Matthew Diggs | Fighting for a Cure
"With your help, we will fight for a future where a parent does not have to hear that their child has diabetes. A future where an adult does not have to face the uncertain times ahead after receiving a diabetes diagnosis. A future where you and I will know that we had a part in making this possible.”
For those who do not know, I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I was diagnosed with this condition at the age of 14. I'll never forget the experience, for it has certainly had an effect on my life. It’s a long story but I’ll try to keep it short...
It was the week of my 8th grade spring break when everything unfolded. On what would have been a regular Sunday morning for my family and I turned out to be a life changing experience. I was feeling extremely tired all week prior, unknowingly going through the symptoms of diabetes.
I had made it through most of the church service, but the closing prayer always seemed to last forever. While standing I felt myself become nauseous, light headed, and I broke out into a sweat. I told my mom I felt like I was going to pass out. We started to leave the church and I couldn’t walk down the hall. My dad had to carry me out and they rushed me to the emergency room. Of course I resisted going. I told them to just take me home so I could rest, but my parents thought otherwise. Once we arrived, we explained what happened and they drew samples of my blood. Some time passed and the nurse came back to explain that my blood sugar was over 1000 and that they had diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes. Everything else she said after that I do not really remember.
From that point on things were different for me and my family. My mom started cooking meals geared towards my health and my siblings were supportive too. It’s interesting because diabetes is supposed to be hereditary, however we know of no one else in my immediate family who has this disease.
It is now part of my mission to show people that diabetes does not have to stop you from doing things you normally would do. It does not have to stop you from living your life. There are athletes, actors and actresses, and many other well renowned people living with diabetes. I have never let this condition keep me from playing sports, going out with friends, or doing any activity that was important to me. I say this because diabetes is not just something that older, overweight people are being diagnosed with. If you were to look at me you would never guess I was a diabetic. So when people find out I do have it, they are usually shocked. I use it now as a fun fact about myself rather than an illness that I have to live with. And often times it is an eye opener for those who perceive only one type of person as being a diabetic.
This year, Spring Break 2018, will mark my 14th year with diabetes. Since last year, I have started a business, URBANDIGGS, with aspects of social awareness and philanthropy that support the ADA’s mission. I'm also on the Executive Board for the American Diabetes Association, Chair of the ADA's Young Professional Leadership Council, and assist on the Tour de Cure Committee. I want to do everything I can to support and uplift fellow diabetics. If you’re reading this then understand we greatly appreciate your support, and that if you really want to help us beat diabetes then a donation of any size would surely benefit our cause. My goal is to raise $2000 this year! That’s what I need to raise to achieve “champion” level for this event.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Make sure you spread the message and tell your friends that you have done something to help #STOPdiabetes!
Your Local Superhero
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