Jessica's Story: World Diabetes Day 2018
Today is World Diabetes Day. The beautiful woman I am about to introduce you to has Type 1 Diabetes.
Meet Jessica. Mom of 2 sweet girls and wife to an adoring husband. She is a sister. A daughter, a cousin a friend and hard worker. A goal getter and teacher to her daughters. Jessica is just like you and I, and unique. Jessica has Type 1 Diabetes. Her journey with Diabetes started 26 years ago. She was only 11 when she was diagnosed. Imagine being an eleven year old and learning of this news in today's day in age. Twenty six years ago was a long time...how do you think you would have reacted then? I am pretty certain like most of us the news would have been quite a shock and a blow to the system learning that a whole new lifestyle will be in place for the rest of your life. Growing up is never easy and kids can be very cruel when they don't understand. However, having a strong family and support system around you every day, along with the right medical help and knowledge will assist you to do great things and live a healthy long life. It is serious and sadly some don't take it as serious as they should.
When I was asked to collaborate with Jessica so she could share her story and help educate, empower and spread the word about Diabetes Awareness I was truly honoured. It was a session she felt strongly about so that she could instill the message to her children and others, that no matter what circumstances come your way, to stand tall and be proud of who you are.
Our session was emotional and heartfelt. You see..despite many of us knowing about Diabetes, it is not a subject that all have the slightest clue about when it really comes down to it. It is an Autoimmune disorder that is a constant management of your blood glucose levels. Your blood glucose is affected by every single thing you do, tools and technology has come a long way but it's still something that a person whom has type 1 diabetes has to manage in every aspect. In Jessica's case, she has had this since she was a young girl and it was something that she was scared to share. Over the past 10 years since becoming a new mother has she really understood the importance of good diabetes management and how to not be ashamed about a disease that so little about.
While listening to her story and journey so far with Type 1, she describes it as overwhelming, constant management, frustrating and sometimes scary. Now that she has become a mom, it's ever more important to take care of herself for her children and family. To educate and share knowledge, stories, hardships and the wins. To also let others know they aren't alone.
During our photoshoot, not only did we talk a lot we laughed a ton too. It's one thing to envision yourself in someone else's shoes if even only for an hour. But to visualize what a day in the life of would be like. Now that is something entirely different. This is what the real superheroes live and fight for everyday. Jessica you are a superhero. These are not your battle scars...these are badges of honour. You wear proudly every single day. So for that alone...Thank you for being an ambassador for Type 1 Diabetes! Thank you for allowing me to tell and share your story and for putting yourself out there. You fight to keep healthy, strong and positive every day and those who have the privilege of knowing you are truly blessed. You are a beautiful soul, a wonderful mother and a badass babe that I am so grateful I get to call you my friend. Teach, share and empower. You got this! Keep slaying girl!
For more information on World Diabetes Day, head on over to Diabetes Canada. Learn and educate yourself. And for those of you who have or live with any type of Diabetes...my hat goes off to you for quietly being everyday superhero's. I envy your strength and courage.