Our #1 for August – Julia Rhoad

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Diabetes is a part of me, a part of my family.  It has been in our lives for a long time, even before I was diagnosed. My older brother was diagnosed in February of 2000, when he was nine years old. Five years later, in April of 2005, at the age of seven, I was diagnosed as well.  I wasn’t scared though, this just meant that I was a lot like my big brother, diabetes was normal. Since two out of four kids in our house have diabetes our lives basically revolved around it.

Since I was so young and already used to the idea of diabetes I didn’t see it as a way of defining or limiting me, I still don’t today, but growing up with it isn’t exactly easy.  For a little while some of my classmates thought diabetes was contagious so making friends wasn’t easy.  Eventually they realized it wasn’t and I gained some great friends that I still have today.

Julia is a member of the Norwalk St. Paul High Cross Country team

Julia is a member of the Norwalk St. Paul High Cross Country team

Diabetes also comes to play in my busy life. I constantly have to be watching myself and where my blood sugars are.  Between basketball, cross country, track, marching band, school, getting my drivers license, friends, and work some days my blood sugars are like a roller coaster. Every now and then it does frustrate me, having to take a step back and care for myself  before doing the things I want to be doing. People don’t always understand what it’s like to live  with diabetes or to feel it’s side effects, to feel something not quite right in your body and not be able to control it. Sometimes I get really frustrated and upset, I think that it isn’t fair but then I realize there’s nothing I can do about it so I suck it up and do what I need to.

Even though I wouldn’t wish anyone had diabetes I have gotten some greatexperiences out of it. Things like making new friends at diabetic camp to the JDRF walks every year. It has also brought my family together and lets me know they’ll always be there for me. Most importantly, it has taught me that I am a strong person, I am truly blessed, and if I think things are bad for me I remember it could always be much worse.

Rhoads Family

Rhoad Family

In some ways my experience  has been a blessing, in others not so much. I am grateful for the truly great people in my life because of it but I still am looking forward to someday when there maybe a cure for diabetes. I can see there being a cure someday soon thanks to JDRF and all their hard work. Until then I’m going to do my best and just enjoy life.