November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a time when patients, clinicians, and others whose lives are touched by diabetes bring attention to the challenges of this disease. But while diabetes makes things difficult, we know from some of our bloggers it can also be a source of empowerment.
We asked our bloggers to share how they (or their children) have overcome diabetes to accomplish something that was, in their minds, exceptionally challenging. Their answers will inspire you!
Stephen Richert: I've spent my adult life traveling and climbing all over North America and the world. It's forced me to appreciate risk and manage it rather than worry about it. I think that confronting fear in the real world ̶ externalizing it ̶ allows you to actually overcome it. There's been a lot of trial and error over my 20 years with T1D, but it's led me to much tighter control of my blood sugar and a vision for something more than just surviving the ups and downs.
Ross Baker: Despite diabetes, I've been able to accomplishing amazing feats such as a 500-mile bike ride, running a marathon in all 50 states and completing Spartan endurance races. But some days, the most amazing thing I do is being able to be a great dad to my kids, a devoted employee, and a good friend. Diabetes affects all areas, big and small. Each day I work each day to overcome all the challenges it presents and thrive, whatever the circumstances!
Jennifer Runyon: I was diagnosed at three years old. The only thing I ever wanted to be was a mom, but I was scared I wouldn't be able to do it. With hard work, I have had two healthy babies who are now super active with sports and activities. They continue to keep me on my toes and I continue to keep up with them, laughing in the face of diabetes!
Tom Karlya: The way to get 'beyond the challenges of diabetes' is to establish an equalizer; for us that equalizer is education. The more we knew, the more we, as a family, could strive towards getting as close as possible to the way life was before our kids were diagnosed. Both of our children with T1D are very successful in the workplace of their careers and live life to the fullest potential possible. They give back to the community, teach others, and although facing challenges at times, they continue moving forward. They do not just do nothing. They live. That's as good as we could ever hope.
Gary Scheiner: Last summer I managed to complete a 100-mile bike ride on the paths and trails surrounding Philadelphia. The two major challenges were avoiding cramping (it was a HOT day!) and keeping my blood sugar in range (something most people don't have to think about). Thanks to a few gallons of low-carb beverages and a pretty low temp basal on my Omnipod, I made it in about eight hours! Having my CGM display right on my phone, mounted to the handlebars, was a great help too.