, adventure buddy, biggest supporter and best friend! We even traveled across the globe to the Maldives and Thailand to have an epic honeymoon last fall! 
     You see I was given a label of Type 1 diabetic back in 2010, but it will NEVER define me. I will continue to push the limits because I do not believe we have limitations! I even got a custom patch approved by the JDRF and all proceeds goes to our fundraiser ride this October! Because why not?! https://thesugarpatch.shop/collections/jdrf-ride-to-cure-diabetes
     To my fellow Diabadass- cheers to you and taking ownership of your disease! To my family, friends and donators- you all are rockstars and help to fuel my fire!!! Xo


Tina Marescia

I always wanted to travel. I never wanted to be diabetic. Yet, I woke up in 2016 at 26 untraveled with a new diagnosis “late onset Type 1 ‘Juvenile’ diabetes”. After spending a few months thinking all those millennial dreams I had of backpacking across Europe or trekking through Asia were shot, I bought a FRIO pack and plane ticket to London. 

My road trip across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales lasted 20 days making it the longest and farthest international trip I’d ever done. I was hooked. I figured long term travel was not unattainable but, just required extra packing and planning for my medical supplies and pump gear. I mean hey food and insulin are universal right? (It didn’t hurt that I was untraveled at this point by having unironically spent every year of my life from age 18 to 23 obtaining a degree and license as a Registered Dietitian). 

In 2017, I got a Working Holiday VISA to New Zealand and have been working and traveling around the two islands since. I spent the first 6 months of my VISA living on Te Ika a Maui (The North Island) in a purple 1999 Toyota Previa. #Vanlife I now live in Queenstown, Te Wai Pounamu (The South Island) where I spent my days at Coronet Peak with NZSki. During my time in NZ I’ve been able to explore the NZ wilderness both on foot and as part of a 5 day canoe trip through the rainforest. I have also picked up some new hobbies like acroyoga, snorkeling and the rare adrenaline rush bungee jumping. Who knows what activity or country is coming next, the world’s my oyster right?   Follow the journey at: http://type1travel.blogspot.com/


Chelsea Line

I was diagnosed with T1D at 5 years old and from day 1 I started my own needles.  It was my first year in cheerleading and while I was in hospital I used to make all the nurses watch my performances.  I love to dance, model, cheer and do Gymnastics. The highlight of my life so far has been competing in Hawaii for hip hop!  (And we won a silver medal).  I love to travel and T1 won’t stop me! When I get older, I plan to be a T1D educator so I can connect with T1D children.


Chris Ruden

I am the only disabled, diabetic record holding power lifter, professional speaker, and online nutrition consultant you know ! I was born with two fingers on my left hand and a shorter left arm and went through everything from bullying, depression, suicide watch and drugs. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes a 19 years old and decided to overcome my limitations through powerlifting. Since then I’ve won over six powerlifting meets and broke 4 state records in powerlifting regardless of my physical disability or diabetes . I now travel the country as a professional speaker utilizing my social media network to inspire kids, teens and adults through Fitness to understand that limitations are self-imposed.


will cross

Will effectively manages his diabetes in the most extreme conditions, while facing many challenges such as irregular meals, extreme temperatures, unusual sleeping patterns, physical exertion, high risks of frostbite and dehydration, and less than ideal conditions in which to monitor glucose levels and administer insulin. Will seeks to get the message out that if he can control his diabetes in the most unlikely conditions, no one should feel hindered by diabetes. 

Will’s achievements have been covered by CNN, BBC, The Today Show, Discovery Channel, Voice of America, KDKA News and Talk Radio, and ABC, CBS, and NBC national affiliate stations. He has also appeared in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, Explorers Journal, and GQ. During 2003 and 2004, Will delivered an inspirational Public Service Announcement viewed by over 17 million people.* Will’s 2004 Mt. Everest expedition had a reach of over 37 million people.* In 2005, Will won the Media Spokesperson of the Year Award. 


Rodney Miller

I was diagnosed at age 4. I grew up on a cattle ranch in southern Oklahoma. At age 12 my father came to me and told me no one cared about my disease and that I could accept it and live with it or I could let it kill me. I chose the former. I did spend several years rebelling against the disease but when my wife told me she was pregnant with my daughter I knew that I could no longer take my health for granted. I had to be there to provide and support this new life. So I entered the gym and fell in love with training. I spent a couple of years bodybuilding before I ultimately found my home in powerlifting. I competed for several years in powerlifting before changing gears and beginning my journey in strongman. I've since competed in 12 strongman contests even at the national level. I've also been actively coaching type 1 diabetics in strength sports for 5 years now. I truly believe that anything is possible with type 1 diabetes and that we are like super heroes!!


Jareel Calhoun

Hi I’m Jareel and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in November 2015 at 8 years old. It’s been a hard struggle and big adjustment for me and my family, but together we are getting through it. I’m an Honor student-athlete. I play football, basketball, video games, I love to swim swim and hang out with my friends. I just played in my first All-Star football game, it was so much fun! I definitely don’t let T1D stop me from doing the things I love!!! #TurnTypeOneToTypeNone


Jeramiah Casarez

Jerry is 5 years old. He was diagnosed with type 1 when he was 4. Both of his parents are also type 1. His desire is to professionally be able to help others with diabetes one day. But for now, he spreads the awareness through vlogging on youtube at "the adventures of jerry" and on instagram. He has a big humble heart and he has lots of faith that one day there will be a cure!


Daniela Rojas Jiménez

Hello everyone, I'm Daniela from Costa Rica and I have lived with type one diabetes for 26 years now. I am a psychologist who works with people living with chronic conditions. I am a passionate advocate for the diabetes community here in Costa Rica and Latin America. I'm part of the board of the first and only patient assossiation here in my country, plus I am part of the organizers of the first youth camp here in CR along with two other advocates. I co-founded EDPD which is an education program lead by people living with type one diabetes that works to prevent discrimination in schools and work places. I'm a blogger for Live1tBlue next to my close friend Paula and also for Diabetica Solutions...... I am a passionate hiker who loves to take on Costa Ricas lovely mountains and adventures, my love for hiking, has made me work hard to train in order to show the world that T1d is not an obstacle to chase after any challenge.


Hannah Bleyer

Hi, my name is Hannah, I'm 22 years old and have been living with t1d for around 10 years. I was diagnosed during the Summer of 2008 when I was 12 years old. I was constantly drinking and urinating, and lost about 15-20 pounds, my parents thought I was starving myself! Luckily, my neighbor's mother was t1d and he told them to take me to the doctor. I remember this day like it was yesterday, the doctor came in the room and tested my blood glucose on a meter and it read "HI", it was so high that the meter wouldn't read it! I was then taken right to the ER and treated overnight for Type 1 Diabetes. Unfortunately, my life with t1d wasn't as easy as my diagnosis was. For many years I struggled to accept that I had to live with a chronic disease that has no known cure. I would do anything that I could to try to forget about it, but it was always there no matter what I did. I went so far as to stop testing my blood sugar daily, guess bolus amounts, and cancel endo appointments whenever I could. Going to the doctor was always my least favorite thing to do. It usually included the doctors asking me why I wasn't doing what I had to do, me having no answers, and a lot of crying. I would convince myself that the doctor just didn't understand because she never had to do what I have to do everyday. After about 9 years of acting this way, my life changed. I met another Type 1 Diabetic for the first time at the part-time job I was working at during college. I very much believe that this woman was my saving grace, without her I don't think that I would have turned my health around and gotten on a CGM and Insulin pump. Something about knowing that I wasn't the only one struggling physically and emotionally with this disease flipped a switch in my brain. After getting to know her, my A1c and daily treatment has never been better, and I finally came to terms with this disease and am at peace with it. Eventually I created an Instagram page that I use to connect with other people just like me. I no longer want to hide this part of me, I wear my pump with pride and am finally happy with who I am. I cannot conclude without mentioning the help and support I got over the years from my parents and boyfriend. The acceptance and support I got from my boyfriend means so much to me because I never had anyone take so much interest and want to learn about t1d like he did. To this day I am so shocked about how much he has learned about me and t1d and I am forever grateful that I found someone who could love me and my disease, even when I didn't. My parents always did everything that they could to support me, unfortunately I wouldn't accept it from them because I didn't want to even support myself. They urged me to go to school to be a Dietitian or Diabetic Educator because I always felt that the doctor never understood me, but I wanted nothing to do with it. I now am going to go back to school to be an RN, with a goal to be a Diabetic Educator for children with Type 1 because I want them to hear my story and know that they aren't alone. I now am a happy and healthy t1d who enjoys cooking, reading, travelling and spending time with my friends and family. I also enjoy connecting with other people just like me. I can't express how important it is to find others who have been in your shoes and understand how you feel, or even just give you advice about how to bolus for an ice cream sundae LOL. We are not alone, even though it may feel like that sometimes, and we can fight this disease like the bad-ass diabetics we are!


Coral Deng

My daughter, Coral, was diagnosed with T1d when she was 15 months old while we were still living in our hometown on Oahu. She was lethargic, peeing heavy diapers, wetting her bed, and drinking excessive amounts of water for three days in a row. I contacted her pediatrician via email after hours describing my observations and suspicions, but wasn't aware that these were classic signs of T1d. I just knew something was wrong. She called me back on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 8am and told us to stop what we were doing and come straight to Kapiolani Medical Center. She was diagnosed that day with a finger poke and we spent the next four in the hospital. I was giving her shots by the second day. We absorbed all the information, while still in shock, that the diabetes educator gave us and continue to do our own research, basal settings & changes, etc.  Since then, we have mastered thin crust pizza and pastas, but I still like to set a good example for her by working out at the gym and substituting lower carb foods and snacks with her. Everything in moderation. Timing the bolus is key to managing BGs!  Coral is my inspiration for the brand T1dlife @type1diabetic_life on IG.  She loves singing, dancing, socializing, and going on adventures. She spreads aloha with whomever she meets and lights up the room with her laugh and smile. She loves gymnastics and recently enrolled in karate. She is fearless and loves the ocean just like her mama. One day, I'll teach her how to surf too. She loves pool days and playdates with her fellow diabuddies. Her motto is #t1dwontstopme from having fun! Coral will be four years old in October. Her latest a1c was 6.3 and has been in the low 6's for the past year.


Caleb Smith

Hi, my name is Caleb Smith and I am 8 years old. When I was 3 years old I was diagnosed with T1D. I had gone to a couple hospitals and they kept saying I had the flu. Then one day, my mom was driving me to watch my dad do a triathlon and I puked in her car. She took me to the closest hospital. When we got there, they knew right away what was wrong. I was rushed to a room in the ER and surrounded by all these people, poking me and stuff. It was pretty scary. Ornge (Ontario’s ground and air critical care ambulance service) had to come and take me to a bigger hospital. I was too sick. I was in DKA.  A few days later I was feeling much better and got to go home. I didn’t like Diabetes at first. So many needles! Then at Christmas time I got a package from Indy Car driver Charlie Kimball! He has T1D just like me and he races cars. I love racing. That made Diabetes a little bit less scary. Then I met Charlie in person and also my best friend Chase (Pelletier) who also has T1D and is a fast racer. They made it way less scary and I saw them doing what I wanted to do too.  I learned to check my own blood sugars and then I got my insulin pump. Last year I got my CGM - just like all the T1D racers use!  Now I just started racing go karts. I love it. I want to be a professional racer when I am a bit older. I want to race Charlie, Chase, Conor (Daly) and Ryan (Reed). Hopefully I would win! I’m a youth ambassador for my local JDRF. I like raising money and awareness. People don’t understand T1D sometimes.  One day I want to be like my racing friends and help other kids not feel so scared about T1D.  It’s kind of cool to have T1D. I have friends and I do fun things - racing, hiking, video games, camping, so many fun things. Sometimes it makes me mad and sad because it’s annoying to have T1D, but mostly it’s okay.


Aeriel Lane

My name is Aeriel. My favorite color is blue. My favorite person is my 6 year old little boy, Liam. And, oh…I’m also a Type 1 Diabetic. *Insert the obligatory…”Hiiiii Aerielllll”*  I was diagnosed with T1D November of 1997; the day before Thanksgiving. After months of inexplicable symptoms – extreme thirst, itchy skin, weight loss, cotton mouth, and a whole host of others, my mother made and appointment with my doctor. I was diagnosed right there in the office. That was the day everything changed. I was a cheerleader and an active teenager when I was diagnosed. I don’t remember much about that time except going to see the receptionist everyday (who happened to also be a nurse and the wife of a T1D). She would sit quietly and watch me do my finger stick and try her best not to admonish me when I was having trouble beating my sugars into submission. I remember feeling singled-out. That was through no fault of anyone; it just comes with the territory. I remember feeling drained on field trips, exhausted with all of the “how the heck do you give yourself needles?” questions, tired of the food I consumed being stalked and just over everything in general. 
There was one person who got me through the entire ordeal. I’m not even sure if she knows this. But my best friend Cara was my rock. Her entire family was. Cara had a beautiful cousin named Annette. She had had a pancreas transplant and spent a lot of time educating me on the inner workings of diabetes. Cara would ask me during the day, “How are your sugs? Have you eaten? Can I get you a Diet Coke?” and none of it was said with an ounce of judgment.  Coping with any terminal illness requires an unprecedented support system. When one member of the family is diagnosed, the entire family must chip in and contribute to that persons overall wellness. I won’t go into the details of illnesses, stress and my pregnancy; but I will say that, through everything, I have always had a support system that has carried me through. Find those people in your life. You can’t and shouldn’t do this alone.


Christopher Pickering

Being diagnosed in 1988, I’m neither a newbie nor a veteran, because every day is a new challenge. At 3 almost 4 years old, I was diagnosed with T1D.  Growing up with T1D in a family where it was prevalent, I was watched nonstop. Every bit of food I ate, how active I was, and many sleepless nights for my parents. Throughout school, there were many friends who protected me at all costs and watched my back, and many others without an understanding of T1D that would make life hell. Despite those that made life difficult, with my friends and family supporting, I became a great athlete, and am very proud an honored of the awards I received.   I continued on to become a collegiate athlete, and still play sports to this day. Diabetes was always a platform to stand up and make a difference.  One day, while at work I crashed into a severe low that should have ended my life, thanks to quick thinking by coworkers who understood what was happening, paramedics were called, and my life would continue. Upon arriving at home, my roommate and one of my best friends was there. He saw something was wrong and in the gentlest of ways got me to speak about what happened. After explaining everything, he wrapped his arms around me and said “You have no clue the greatness you are destined for.” After searching out other T1D’s and getting involved in more things, I felt a calling of sorts. I wanted to make sure that any one battling what I did, and still do at times, would have someone beside them to show there’s more than what they can see.  After about five years of learning how to cope with my own depression and speaking to countless others, I came to to conclusion that’s what I wanted to do with my life. Help other Type One’s through their own paths. In a sense, on that morning a life did end. A life of perpetual downturns, hurt, and anxiety. Those things were turned into a fuel that I use each and every day in my new life. The reality is that diabetes may alter the end of my life, but until that day comes, it will not hold me back from everything I desire. Helping others, fighting big corporations, finding new methods to better lives, and anything else that make this community stronger. My dream is simple, until the cure is there in front of me, I will be beating down every roadblock to make sure others feel the love and empowerment I do. Diabetes is always a cold-hearted enemy, but that enemy has brought forth alliances that span the World to make life better.


Rina Cornelius

Diaversary June 30, 2015, adult onset at age 42.  The day my lifestyle changed, now living without a fully functioning pancreas and insulin dependent  for the rest of my life.  After finishing a Spartan Rae, I ended up in the hospital with a blood glucose (BG) of 99.9 mmol.  the doctors told me I have Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  To put this in perspective, a non diabetic will have a normal BG anywhere from 4 to 7 mmol.  I am currently 2+ years into my diagnosis and I'm still learning every day how to manage my T1D.  Some days are better than others and embracing my new lifestyle has been a welcomed challenge, which means I can live a manageable lifestyle with T1D.  Knowledge is power and understanding your body is key.  Don't ignore the signs.  Keep in good health!


davey la

Hi diabuddies, I'm 35 years old and have been diabetic for 28 years. Professionally I work as an actor for Geese Theatre Company in the UK. We spend most of our time in prisons performing shows and running workshops about choice, change and personal responsibility. Right now I spend most of my spare time training for a 175 mile bike ride from London to Paris raising money for Diabetes UK. I enjoy chilling with friends, family and my wife, we got married just over a year ago in Ibiza after spending two years doing up our first house together. I have never felt more in control of this crazy condition. However it hasn't always been this way. 

Let me take you back to 1989, my parents were concerned as I had lost lots of weight and couldn't stop drinking, I used to spend time at the freezer filling my mouth with ice cubes just to kill the thirst. I was rushed to hospital after an initial urine test and diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic with blood glucose readings over 36 mmol/L, thats just above 650 mg/dl. One thing I remember is the doctor saying ‘you could get a cure in 10 years’ (still waiting doc!). But this did encourage me to tackle diabetes head on!

People always ask 'how could you inject yourself when you were 7?' (to be fair my mum did it mostly) But I do remember there were other kids on the ward who had much worse medical conditions and they didn’t even have the option of a needle to control their illness, I’m sure if they were offered a syringe to stay alive they would take it, so that’s what I did (needles were much bigger back then too). I was encouraged by my parents to not let my diabetes get in the way, it was never easy for us, but with their support my first few years as a diabetic were ok. I did start to struggle with the condition as a teenager, I was trying to manage my sugars while hiding the condition from everybody else. I think I did this because I didn't know any other diabetics, I felt that it was weird or that people might expect less of me because of it. It would have been great if there was an online community where I could see other people living life to the full despite their diabetes. 

During my 20’s I tried to live as though I didn’t have this condition, working abroad in Ibiza and travelling round South America, but started to realise why type 1 diabetes can't be ignored. 
Often after nights out I went low in my sleep and needed rescuing from friends, family or paramedics. Once I was arrested at a train station when low, I was mistakenly thought to be drunk and disorderly and came round in a police cell. Although it’s scary to think about these times, it encouraged me to take this condition more seriously. Over the past few years, I'm testing my bloods 10 times a day, using an app to keep an eye on trends, changing my diet, counting carbs and adjusting insulin. This has enabled me to join an MMA gym, run marathons, cycle from one country to another, perform shows in prisons up and down the country, I truly feel like anything is possible. Now I am in charge of my diabetes (despite the odd day which just doesn't make sense) I try to inform, inspire and entertain other diabetics on YouTube and social media. 

Despite all the negative parts of being T1D, it is part of me and encourages me to live everyday to the full, I'm lucky to be here and I'm not going to let this life pass me by. I have read so many stories on here that have inspired me and I hope to do the same. 

Power to your pumps/needles Diabadasses!!!


Shaylene Oldham

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes on February 13, 2006. This was just before my “sweet sixteen”, which I find quite ironic. I remember vaguely what life was like before my diagnosis. I can recall feeling a lot more carefree and a little less different than everyone else. I remember what it was like to be a size 00 before insulin and carb counting filled out my hips along with the inevitability of puberty causing havoc all at the same time. I remember being able to try on swim suits and clothes without trying to figure out where I would clip my pump or how easy something would be to dose in. But all of these “before diabetes” seemed to easily fade away as I learned how to keep myself from dying every single hour of every single day. It still seems so surreal to me how I went from one day; not knowing, not counting, not dosing, not checking, to the complete opposite which has just become my every day normal. How can such a huge life change that literally happened overnight, seem so minuscule in the grand scheme of things. For a long time, I held on to my former self not willing to accept the fact that I was a diabetic and my life was going to face many obstacles and challenges because of it. I didn’t want my diagnosis and if I just didn’t pay attention to it long enough, it would go away. Deep down, I knew that one day I would pay the price for all the highs but I was okay with that because one day seemed so far away. Fast forward through high school, growing up, moving out, countless jobs and relationships later; those one days were today and I realized that my future problems were right in front of me. With my vision going and my future shaky, I made the internal decision that I needed to change everything if I was going to survive this to keep the life I’ve been working so hard for. I have been trying my hardest to make myself known in the diabetic community online, whereas I used to sit in the shadows but never felt a part of. This alone has made such a huge difference. It has given me the confidence to wear my life on my hip (literally), to share the highs and the lows (pun intended), and to reach out to other diabetics because I always wanted to before but never did. Through this I have not only learned how to better control my disease but I have also grown to want to control my disease, which is so huge for me. I feel healthier than I ever have in my life which has given me the confidence to be upfront with my disease and the fact that some days I can’t control those numbers, but as long as I am doing the best I can, that is all that counts. I am currently working on a degree in mortuary science and just accepted a new job at a funeral home to start my career. I have been happily married for the past seven wopping months and working on the goal of getting my a1c down even lower so that we can safely start a family one day. I am achieving so much in this life that I never thought I would want let alone be capable of because I always let this disease bring me down and give me excuses. But not today, I am so grateful that I was able to turn this burden around and learn how to live again. My hope is that if you’re feeling or have ever felt the way that I have, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and say, “I am a strong, courageous, self-reliant, BADASS DIABETIC!” Because you are, and so am I!


Ayla Goodson

My name is Ayla Goodson and I am 29 years old. I've been an a Type 1 diabetic for 10 years now! In addition to, I am a published author, pole fitness instructor, mentor, public speaker, life coach, owner and operator of two successful women's fitness studios, and an advocate for healthy living with diabetes! I was diagnosed in 2008 as a sophomore in college. I was very active in college, the captain of the cheerleading squad and an active member of multiple student organizations. I've always been into fitness ever since I can remember. A small petite frame, never reached over 112lbs, so to be diagnosed with diabetes came as a shock. I always thought diabetes was for overweight old people. But to my surprise little 18 year old, 110lb me was now an insulin dependent Type 1 Diabetic.

Because fitness has always been a passion of mine, being a diabetic has motivated me even more to continue to beat the odds and stereotypes of diabetes. I always say now, that I don't have diabetes for myself, I have it to inspire, educate, and motivate others with diabetes and/or those at risk of developing diabetes. Since my diagnoses, it has been my duty to educate others and be a hope for those dealing with the disease daily. As a Black woman, it is so important that I continue to stress the importance of health and fitness in my community. When we lack knowledge, we lack the ability to prevent health issues that can be avoided or we lack the knowledge to properly care for ourselves. Living with diabetes, has made me a stronger person for myself and for so many others that battle the disease. My goal is let the world know that diabetes is only a hindrance if you allow it to be! You can be who you were created to be no matter what!


aaron Johnson

I’m a 34 year T1D veteran. I was diagnosed at 15 months old, so I’ve seen the world of diabetes change a few times over. When I was growing up, there certainly wasn’t any internet or social media. I think that people often overlook how important of a change this is with diabetes. Sure, medical technology has improved dramatically and that has been a game changer, but the ability to have such a strong community that is so easily accessible is, to me, the biggest difference between life with T1D then and now. With as much experience as I have, I feel it’s important to share my knowledge with those who could benefit. I live to advocate for our community. Today, I run a public charity in Charlotte, NC for T1D known as FFT1. We want to help our local community in any way we can. Along with my partner in crime and devoted T1D advocate wife Kori, we also serve on Beyond Type 1’s Family council. This council was formed this year to stand beside their leadership, global ambassador and science councils. We are proud to be a part of such an amazing and revolutionary organization. I love the message of diabadassery. The importance of changing the misconceptions of Type 1 cannot be overstated. It is far beyond time for us to stand up and be heard and better respected as a community and that starts with us being proud internally. I love wearing my tech where it is visible and I can almost always be found with some sort of silly-messaged, clever diabetes related shirt on, or with my JDRF, Beyond Type 1, or (of course FFT1 gear). I think that T1Ds doing amazing things is incredibly inspiring, but I also believe we need to do a better job of embracing and elevating those who are more “ordinary”, but live beyond their diagnosis and challenge themselves to live successfully with T1D everyday. In the next month my blog, GlucosEnough, will launch which is a window into my life as a T1D. Its going to be all over the place. I have a long diabetes story, and I bet I have a few things that anyone can find entertaining, educational, interesting, or all 3. I love telling stories. I love people getting to know ME. On a related note, I am also addicted to photography. I want to capture emotion in a frame. I’d love to work on a project that showcases diabetes in its most honest form. I want to show the pain, frustration, brilliance, exhaustion, inspiration, hope, and triumph that is type 1. Look out for that sometime soon.


Paula Chinchilla

I am Paula from Costa Rica and I have live with T1D for many years. My diagnosis at the beginning meant a new start for my family. My father lost his job and I was starting kindergarten. The diagnosis and the fact that my dad was out of work made diabetes a motivation to my family to create a Sugar Free Cakery and coffee shop of which we live today. All this thinking that if I felt sad about not having a birthday cake that would not affect my blood sugars much, other families with members with diabetes were also facing the same! Also, my mom created the first patient association for people with diabetes here as she realized peer to peer support was essential. Since I was little I saw diabetes as an opportunity, looking for the positive points.  I together with two other advocates and passionate about diabetes education organized the first diabetes youth camp in Costa Rica and now we have done 5 camps. Also we created EDPD (education in diabetes by people with diabetes) to give talks about diabetes in schools, high schools and workplaces.   I am also part of the League of Diathletes a worldwide diabetes community and young leaders in diabetes of the International Diabetes Federation.  I studied Nutrition to help others with diabetes in this important topic and through this I´ve had the opportunity to go to diabetes camps in South America to help in the nutritional area and now I would face an amazing challenge helping a friend to do 25 marathons in one month! (also with type one diabetes).  I am passionate about educating others about this lifestyle also through @live1tBlue ,a blog I share with one of my best friends with type one, Daniela. The name Live1tBlue has a special meaning for both of us, as blue is the color that officially represents diabetes in the world, and for us diabetes is not a synonym of disease but instead a lifestyle; therefore through our blog we look to reflect that it is possible to have a healthy life with diabetes. That “LivingItBlue” (living with diabetes) could be a happy, empowered and healthy way of living.   Sharing our stories is important as from personal experience we know it is not always easy to deal with the diagnosis of T1D and that at times one can feel lonely or isolated.  We all could be Badass Diabetics if we put our health first and then do whatever we want or dream and don't let diabetes stop us from any challenge, enjoying life to the fullest!


Diandra Crabb

My name is Diandra Crabb from Alberta Canada.  I am a working, single mom who is also in college through distance learning.  And, managing my Type 1 Diabetes on top of it all.  I am raising awareness, specifically through my Instagram account as well as participating in fundraising events such as the Walk to Cure Diabetes. "For the highs and lows and moments between, mountains and valleys, and rivers and streams, for where you are now and where you will go, for "I've always known" and "I told you so, " for "nothing is happening" and "all has gone wrong,," it is here in this journey you will learn to be strong, you will get where you're going, landing where you belong". Morgan Nichols


Fabian Bleck

Just a couple of weeks before my 12th birthday, I started drinking a lot more water than usual, felt tired like never before and used the bathroom more often than i liked to. Due to those facts, my family already had an idea what was going on with me. They already knew it from my grandpa, also Type 1 Diabetic. I checked my blood glucose on his meter and it just showed HI for high. We went straight to the hospital where I spent the next couple of days. In the beginning, I did´t know much about diabetes, just that you have to prick your finger and get sometimes an insulin shot because I have seen my grandpa doing it a couple of times. So I had to learn much more about my new lifetime friend. Not only learning concerned me, I was also worried if I will be able to play basketball anymore. But the doctors and his team took that fear right away from me when they told me, you can do as much as sports as you want, it´s good for you. And that´s what I am still doing. 
Learning. Especially with diabetes, it never stops. New foods, new activities, more stress, illnesses, less and more sleep, etc. It all effects your blood glucose and you have to understand and learn, how to handle all those perimeters. There is no perfect overall therapy, you have to listen to your body and learn how it reacts to different situations. It helps me to doing the sports I love as an professional. Of course I am struggling sometimes too, but i will never quit.
Now I am 24 years old and I have learned more about my body due to my diabetes than I would have without it. Sometimes, you have to be grateful, even though it sounds strange with diabetes. This is how I am trying to be a role model for other diabetics. You can achieve everything with diabetes, Never settle, always learn, be grateful.


 Rasheed Johnson

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 7. Battling with the obstacles of having diabetes and accepting the fact that I had it; I continued to pursue my interest in sports. From football, track, wrestling, and boxing. I had my fair share of trail and error. But in this World no matter what, you should not give up on your goal and dreams. As I realized diabetes may be a challenge, it should not hinder you from going after what you want in life. With that being said, I am now a professional boxer with controlled Type 1 Diabetes competing for a spot amongst the best. I am surrounded by the best supporters. I want all kids out there to know that just because you may be dealing with something that seems unfair it is not the end. Let these things motivate you to be great!


Elisa Calcagni Andreoli

Hello my name is Elisa, and I was born in Lugano Switzerland.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1988, at the age of 8.
30 years of T1D have been a big challenge, especially when I was a little girl and could not benefit from the new medical technology.
Nevertheless, diabetes made me stronger forging my character day after day. Although I went through many difficult times, I always fought for my goals without giving up. I studies abroad, traveled around the World and own a university degree.  Today I'm happily married and a mother of two fantastic kids, Timothy 9 years old and Edward 6 years old.  Six years ago I started pole dancing, which quickly become my passion. I started training very hard, to become a competitive athlete.  Last year I qualified and I participated in the World Pole Sport Championship.  I hate diabetes and I have never stopped hoping for a cure but I love my life and I fight every day to follow my dreams.


Bj Garceau

I am the first T1D to enter the Mixed Martial Arts Octagon for New England Fights making my debut this past February. Not only did I make my debut but I walked away with a WIN, that was not just for me and my team but for all Type 1 Diabetics out there who were ever told they couldn’t do anything because of a silly thing like T1D. Trust me I’ve heard it all before, I was diagnosed with T1D at age 11 way back in 1993! Also through my debut fight by selling walk-out shirts, fight tickets, sponsors and donations I was able to raise over $1,300.00 for juvenile diabetes research and medical needs. I am also training for my first half marathon this summer and a jiu-jitsu tournament this April because nothings holding me back! I went over 20 years on insulin/syringe therapy with a strict diet and over the past three and a half years my life has changed thanks to my cgm and insulin pump. I am using my current job as a health care professional (sterile processing technician) with a degree in mental health, and experience with MMA/fitness to encourage, motivate and inspire others with T1D. I AM A BADASS DIABETIC and I will continue to (literally) fight for a cure!


Adam Horwell-Carroll

When I turned 11, I started doing a lot of fitness activity, after a rough 10 years. I was very fit and healthy.  I turned 12 in October 2013, one month after I started a career at City of York Athletics chasing my dream of becoming an International sprinter. In mid-January I didn't feel good at all. On the Monday before I went into the hospital I proceeded to go to the track, ignoring all the symptoms of being tired, losing 2 stone, dehydrated and needing the toilet a lot, because it was too important to miss my training.  That Wednesday I was sent to hospital.  I didn't know what was going on and I just carried on wanting to eat whatever and whenever,.  I didn't have knowledge about Type 1 diabetes and I didn't know what to do.  I stayed in bed from Wednesday to Friday pretty much, had a small walk and a cheeky jog around the room on the Friday, just to show off to my dad that I still had it, and most importantly proving to myself. Not even being able to sit up to go to the toilet at first really had an impact on me. I started my sprinting again 2 weeks later when I started school. At first I was very self conscience about my Diabetes, not telling anyone.  I would try hide the fact that I had it, not eating, locking myself in the toilets to inject or take my blood.. whatever would work at the time. Thankfully my confidence progressed as people found out as I announced it on my Instagram. I would soon actually take my insulin and test my blood during and after a rugby match, or in a track competition. I soon realized to be a Diabetic you have to embrace it and control it yourself, not let it control you.  I am always battling my mind not to blame Diabetes for stuff and letting it get me down.  Because unlike in the beginning, I now work with it, not let own on me.  Realizing my ambitions can over power Diabetes, I carried on practicing with rugby and sprinting.  I was part of the England Rugby Development Player Programme, and the only Type 1 Diabetic on the team. I also got into the England Indoor Championships for Athletics. My story isn't terrible but that's because I found it in myself to focus on the positive and that's the main factor.


Anita Nicole Brown

I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes when I was 17 years old. I knew nothing about it.  I was an active woman playing tennis, swimming and dancing so when I was diagnosed I was in shock!  It took a lot for me to get to the person I am now. Shortly after I was diagnosed I was also hit with diabetic nerve damage that cost me the ability to walk for about a year.  And all in my last year of high school!  But I continued to fight to be "normal".  I took care of myself but did so in the shadows. So no one saw what I was doing!  Then, I decided to take a different approach to T1D.  I was NEVER a normal person. Even before T1D!   So, I decided to make this the NEW NORMAL.  I wanted to become an actress/model and hopefully put T1D out there in film and TV as well as the modeling world.
Yes, it is HARD!  T1D awareness is rising every day but it is still a disease not many people understand. We are the only ones who can change that and that is my goal!   I am showing the good, the bad and the ugly that is T1D.  I believe that "ugly" is what makes us beautiful! What makes us stronger!  We are the NEW NORMAL and it is time the world recognized our strength and brilliance!


Carolina morales

My name is Carolina Morales, I am from Venezuela but living in Costa Rica.  I was diagnosed on Christmas Eve when I was 7.  I have been managing my diabetes for 25 years and I am proud to be a mother (everything was great with my pregnancy).  I try to help other Type 1 diabetics manage their diabetes with a good mood and good emotional health.   No matter what treatment they are using,  people have to know that living with Type 1 diabetes is possible and we are capable of anything.  Also, is important to promote and help with education and healthy lifestyle tips, that is my mission with my instagram @vidatipo1


bonnie greenwald

I was diagnosed Type 1.5 just after turning 30.  In the beginning things were pretty easy to control with diet and minimal exercise.  After a couple of years I went on insulin and had to deal with the frustrating highs and lows that came with exercise.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have found an amazing personal trainer who made it his mission, not only to get me in incredible shape, but also figure out how different workouts effect my blood sugar.  After 10 years of working with him, I am in great shape, my blood sugar is well controlled, I can usually predict what my blood sugar will do during and after a specific workout, and I've become a trainer at his fitness studio teaching TRX and HIIT classes.


 Wesley Alford

March 17th 2018 I will begin hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, 2650 miles from Mexico to Canada. I am a Type2 diabetic and my 12 year old son is a T1D. He was diagnosed as a diabetic when he was 7 years old. Tyler will be joining me on the trail after the kick off date. I am also advocating for diabetics around the world. I have partnered with JDRF for this event and we are gaining followers from around the world. During this event diabetics will be joining me on the trail for day and weekend hiking. I will be doing interviews and posting daily live streaming while on the trail. To learn more about this event you can visit our website at www.hikingforacure.com Helping all diabetics one step at a time!


jonathan tijerin

I've been a diabetic for 13 years, and am currently a 3rd year medical student at Stanford med school, doing research with the endocrinology and plastic surgery departments. I'm using the Loop closed-loop system with a Dexcom G5, which I can't say enough good things about. Was a little hesitant and dubious at first, but it's performing incredibly well!

I ran track in college for Baylor University in Texas, mostly the mile, and cross country. Super long distance training runs were really difficult until I got on a pump my last 2 years, and I was able to really improve my performance (and my A1cs, haha). Ended up running 4:04 in the mile my senior season, and getting Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the Big XII conference in cross country. 

I just collaborated with my awesome Endo on a new class at the medical school called Diabetes 101 for Healthcare Providers (linked at the bottom), that I'm incredibly excited about. There's a ton of interest from the 1st and 2nd years in developing practical skills for helping educate and treat diabetic patients that often get passed over in the textbooks. Also writing a paper on how choosing a medical specialty differs for diabetic doctors compared to non-diabetics (i.e. worried about getting low blood sugar during long surgeries, etc.) 

Finally, I get to work with an very cool bay area organization called Carb DM and coach a small group of diabetic teens and young adults in how to manage their sugars on long runs and during sports. They've even let me contribute to some articles for tips on the subject.


kody swencki

Kody was diagnosed at age 6 with T1D. His first questions were can I still ride my quad at the dunes and why was that football player crying when he got one shot, I get more. We knew from the start he was a diabadass and fighter. He went on to get his PADI Master Scuba Diver rating at 14. Only 2 percent of divers make that rating. He then set his goal on helping other T1Ds dive,  and becoming a Dive Master and Scuba Instructor at 18.  He made those goals. Becoming an instructor 2 months after his 18th bday while still in high school and attending EMT school. He started diverbetic.com to raise awareness that diabetics can dive and should never be told no to any goal. He plans on becoming a firefighter and flight nurse while still teaching scuba. We have no doubt he will make this happen, but more importantly he will show those afraid that they shouldn't be and they will always have him in their corner for help!


brooke fruge

Hey there! My name is Brooke and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 23 years ago. I was diagnosed at age 4, so I do not really know life without the shots, pokes, carb counting, and test strips everywhere! I enjoy the sunshine, whole foods, kick boxing, yoga, fixing up my new house, spoiling my rescue pup, and trying out new local breweries with my hubby! I do not agree with the statement, "I am a diabetic." No, you are a HUMAN who just so happens to also have diabetes. I will not be defined by diabetes, nor will it let it get in my way. We can do everything a nondiabetic can do, we just must make sure we bring our insulin and juice ;)!  I sell women's (and soon to be men's as well!) diabetes awareness shirts (www.etsy.com/shop/themodernautoimmune -- I am wearing a few of the tanks in the submitted photos). I also have a blog that documents my life as a diabetic, while also finding out about the other autoimmune diseases I have (www.themodernautoimmune.com). Check it out if you need some words of encouragements or just want to learn about how I live with this disease :)!


Sara Lasker

The first fortune cookie Coach Sara ever had read, "life is a bold and daring adventure". Since that day, 30 years ago, it has been her motto. Coach Sara has ventured to all 50 states, jumped out of an airplane and almost died, a story for another time, and is 1 of only 11 MCHES, CDEs in the world. Pretty impressive for someone with 34 years of life experience as a Type 1 BADASS.  A few of her adventures this winter include a snowshoe racing, a wellness presentation on becoming the diabetes expert of you type 1 diabetes - her MadisonT1DCoach.Life brand- and traveling to Ireland.


2017 BADASSES


Ashten Rombough

Hi! My name is Ashten. I am 24 and have had Diabetes for 14 years now.  Throughout my childhood, I really struggled with burnout and had crazy blood sugars that resulted in some long-term complications. It wasn't until after I had my baby that I decided to make some serious changes with y heath in order to be a good role model for my daughter. I now wear my sensor constantly, have lower A1Cs than I have had most of my life, am vegetarian and sober and enjoy going on hikes and runs with y now almost three year old! I am passionate about educating the public and like to encourage all of my friends to make healthy changes and work toward fitness goals because it is never too late to start making positive changes for your health.  I am determined to kick T1D in the ass and accomplish my goals with my Diabetes getting in the way!


KENDRA FERGUSON

My name is Kendra and I live in Kansas.  I work at a hospital as a CNA and currently take classes to become a nurse.  I recently put together a group chat for diabetics on Snapchat by posting on Facebook, Instagram and Beyond Type 1.  It's a way for other Type 1s to talk to someone who truly knows how your're feeling and what you're going through.  It is my way to help make a difference in the world of diabetes.

 


Daniela Zajimovic

Hi my name is Daniela and I am Type1 since 1998. Diabetes never stopped me from doing what I want if anything it pushed me to do more for myself and to inspire everyone around me as well. Ok perhaps my personality is also the responsible factor there since I have the competitive and daredevil personality. However, my only and the biggest competition I have is myself. I always try to be better version of myself. I always challenge myself and once the challenge is done I find another one. Always loved to be active , but never competed in a sport. When I was younger I did gymnastics, bicycling and other sports. One of the  pictures I am submitting shows me in 1997 - 25 yrs old and one year before I was diagnosed . The picture on the right is me now year 2017 and I am 45 yrs old. I walk, run, ride a bicycle and go to gym on regular basis alone and with my son who’s an aspiring soccer player. I do sports shooting with my husband and my son. We like to travel a lot and right now focusing on our son and his soccer career.

 

ISABEL JONES

I'm Isabel Jones. I'm 12 years old and I have diabetes.  I have been through a lot but if you take out all the bad moments it's not all bad.  I have been flying for the first time in my life as a diabetic, I have gone cliff jumping, went to water parks, I took a martial arts class, I swim, I workout with my mom, and I'm having the most fun that I have had in years.  I am on the honor roll at school and found that I really love drawing.  At the end of the day, I feel like I don't have it because I can do normal things that other people can do and I don't have a problem doing so.  Nothing in my life has stopped me from doing fun things that I have never done before. Inside I know I have diabetes but on the outside I feel like a normal human being.  Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you have to hide yourself from the outside world.  Be yourself, and be unique!


Emma Bostock

        I am 27 years old and from the UK and I have been Type 1 now for just shy of 11 years. When I was diagnosed I was extremely ill and was lucky enough to google Diabetes symptoms after a friend had mentioned the possibility of it after I’d told them I’d been drinking so much. At first taking everything on board was very difficult and I constantly questioned “Why me?”. I am extremely lucky to have the most supportive family, boyfriend and friends around me and 11 years down the line I am a strong supporter of the diabetic community and proud to be a member myself! I have done a lot of fundraising for Diabetes UK and even ran a half marathon a few years ago. I am an Actor and Diabetes has never stopped me from persuing my dreams. I don’t ever let it rule me, I rule it. I also write a blog called Diabetes and the Actor in which I hope to educate people and give them insight into the world of a diabetic with a difficult career path and how the two can work in tandem. One day I would love to become an ambassador for Diabetes UK and hopefully encourage and inspire others with mine and their own Diabetes journey.


SHAWN DEBOSE

I am 20 years old and was diagnosed at the age of 15. For the first year I was sitting around wondering “why me” then after realizing I was different I started asking myself “why not me”. Being a diabetic is the perfect opportunity to be a blessing and inspiration to someone else. I started training 6 days a week, every week, for the past 4 years. Now fitness lets me turn my setbacks into setups for success.


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MARISSA DOLAN

My name is Marissa Dolan, I am a lifestyle blogger but I mainly share stories about my diabetes. I was diagnosed at the age of 4, which will make 20 years in April! I love spreading awareness about this illness because I feel as though a lot of people have no idea what we go through. I use my blogging to reach out to those who struggle with the same things I do. I also have an Etsy shop opening up which mainly carries necklaces all about Diabetes. When an item is purchased all of the proceeds will go to Beyond Type 1 diabetes foundation, a company which I’m also involved in to give back to other diabetics and just hear others stories. For my birthday this year i simply asked others to donate to Beyond Type 1 so we can get one step closer to finding a cure!


EVAN SOROKA

Evan Soroka is a Type 1 diabetic and yoga therapist (IAYT-C) based in Aspen, Colorado.  She is known for her accessibility, dedication and patience.  Evan Believes that yoga is a means of both physical and spiritual transformation.  Working with Evan you will gain the tools to become your own masterful conduit for change.  She attributes her own health and wellbeing to the science of yoga therapy discovered through her own personal journey with type 1 diabetes and guidance from her masterful teachers.  To learn more about how you can make a difference in your relationship to chronic illness visit evansoroka.com


ADRIANA LOPEZ

Two months before my diagnosis I had a fever that took control of my immune system and never seemed to go away. It was during summer vacation, I was at the beach with my family with an unexplainable thirst and frequent need to pee. I remember I could drink bottles of chocolate milk, cranberry juice and coke and my thirst still wouldn't go away. We headed back home a week after that, my mom knew something was wrong... I was only 8 years old, she took me to the hospital and in a matter of hours everything I knew about life and living changed forever in a matter of seconds. Taking care of my diabetes was so easy back then, my mom pretty much did everything for me, the fact that I had diabetes and that it was staying with me for forever hit me in high school. I remember I stopped taking care of myself for a few years, I wasn't fully of aware of my diabetes nor was I taking good care of it until I hit college. The moment I decided to give my life a turning point, I feel as if I was diagnosed again. I told myself, "if you are going to be a diabetic your whole life you better do it right and empower yourself", so that's were I am right now, just a girl in her twenties fighting her Diabetes one day at a time. Living life to the fullest and never giving up on myself no matter how hard my day was.


jONATHAN KOLOWICH

My name is Jonathan Kolowich and I was diagnosed with T1D in 2001.  I went to college at Georgia State University on a baseball scholarship and I am now a personal trainer living in Atlanta, GA.  I have created a platform at Diabetesstrength.com to help fellow diabetics reach their fitness goals.   In my spare time, I love to hang with my wife and pups. Recently, I did the 5 day trek to Machu Picchua in Peru and I am on a mission to get out and travel the world and not let diabetes stop me!  Also my love and passion is helping others who are battling this disease daily


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AH-LISA HULL

My name is Ah-Lisa Hull. I am 23 years old and a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed at the age of 8 and on October 8, 2017 I reached 15 years being a diabetic. I am a military kid and have traveled up and down the east coast. As a kid I participated in a few after school activities from competitive cheerleading, gymnastics, and the flag team. I received my undergrad from Penn State and now I am in nursing school to get my BSN. Throughout my short 23 years of living diabetes has played a major role in shaping who I am today but has never stopped me from achieving any goals and dreams I strive for. I just adjust my eating habits to fit a busy schedule just like every other person working to have a good life. 


dan bernard

Founder/CEO and Director of Awesomeness at BADASS DIABETIC LLC

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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT DAN

Husband and Father

Competitive power-lifter

Coached 1000+ clients since 1998

First team All-State basketball honors

Virginia Tech basketball and triathlon teams

Type 1 Diabetes Survivor/Advocate/Educator/Mentor

Lotterhos Empowerment Training – Master Level coach certification

Virginia Tech – B.S. Industrial and Systems Engineering (with honors)

Hiked the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail (Georgia to Canada) 5 months/2000+miles

Publication/presentation at American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle