Diabetes is an auto-immune condition that occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. This attack leaves the pancreas with little or no ability to produce insulin, a hormone which regulates blood sugar. Today, roughly 415 million individuals are diagnosed globally and is expected to reach 592 Million in 2035. Isn’t it time we retire the stigma of diabetes and adopt new levels of awareness?
At age 33, the first thing I remembered after being diagnosed was that I had two options: I could allow it to control my life or find the unbinding courage from within the tragedy; I chose courage.
The next few days were consumed with perplexed emotions, mostly of denial pooled from the self-belief that I could be a rare case and mysteriously cured. I was given a new role and lifestyle as a type one diabetic. I immediately chose to not wear it as a sympathy garment; instead I’d rather refashion how others perceive such a life-altering disorder. Aside from a select group of family and friends that knew of my health struggles, I somehow managed, two days after the news was confirmed, to conduct an on-location photo-shoot. I knew without a doubt at that moment I had a purpose on earth and found myself more determined to not allow diabetes to hinder my little girl dreams.
We, as a society, have a tendency of suppressing our fears, as mastering those can be difficult and takes large amounts of will and courage to look in the mirror and say, “I will succeed; I can do this!” The relationship between one’s journey of self-growth and courage tends to evoke feelings of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, but allowing such emotions to take center stage is moral injustice. At birth each and every one of us is embedded with a purpose or talent which provides us the blueprints of our life’s story, which must be written and shared. From all of my lessons and blessings, I’ve formed an organic sense of how to live an authentic life that channels pure gratitude and glamour.
Through this I’ve crossed over a stereotypical comfort zone in order to reach an unknown level of confidence in light of diabetes awareness, empowerment and acceptance with T1D Exposed: Nude Diabetes Advocacy Project created by Kara Reed & Tara Layman. For additional information or to purchase a copy of this years T1D Exposed Calendar, please visit www. t1dexposed.org.