Nearly everyone on the staff at T1D Exchange is directly affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) — living with it themselves or supporting a family member, friend, or partner with the disease. 

Here are just a handful of the diagnosis stories from our team at T1D Exchange:  

“I was starting the second semester of graduate business school in Philadelphia and began displaying all the common symptoms of T1D. I knew these symptoms from a work project two years prior, but at 24 years old, people I told (including physicians in my healthcare management major) said I was too old to have type 1 diabetes and too young for type 2.

When my vision became so blurry the next day that I couldn’t read the presentation in class, I immediately went to student health and told them, ‘I think I have type 1 diabetes’. My blood sugar was almost 600 mg/dL.” 

  • David Walton, 27 years with T1D  
  • CEO of T1D Exchange 

“I was diagnosed five years ago at 21 years old during my senior year at UMASS Amherst. I was losing weight, extremely thirsty, and exhausted.

I went to a CVS Minute Clinic which gave me a glucose test — it was 609 mg/dL. I was rushed to the hospital for further testing.

After getting stabilized with intravenous fluids and insulin, and education sessions at Joslin Diabetes Center, I was ready to take on my new life as a T1D! I love working within the T1D community and advocating for those living with T1D.” 

  • Sam Robinson, 5 years with T1D  
  • Community & Partner Manager

“I diagnosed myself at 13 years old during our 7th-grade health fair! My classmate did his project on ‘diabetes’, and I had nearly all the symptoms on his poster board. Extremely thirsty, peeing all the time, 10+ pounds of weight loss in less than a month, sudden blurry vision, no energy, and smelly breath.

When I told my parents I thought I had diabetes, they said, ‘No — only old people get that.’

But a week later, I stayed home sick (because I felt so lousy) and I burst into tears when my mom asked how I was doing. She took me to the hospital that afternoon. My blood sugar was over 500 mg/dL. Voila! Type 1 diabetes!” 

  • Ginger Vieira, 25 years with T1D  
  • Assoc. Director of Communications

“I was diagnosed the week before my 4th birthday. I had been sick for weeks, but my doctors brushed off my mom’s concerns. It wasn’t until we were in Orlando for my mom to attend a conference that I was finally diagnosed.

I was rushed from a doctor’s office to the emergency room only to find out my blood sugar was over 1200 mg/dL. After a week of monitoring, intravenous fluids, and education in the hospital, I finally was able to celebrate my birthday.

Twenty-two years later, I’m still advocating and living my best life despite having T1D.” 

  • Holly Hardison, 21 years with T1D  
  • Coordinator, Quality Improvement 

“I was diagnosed with T1D in May 2013 — almost 10 years ago! I just finished my sophomore year of college, and I spent my entire Spring semester too exhausted to make it through the day.

I was unable to perform in school despite my best efforts, causing me to fail out of music school.

A few weeks after the semester ended, my friend’s mom (who has T1D) took one look at me and said, ‘Can I check your blood sugar?’ From that moment on, I’ve dedicated my career to T1D research!” 

  • Sarah Howard, 10 years with T1D  
  • Senior Marketing Manager

What’s your diagnosis story? Share with us in the comments!  

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