Emily Smith’s Diaversary Wish

I was in seventh grade listening to my physical education teacher talk about the symptoms of type 1 diabetes (T1D), when I realized that I had been experiencing the same for months. When I spoke with my mother about what I had learned and how I was feeling, she immediately made an appointment with my doctor. At the appointment, the doctor took my blood sugar and it was in an extremely high glucose range, sending me to the hospital. That day I was diagnosed with T1D and the doctors expressed that it was a miracle that I caught it early. I was 12 years old when I diagnosed myself with a disease that forever changed my life.

Since my freshman year in high school, playing golf at the collegiate level has been one of my top goals. I am a junior at Point Loma Nazarene University and have been playing college golf for three years now. I have had to learn to be a busy student athlete, as well as a healthy diabetic. Living with T1D has not stopped me from doing the things I love, but it has a lot of challenges. Being a full-time student, having a job and long practice hours puts a toll on my body. Diabetes doesn’t make life easier for me. I constantly have to stop what I’m doing to check my blood sugar and make sure I’m taking care of myself. It is frustrating when my blood sugar affects the way I study, work and practice. I have learned to adjust to such a busy schedule, but I wish I didn’t have to which is why I find hope in research.

Knowing there are people researching ways to cure T1D keeps me going through the difficult times and provides me with hope. When I play golf, my goal is to win. I want the same thing for T1D. I want to beat this disease and see it be cured in my lifetime. I believe research is the path to a cure!

As a young diabetic, I believe it takes a community to connect for a cure, which is why it’s so important to raise awareness about research and fund new projects. My one wish on my Diaversary is to inspire the community to fund research so that we can find a cure for T1D in my lifetime. Together, we will make the difference!

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