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Diabetes past, present and future

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Anniversaries – Diversaries – are meant to remember. And today, my 26th diary entry, I remembered that day of diagnosis and much of what has happened since then. The sensor has malfunctioned. We also enjoyed donuts, coffee, and sunshine. Also, thanks to the very clever AID, all the helplessness of diabetes has disappeared and TIR has allowed him to be at 95% of his day. Good luck and have a great day!

My life today would be incredibly different if diabetes hadn’t become an epidemic all those years ago. Much of my life, and the lives of many people involved in it, is due to diabetes. A completely confused and frightened 24-year-old woman who was diagnosed with T1D and walked away from her GP appointment after I fell into a life of diabetes advocacy completely by accident. You would never have believed what direction it would take. She explains who I am, how I spend my days and the people I’m with, the endless decisions I have to make, and the ever-growing number of stamps on my passport. I couldn’t recognize it. She won’t understand that my days are normal. But by the same token, she doesn’t even remember her normal appearance. (And thanks to her Effin’ Birds for drawing it so beautifully…)

A diary is a way to remember things, but it’s also a way to look ahead to the future. Advocacy will be an overwhelmingly important part of my future (and present – I spent the day today working on grassroots community campaigns in Australia). And so is advocating across borders in the global access work that I’m so honored to do at her JDRF. It means having a shared vision for the real community and looking forward to being able to participate in it in meaningful and impactful ways. If you think about the past 26 years, the presence of communities and others affected by diabetes has been very strong. Because community is everything.

But perhaps most importantly, a diary is a good opportunity to have hope. Advocacy has shaped who I am and how I have lived with diabetes, but so has hope. That’s more of a driving force than anything else, and it’s something I carry with me every day. I hope that access to diabetes treatment, insulin, and other medicines and technologies will become more equitable, and that the burden of diabetes will continue to loom large.

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