By Lydia Sara Parkhurst
Diagnosed – 5th August 2009 at age 12.
We didn’t celebrate my first diaversary – it was simply too hard. Emotions were still raw, especially for my parents and sister. I can’t imagine how hard it was for them to try and accept that I had to live with a life-changing condition at 12 years old. They felt angry that they couldn’t take it away. They also felt sad because in the first year our life revolved around learning about carb counting, fasting, insulin adjustments and hospital appointments. I know my sister felt left out, she’s always been amazing and so supportive but all the attention was focused on me whilst we learnt about type 1 diabetes.
The first diaversary for me was also full of mixed emotions. I’d managed to stay alive for another year despite been told that I was only hours away from death the year before – a positive (!). But for me the reality of hitting the first year mark just reminded me of how many more diaversarys I would have – even though I have always been very upbeat about living with type 1.
After that we decided to embrace my diaversary.
‘Always look on the bright side of life.’
Each year it marks how far I’ve come and that I take diabetes in my stride. Instead of marking my diaversary as the breaking of me, I mark it as the making of me. My diaversary is the birthday of my journey which has defined me and my determination. Any excuse for cake! It’s basically like being the Queen and having two birthdays! This year marks my sixth diaversary, I bought myself a Frozen birthday card for a six year old and adapted it –
‘love your broken pancreas’
It should be celebrated. Each year on my diaversary I set myself a major type 1 related challenge for that year. It keeps me motivated! I have to take the positives from my condition and make good out of it –
‘there is always a light in the darkness’.
This year my challenge was to volunteer on a type 1 diabetes camp and go backpacking, last year it was to do a big speeches about type 1 and raise awareness, which we did at Parliament, and my A level art project. Over the next few years it’s to expand my blog and to trek the Inca Trail. We should all do something fantastic for our diaversary. Yes it was a sad and scary time but:
‘You were giving this life because you’re strong enough to live it’
‘I believe that we’re about to accomplish something amazing.’
I’m shouting about my #diaversary – will you?
Read more from Lydia on her blog.
Do you remember the date of yours or a loved one’s diabetes diagnosis – your #diaversary? Do something different on this date, tell type 1 to DO ONE and raise funds for JDRF! Click here to find out more!