People living with and without diabetes alike often find themselves asking the question, “Can you do that with diabetes?” Diabetes presents many challenges and can often feel like an obstacle in the way of hopes and dreams.
It’s totally normal to feel confused, and even isolated, after a diabetes diagnosis. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, which can lead to the belief that certain things are impossible for people living with diabetes. A diagnosis can be overwhelming enough without the added stress of being provided with false information. At mySugr, we’re here to remind you that diabetes doesn’t have to come between you and your dreams!
We searched all over to find wonderful people that do wonderful things, who also happen to have diabetes. Their profiles really inspired us and we wanted to share them with you. Their lifestyles and achievements show that people with diabetes are all unique, but the one thing they have in common is that diabetes doesn’t stand in their way.
So the next time you find yourself asking, “Can you do that with diabetes?” We want to remind you that, yes, yes you can!
Can You Travel With Diabetes?
Dreaming of a backpacking adventure or beach holiday? Staying on top of your diabetes while on-the-go can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible! The idea of travelling with your diabetes monster in tow is understandably a little intimidating. Your monster will require your attention even while you’re on vacation. But as long as it’s under your watchful eye, you can make the most of that well deserved break.
We spoke to many wonderful people who are passionate about seeing the world, and don’t let diabetes stand in their way!
Allow us to introduce you to Phyllisa. She’s a superstar living with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA). She campaigns for diabetes awareness while living a healthy, active lifestyle. Phyllisa told us all about how she manages to satisfy her appetite for adventure, even after her diabetes diagnosis:
“I love traveling and after I was diagnosed, I thought that I wouldn't be able to travel the same again. However, I have learned to take diabetes with me across the globe. Yes, I can travel with diabetes!”
Travelling is a passion that shouldn’t be denied, especially not by diabetes. In fact, it’s no wonder that people with diabetes have a taste for adventure! Living with a diabetes monster is a wild ride in itself!
We also spoke to Amulya, who loves travelling so much that it’s pretty much her part time job. She’s mastered the art of on-the-go monster taming and doesn’t let her type 1 diabetes stop her from exploring!
“I travel about 45 weekends in a year and have been to about 17 countries since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes!”
Amulya is wonderfully open online and talks freely about some of the challenges she faces while travelling as a person with diabetes. Although it isn’t always easy, Amulya reminds us that diabetes shouldn’t stop you from doing what you love.
"With Type 1 Diabetes I can travel the world and explore new places. Diabetes won‘t ever stop me from fulfilling my dreams! Actually Diabetes even opened a lot of doors for me and helped me to become the person I always wanted to be."
So fellow explorers, let these travel tales inspire you! It’s a big world out there and your diabetes monster shouldn’t stand in your way of seeing it. The next time you find yourself wondering, ‘can I travel with diabetes?’ The answer is yes. Yes you absolutely can.
Can You Do Sports With Diabetes?
When living with diabetes, regular exercise is super important. Exercise helps people with diabetes maintain a healthy lifestyle and helps the body to use insulin better. So, what’s the problem? Why do we sometimes find ourselves asking, “can you do sports with diabetes?”
First of all, a need to exercise can be hard to stay on top of! And you know what else is hard to stay on top of? Yep, you guessed it, blood sugar. Blood sugar response to exercise varies, depending on factors like the intensity of the activity, the length of the activity, your blood sugar level before you start… the list goes on!
Some people with diabetes shy away from exercise due to the risks associated with low blood sugars and for fear of hypos. But whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years, months, or days, there’s no doubt that you’re a tough cookie. Many monster tamers prove that nothing comes between them and their favourite sport, especially not their diabetes.
Meet Markus. Markus makes marathon running look like a walk in the park! He told us that no sport is off limits for people living with diabetes:
“It's important to show everybody with and without diabetes that everything is possible. Do every sport that you want and like… and a little partying never killed anyone.”
Wise words Markus!
When she’s not busy seeing the world, Phyllisa also told us about all of her sporty adventures since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes:
“Since being diagnosed with diabetes, I've hiked, biked, kayaked, and completed more than forty 5k races. Yes, I can be adventurous with diabetes.”
Amazing, right? After hearing such wonderful stories from Markus and Pyhlissa, we got thinking about what other types of sports are good for people with diabetes to try. Answer? All of them! There are so many spectacular sports out there, from synchronized swimming to cheese rolling (yes, really!), all of which are completely possible for people with diabetes.
Speaking of wonderful sports, let us introduce Nazar. Nazar is an award winning ballroom dancer. He explained to us how he manages his diabetes as a professional athlete:
“I never give up, I never stop fighting, and I can do anything. I know more about my body than anybody else. I can still be an elite professional athlete and achieve my goals - I am a two time US National Champion and World Silver Medalist and am currently going after a World Championship Title.”
Wow! Nazar embraces all the challenges that come with being a successful athlete, including his type 1 diabetes. After all, living with diabetes means you can take on any challenge.
These monster tamers have totally inspired us to put on our workout gear and get moving. Can you do sports with diabetes? Of course you can!
Can You Achieve Your Goals With Diabetes?
Living with diabetes can be tough. A diagnosis sometimes makes your goals feel far out of reach and taming your diabetes monster every day takes work. There’s no doubt that some days are more difficult than others. But no matter how bad things sometimes seem, we’re here to remind you that you still have the power to make your dreams reality.
Everyone living with diabetes is inspiring. Everyone living with diabetes is unique, and so are their hopes and dreams. We asked some monster tamers to tell us how they overcame struggles with diabetes and went on to achieve great things.
Meet Sara. Sara told us the wonderful story about how she wanted to grow up to be a diabetes doctor ever since she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 5 years old. Now she’s following her dreams and studying medicine. She is two years away from qualifying as a specialist in diabetes and endocrinology. Go Sara!
"I can study medicine, work shift hours, run 5 km in under 20 minutes and be a parent to small children. I want to show that you can work full time doing whatever you want and live life at a fast pace with diabetes.”
We also spoke to Ashley. As well as working as a nurse, Ashley is no stranger to the modelling world. She told us how she deals with the challenges diabetes presents her with during a busy day at work:
"There are times during my shift I need to step back, eat something, and then continue what I was doing. I need to take care of myself before I can take care of others. I also do some modelling for a local boutique. I always bring along my glucose tablets to the shoots and often suspend my insulin if needed to in order to make it through the photo shoot. Just gotta keep an eye on the blood sugars no matter what I am doing!”
We love Ashley’s can-do attitude! Balancing nursing, modelling AND diabetes? Doesn’t that just go to show that people with diabetes are unstoppable?
Allow us to further introduce you to Mila. We’re in awe of the success of the marvellous Mila. Mila has a hugely popular blog, has written a book, spoken internationally and is an advocate for people living with type 2 diabetes. She uses her platform to raise awareness and also post fabulous recipes. When we asked her about what she has achieved, while living with type 2 diabetes, here’s what she had to say:
"Since I was diagnosed with diabetes, I've had the chance to travel the world, cook and eat amazing foods, and live a happy and healthy life. Living with diabetes has made me realize how strong I am and how much I am capable of.”
Something that all of these diabetes dreamers have in common is that their monster doesn’t stand in their way. These empowering individuals all serve to remind us to reach for the stars! The worst that can happen is that you land on the moon.
Can you achieve your goals with diabetes? Yes you can! We believe in you!
Can You Make Diabetes Beautiful?
We know, beautiful might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about diabetes. But that’s the wonderful thing about beauty. It means something different to everyone. There are some amazing monster tamers out there that embrace the beauty of their diabetes journey in wonderful and unique ways.
It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Claire. After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Claire did what many people do, she tried to ignore it. Eventually, Claire reached a place of acceptance and turned her diabetes into something beautiful. Claire runs an accessories brand called ‘Organising Chaos’ which features super cute products to decorate diabetic supplies. Her website, products and blog are all stunning and help so many people sprinkle a little bit of joy on their diabetes:
"I can make diabetes beautiful! I went from ignoring my diabetes to decorating it and created a brand to help my diabuddies decorate their diabetes too!”
We think it’s wonderful how Claire was inspired to launch a business as a result of her diagnosis, providing so many other people with the opportunity to see a little beauty in their diabetes.
Speaking of beauty, meet Tiffany. Tiffany is a drag artist who also happens to live with type 1 diabetes. Tiffany is a true glamazon and openly shares her experiences as a drag queen with diabetes, like injecting insulin through a sequin outfit! When we asked Tiffany about what she’s capable as a person with diabetes, she had this to say:
"I can do drag. I get to be creative and perform on stage. But I’m also a rugby player. I get tackled and thrown around. Movement, performance, being centre stage or playing on a team; I can do it all.”
Tiffany just goes to show how many different types of beauty there are to be explored, whether that be as a sparkly drag queen, or a rugby player out on the field. We hope her fabulosity is contagious!
Another inspirational monster tamer we’d like you to meet is Jen. Jen embraces her type 1 diabetes and uses it to get creative. Her instagram features some really beautiful artwork that focuses on diabetes. She even uses her old test strips in her artwork! On top of that, she lives a happy life full of love and beauty, and doesn’t let diabetes stand in her way:
"Yes I can dream as big as you can, and I can do everything that you can. I have travelled the world, I have completed a University degree and have a successful career. Living with diabetes has taught me strength, but I’ve taught diabetes to never restrict me from achieving my goals.”
Never thought you’d see the words ‘diabetes’ and ‘beautiful’ together in the same sentence? Well, think again. These fab few have all seen the beauty in their diabetes, all in different ways. Can you make your diabetes beautiful? Yes you totally can!
At mySugr, we believe that everyone living with diabetes is an inspiration. By sharing these wonderful stories with you, we wanted to remind you of your power and that, yes, you can do that with diabetes! People with diabetes are pushing boundaries every day! Just recently, in April 2020, the very first insulin-dependent pilot was approved to fly commercially in the USA. Pilots with type 1 diabetes were previously not allowed to fly commercial planes, but not anymore!
Not every day with diabetes is going to be easy and it’s sometimes hard to find motivation. But never give up on those goals. All these strong and resilient people prove that you can achieve all sorts of amazing things while living with diabetes.