Lean on Me – Who is YOUR Support System?

I am very confident that without a support system, it would have been impossible for me to do some of the things I have- from week long backpacking trips in the desolate woods, to athletic competition, to deciding to move 2,000 miles to the east coast for a highly stressful college experience, to taking a three week backpacking trip through Europe, to moving for a year to rural Kenya. That was a mouthful! It can be hard to overcome the challenges posed by a chronic illness, but having T1 doesn’t have to define or limit a life. It just means the logistics are slightly more complicated. In addition to a familial support system, attending a T1 camp during my youth has provided a wealth of people my own age to rely on, and individuals who are older and serve as mentors. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to try to find support, from people who simply care for you, such as family, but also from other individuals with T1, as empathetic support serves a very different and equally important role as sympathetic support. So reach out! To your local support groups if they exist, contact your local American Diabetes Association office, ask your endocrinologist or medical staff for ideas of how to connect. Look online! Find what works for you, and your back will be covered on those hard days when you need words of understanding and support.

Tip: diabetic camp is literally the best thing ever. It changed my life. A lot of camps look for staff who are people living with diabetes! So, if you never got to go as a kid, try it as an adult! Check out the ADA Diabetes Camp website to find a camp near you



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