I was 14 years old when I was first diagnosed. My mother is a nurse and used to bring home stuff to test on her kids for fun. I have two brothers. So one day she brought home a blood glucose meter and tested me and my brothers, and my brothers were normal 80-120, but mine was 555. Initially I thought I had won a prize for getting the highest number, but then I saw my mom tear up and I knew everything was about to change.
I grew up wanting to play sports. So when I was first diagnosed, I thought it was going to change everything I wanted to do, and everything I wanted to be.
I did have to adjust to the lifestyle of checking my blood sugar every day, and letting my teammates and coaches know when I needed a break, but my type 1 didn’t slow me down. I went to a camp when I was first diagnosed called Chris Dudley basketball camp (for kids with diabetes), which really changed my perspective. I realized that there were other kids like me who could play sports AND be diabetic. Don’t get me wrong, it still can be a struggle (even now at 31 years old!), but I have a different attitude towards it. It’s all about management and keeping on track.
As a musician, managing my type 1 diabetes while touring the country can be challenging. I have to pay attention to what I eat and drink and also make sure to test my blood sugar regularly. Luckily I have not had anything go wrong, but I think that is because I’ve focused on making managing my diabetes a priority in my life. I test before, sometimes during, and after my shows. And make sure my band knows what to do if I ever get low. One thing that has been really helpful while traveling is the Accu-Chek® Guide SimplePay Program. With it you can save more than a few bucks by always paying the same low price with every test strip refill (wherever I am in the U.S.).
My music is my microphone to share my views and thoughts with the world. Being type 1 has stood in my way, but does not define who I am. I connect with fans who are diabetic, and have had people open up to me about how they appreciate my openness with my condition.
I’m working with Accu-Chek® Guide on a new campaign called #BuckOffDiabetes – a national awareness program that embodies the bold new attitude for taking on diabetes. By turning your fingers into bull horns and posting a photo on social media with #BuckOffDiabetes, Roche Diabetes Care will donate a buck to several diabetes related organization (Beyond Type 1, College Diabetes Network and Taking Control Of Your Diabetes). Learn how you can save a buck and donate a buck at www.buckoffdiabetes.com!
Working with Roche Diabetes Care has been a great way for me to combine two of the things that matter most to me – managing my diabetes and my love for music and connecting to those with my condition.