I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four days after my 8th birthday. I must admit that I didn't understand what it meant: I first thought that it was a cold or flu but when I was admitted to the hospital I realised that it wasn’t like any other casual virus.
My parents were shocked and worried while, surprisingly, I was happy to be in a hospital near doctors because I wanted to become a doctor myself. I even asked them to teach me how to inject myself two weeks after my diagnosis.
A year after being diagnosed, I joined a support group that became a second family to me. Now, after 12 years of living with diabetes, I voluntarily work with this group to organise events and help others who have been recently diagnosed. In recognition of my efforts to educate people about diabetes and spread awareness, I was named Diabetes Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in October 2011.
It hasn’t been an easy journey, but hope and faith have allowed me to reach were I am now. What really helped me in becoming stronger is the amazing social support that I found from my family and friends. I’ll always remember the very first sentence that my parents told me about diabetes, "Diabetes is your lifelong friend, take care of it and it will take care of you back.”
My advice to everyone with diabetes out there is to not let diabetes stop you. With good monitoring you can live a great life with diabetes. Consider it a motivator rather than a disease!