My future changed forever when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at just two years old. My parents carried me, their sick baby, into the pediatrician’s office and left a week later with an education in the things required to keep me alive: blood sugar testing, carbohydrate counting and insulin dosing. Six months later we were back, I was sick again with another hospital stay and a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The weight of multiple autoimmune conditions and my tiny life shattered hit my father hard. He had one question for the pediatrician,
“Is there anything that doesn’t last forever?”
At 10 years old I took over my own diabetes management and struggled in secret. I intentionally avoided insulin injections and suffered through years of depression stemming from feelings of being an outsider. After over a decade of struggling to manage my invisible illnesses I decided that my life was worth living and fear had no place in it. I put my diseases on full-display and became an advocate for the community of people just like me.
In the summer of 2017 I joined 19 other people living with Type 1 diabetes and cycled ten-weeks across 15 American states as a rider and Logistics Coordinator on Team Bike Beyond. Our team stayed in 61 different towns, met with hundreds of Diabetics over the course of the ride and raised over $788,000 to support the portfolio of Beyond Type 1. Our struggles and successes are featured in the full-length documentary film Bike Beyond directed by Neil Greathouse.