Against the odds: overcoming diabetes in Patagonia

When I met Sonia Carrasco, 14 years ago, she was suffering from diabetes ketoacidosis – extremely high glucose levels, a sign of poorly controlled diabetes. Although she had been living with the condition for about 6 years, her diabetes knowledge was minimal, reflecting a general lack of health awareness. When I asked Sonia to describe her feelings the day she was given a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, 20 years before, she recalls an experience made all the more terrifying by an acute fear of the unknown. She had understood that she had leukaemia. ‘I ran from the doctor’s office; I just didn’t want to hear any more.’ But despite a terribly challenging socio-economic environment, Sonia managed to confront her diabetes, albeit too late to prevent the development of chronic complications, and now helps herself and others to live a full and purposeful life.
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Keywords: 
diabetes knowledge, chronic complications, financial resources, retinopathy, discrimination, educator