I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. I lived here for the majority of my life, until recently when I moved to Florida. I found out I had type 1 diabetes when I was very young, only three years old. It was unfortunate, but I have long vowed never to let it slow me down. Living with type 1 diabetes is not easy. It means that I spend a good deal of my day thinking about what I’m eating and how much insulin I’m taking… It’s something that’s always with me. It’s always on my mind.
My parents have been married for over 37 years. I have a half-brother and a half-sister, both from my parents’ previous marriages. When I was born, my brother was 13 and my sister was 14. It was almost like I had two sets of parents just because they were so much older than I was. I felt like I always had someone there, you know, who could help me with anything I needed.
Growing up, I went to a private school for the first eight years of school. It was a small classroom; I think there were maybe 30 kids in my class, total and everyone knew each other really well. There were people who didn’t get along as well as others but, because it was such a small environment, we all accepted each other.
Then, before I started high school, I switched to a public school. I made the decision to switch to public school because they had school nurses. They had someone at the school who was a healthcare professional that would be there should I ever need it. It ended up being better for my education because there were more opportunities, more clubs to be involved in and more social interactions. There were about 250 people in my class at that point. It was challenging at first dealing with that many people all at the same time. But there was nothing I could really do to change it. So I learned to cope.