At the age of three at Children’s Hospital Colorado, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me so far in life...until I went low shortly after I was diagnosed. I was three, my sister was five, and my mom had just had my brother...he was only a few weeks old. We decided to get Taco Bell for dinner and I was really hungry in the drive thru line, so my mom let me eat on the way home. I don't remember much after getting home, but my mom and sister tell me that I began talking funny and my tongue was hanging out of my mouth. Eventually I passed out on the floor and my mom was pouring pop in my mouth to try and get me to wake up. Finally, she carried me (and my sister carried my newborn brother) across the street to our neighbors, where they called 911 and the neighbor helped my mom get me awake. I was passed out for 10 minutes! This became the scariest point in my life.
Anyways, back to the beginning...After many shots and finger pricks, we soon enough knew how to handle and control my diabetes. Everyday I had to get shots when I ate and had to check my blood sugar every 30 minutes or so. What three year old wants to do this? NONE!
When I was five, I got a Medtronic pump, but that didn’t go very well. I was so active (and muscular) and crazy wild, that the pump insert didn't stay inserted into my body. I never thought that if I did this stuff I had too be careful. We noticed that I was too young for my pump, so we eventually went back to shots. Things were hard for me because when I went to birthday parties or special events I never got the treats because everything had so many carbs. Through time, I learned it was for my health. I am grateful that my parents and grandparents really cared about me and my diabetes. When I go low, when I go high, and even when I don’t get treats, they always try to figure something out so it’s fair for me too.
Eventually, they came out with the Dexcom. The Dexcom is a CGM device that continuously reads your glucose levels (blood sugar). When we heard about the Dexcom, we thought it would be a good idea. So we thought the Dexcom could help regulate and track my glucose numbers. It has the ability to help prevent going high and low. I actually got my Dexcom recently in 2017.
Later that year, I attended Camp Colorado, which I got to attend for free for raising so much money towards the Tour de Cure (thanks to you!). Camp Colorado is a camp for people with diabetes. That was the first time I had ever gone to camp before. It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. Everyone was like me!
A few days after camp (July 12, 2017) I got a T-Slim insulin pump. For the first few weeks it was boring because I had to have saline, not insulin. But then I got insulin in my pump and it was so exciting. Maybe a few weeks later we noticed a huge change, as I could eat when I wanted, and I could eat treats at birthdays and special events. For once I actually felt like I wasn’t alone.
So, if you wonder why I ride....THAT is why I ride. I ride because of the amazing experiences I have had and all the people like ME that I have gotten to meet. I ride because I am a fighter for Diabetes and will continue to fight until they find a cure. Most of all, I ride because all of YOU believe in me.
Thank you for believing in me!