Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life with Diabetes - Steph

Week 6 in our series and walk week is here! Be sure to join us this weekend at the Mall of America. 

This week we introduce to you, Steph. 

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 15 years ago at the age of eight years old. Like many of the other Life with Diabetes stories, I became very sick. Because it was February, my family and I assumed it was the flu, so I didn't go to the hospital right away. Once I went in, I ended up spending several days there because I was so sick and had lost so much weight. I still vividly remember that hospital visit and the way I felt, which has always motivated me to take care of myself and manage my diabetes.

Growing up, I was blessed to have wonderful encouragement and support from not only family and friends, but also my pediatric doctor Dr. Toni Moran. She said something to me very early on that has become my approach to taking care of diabetes. She said, "Steph, you are a healthy kid. You just need to take a few extra steps to stay healthy."

Although diabetes takes work, and can definitely be a challenge, I have never let it deter me from trying new things or continuing to do the things I love. When I was 12 years old, I started using an insulin pump to manage my diabetes, which has allowed me to have a very flexible schedule. That flexibility was what I needed as a kid: I went to overnight sports camps, played soccer, basketball, and track through high school, and went on to play soccer collegiately at Illinois Tech in Chicago. At Illinois Tech I graduated with a degree in Finance and I am now a financial analyst for Target Corporation.  I am passionate about traveling and have traveled all over the United States and Europe. 

There will always be ups and downs in managing diabetes, just like anything in life. The important thing I have found in successfully managing diabetes is maintaining a positive attitude, being open with others about having diabetes, and surrounding myself with people who will encourage and support me. I feel blessed to have my health, even though it might take me “a few extra steps!”

If you wold like to make a donation to support the YLC walk team, please click here.

Thank you for your support!

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