I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just 14 months old, so I’ve never known life without it.
I’ve also never known life without the love and support of parents who have never stopped encouraging me to live as normal a life as possible.
From a very young age, they instilled in me that all my dreams were achievable and nothing - certainly not my diabetes - would stop me.
"You live your life, and we’ll deal with the diabetes side of things," is what they always told me.
Despite their reassurance, raising a toddler is tough enough, without the additional challenges of type 1 diabetes.
From waking up three times a night to test my blood glucose levels to all the extra planning that went into every single detail of my life, I didn’t know any different. This was my normal.
Side note: Talk to your family about their health history. Post continues below.
As I got older, I noticed I wasn’t the same as everyone else.
In primary school, my mum would come to school every lunchtime to administer my insulin, and I began wondering why my mum was the only one who came in to visit every single day.
The feeling of being different really manifested during my teen years.
Having type 1 diabetes as a high school student meant I had to be more organised than any teenager - thinking ahead about what foods I would eat and how activities like PE class would affect my blood sugar levels and insulin dosage.
I had to be so much more careful than everyone else and quickly learned that my blood sugar rising too high or dropping too low made it tough to concentrate in class, which became disruptive to my learning.
Although I felt different, I was lucky in that I was never picked on or shamed for my diabetes, like so many others are. Unfortunately, that type of behaviour usually comes from a place of ignorance, a lack of understanding around what diabetes is and is not, and unfair assumptions.
Instead of singling me out because I was a bit different, people tried to understand my condition by asking questions about my insulin pump and why I needed it.