JDRF and Diabetes Self-Management shine a spotlight on young people living with type 1
Kids with type 1 diabetes are among the estimated 200,000 young people living with the disease in the United States. Each year, roughly 40,000 people are newly diagnosed with the disease. A diagnosis is challenging, especially for kids with type 1, but many are thriving and living inspirational lives.
Diabetes Self-Management and JDRF have a shared vision: to promote the advancement of type 1 diabetes research by spotlighting the dedicated sugar type 1 diabetes champions from across the U.S. In this series, we asked some young patients about friends, new tech, friends, advice and more.
Jasmine Meriedy, 15, Jacksonville, Florida
I was 1 when I was diagnosed by going to a new pediatrician and my mom telling them the family history. And they decided to check me, and my life changed forever on Sept. 15, 2005. My journey has had its ups and downs with managing my diabetes over the years. With the support of my family they made it easier to deal with. I try not to let T1D control my life, but it has also helped shape me into the person I am today who will continue to advocate for a cure and funding for research.
What is the hardest part about managing T1D? And how do you turn these challenges into positives?
It is tough being a kid and dealing with diabetes especially during birthday parties, Halloween and special events where a normal kid would eat anything and does not have to worry about checking their blood sugar or counting carbs. The good thing about controlling what I eat is that I learned how to eat healthy and the unhealthy food such as candy in moderation!
How did you become involved with the JDRF?
When I was diagnosed and was in the hospital my mom was told about the program from the nurses, and from there we started our first family walk team in 2006 called “Jasmine’s Angels”.
Any JDRF community service projects or initiatives? Please tell us about them!
I have participated in the JDRF “Promise to Remember Me” campaign where I have visited my local congressman’s office to ask them to continue supporting funding for T1D research. I also have volunteered for back to school events and educate kids and parents on the signs of T1D and information on what JDRF is. And lastly my family walk, which raises money for the annual JDRF One Walk.
What have you found to be the most useful diabetes technology?
The insulin pump with my continuous glucose sensor because I do not have to always take injection shots to get insulin during the day.
How do your friends and family support you?
They check on me if I look like I am not myself because I may be experiencing low blood sugar. They make sure I am keeping track of taking my insulin before meals and they also check me while I sleep at night. They never made me feel like something was wrong with me because I have diabetes!
What are some of your favorite activities?
Cheerleading and photography.
What is your favorite diabetes-friendly meal and why?
Chicken and broccoli dish because it is low in carbs so I can enjoy more of it.
What advice would you give to someone your age who is newly diagnosed with T1D?
It is going to be hard at first. But once you get the hang of it will get better. Sometimes it is hard to eat anything you want with your friends because you must stop and check your blood sugar. But it will get better with time and it is best to tell your friends because they will understand, and they will know what to do if an emergency comes up!
Want to learn more about caring for a child with type 1 diabetes? Read “Top 10 Tips for Better Blood Glucose Control,” “Writing a Section 504 Plan for Diabetes” and “Be Aware of Hypoglycemia Unawarness.”