My name is Maria Hillinger, I am 25 years old and I am from Austria. At the moment I am studying Social Economics in my last year and I am writing my diploma thesis on a diabetes related topic. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 16 years old. As it took doctors a very long time to diagnose my diabetes, I am glad I have survived. As a Young Leader, I am very motivated to help other people affected by Type 1 diabetes.
After I had been diagnosed, I had to stay in a hospital for two weeks. When my parents picked me up from there, we went to the restaurant for lunch. I was totally overextended with this situation. In hospital I did not have to worry about carbohydrates, but in the restaurant, I did not know what to order. I chose French fries without ketchup, because I was afraid of getting a hypo or hyperglycaemia from that. I was just afraid that I could never manage the carbs I was eating… Now, it just makes me smile.