Ashlie Armstrong





Join me in the fight to create a world without type 1 diabetes!

Growing Into Diabetes

You shouldn’t ever lose 30 pounds in two weeks. This is especially true when you’re a ten year old female. Then why did I?

It was summer time, right before the fourth of July. I was excited as usual to spend the next two weeks with my father and step mother in Tulsa, The day before I got there, my summer club went on a field trip to Silver Dollar City, I was given ten dollars and I remember spending all of it on water. I had never been so thirsty in my life! Dismissing it as the heat, I continued on my way and even into the trip to my father’s house. He too noticed on the drive my unreal thirst, but he didn’t give it any more thought than that. After about a week, things were obviously not as they should have been. I was dropping weight rapidly, not being able to hold in fluids, could barely walk for the pain in my kidneys, and was so weak. My step mother and father wrote all of this off as me acting just to get out of doing chores around the house and refused to take me to a doctor. Needless to say, I progressively got worse. After two weeks of neglect, I secretly called my mother  and begged for her to come get me as I felt I was literally dying. She was panicked and sent nearby family members to retrieve me and meet her in Joplin at the hospital. When I arrived, my mother instantly burst into tears. I had lost thirty pounds, my eyes and face were sunken in, and I could barely walk. As soon as I went into the ER, the nurses saw me and brought me back to triage. They smelled my breath and told my mother I was a diabetic, According to my mother, it took two hours to get a good IV in to start with fluids to decrease my blood sugar, which was an astonishing 1283.A normal range, we were told, is around 100. I was to be life-flighted into the Children’s Mercy hospital in Kansas City, but there was a storm that night and they had to wait on the ambulance. I do not remember the waiting or the ride up to the hospital, all I remember is waking up in a colorful and sunny room with my mother holding my hand. I was ten years old. I was terrified. But I was alive.

From that point on it has been a struggle to say the least. I dealt with bullying in school and then struggled to manage it throughout high school. As a young person, you don’t want to be different. You don’t want people to know. Some of my best friends didn’t even know about it until years later. But through all my personal struggles with managing my disease, my parents were struggling too. They had no idea suddenly how to take care of their daughter. And then, throughout the years, they had no idea how to reach out to her so that they could help her manage it. 

This is why I walk to find a cure. Though diabetes can be managed, and you can “grow into it” it will always be a struggle. Please help me in contributing towards this effort so that there might be an end to this struggle. This is something you can grow into, but with the help from people like you, it can be something me and millions of others can finally grow out of. Thank you for your support! 

join my team Donate to Ashlie


Date and time

May 3, 2014
Registration: 8:30 AM
Starts: 10:00 AM
Length of walk: 2.5 miles


Drury University
900 N. Benton
Springfield, MO 65802



Jennifer Cotner-Jones
(417) 559-9122

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