Type 1 Diabetes: 5 Diabetes Tattoos and the Meaning Behind Them

Ink that illustrates the role type 1 diabetes plays in people's lives

People with diabetes are increasingly choosing to get tattoos that relate to diabetes. The tattoos are chosen for various reasons, and we found five people with type 1 diabetes who have chosen to let the world know with permanent ink and found out the reason behind the tattoos. 


1. Glucose Molecule Tattoo

Type 1 Diabetes: 5 Diabetes Tattoos and the Meaning Behind Them

Rebecca Pasquarelli was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 9 and got this tattoo from Ink and Water in Toronto. The tattoo is a simplified glucose molecule in the tattoo shop’s logo. The tattoo has drawn attention from “classmates at school as well as strangers I pass at the mall asking about my tattoo, which has given me the opportunity to educate others on the meaning behind my tattoo,” Pasquarelli said. 

“Growing up with type 1 diabetes I had felt at many times embarrassed and ashamed to even let a family member know that I had diabetes, since I felt that there was constantly such stigma around diabetes in general” Pasquarelli said. “I’ve always been a fan of getting tattoos that tell a story or spread a powerful message, but it was in that moment where I realized I shouldn’t hide my diabetes from the world that I felt a sense of inspiration to get a tattoo that would draw people’s attention to ask me about my tattoo so that I could educate and share my story with them on diabetes.” 

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The tattoo’s presence on her lower arm is a visible reminder to Pasquarelli that having diabetes doesn’t stop her from living life to the fullest. “Today almost 20 years after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes…I feel more powerful than ever challenging myself with doing Spartan races, climbing 1,776 steps up the CN tower and many more things without letting my diabetes stop me from living my life,” she said. 

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