Hi! My name is Cassidy O'Neill. I'm 13 years old and I live in Gainesville, Florida.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was just 16 months old. Having Type One means that the organ in your body, called the pancreas, does not produce a hormone caled insulin, which turns your food into energy. Because my pancreas does not work the same way a person without this disease does, I have to take insulin through a device called an insulin pump.
Every day, 6-8 times a day, I have to prick my finger to moniter my blood glucose, or in other words, to see how much sugar is in my blood. Then based on this reading, whether it's high, low, or normal, I know what I can eat, if I need to correct it, or if I need to have a juice or a snack.
I also have to be very responsible with my diabetes. Everywhere I go, I usually carry a bag that has in it my blood glucose moniter, a juice or some glucose tablets, and glucogon, for severe low blood sugar. It's not always the most convenient thing to do, nor is it always easy.
Days off sure sound nice, right? We all get them when we need them, whether it be from work or from school. But with diabetes, that's not the case, nor will it ever be until a cure is found. Diabetes is all day, every day, 24/7, 365. The complications from severe high and low blood sugar are very, very real, and they can happen. But most of all, there are no breaks and no exceptions.
Despite having diabetes, I can still do whatever I want. I am a straight A student, I also dance, as well as play on a national level volleyball team. Diabetes can not stop you from doing what you want, but it is a burden and a huge responsibility.
By becoming involved or donating, you can help to spread awareness about Type 1 and help us on the pathway to a cure. Every person deserves to be able to live life carefree without diabetes, and with your help, we can make this dream a reality.
Thank you so much for your support. Let's defeat diabetes!