My name is Krystal Boyea, and I am from the tiny island of Barbados, in the Caribbean. I was diagnosed with diabetes on January 18, 1998. Growing up with it on an island that doesn’t understand and is over run with people with type 2, was difficult for me. After Dubai in 2011, I began to have a new outlook on my diabetes and it rapidly became my passion. Upon returning home, I changed my profession from Environmental Science and Geology, and I began to focus solely on diabetes. Now I am the recognized Ambassador & Spokesperson for Diabetes in the Caribbean. The past 3 years have been amazing! I have done school talks, trained diabetes nurses, motivational home visits, radio & TV programmes, spoken at the UN and TED & climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for diabetes. I am also completing my Masters of Public Health & starting as a Diabetes Coach this year.
Living in a region that boasts of some of the highest rates of amputations and other diabetes related complications is honestly not easy. I am constantly reminded of the possibility of a future without sight, the ability to walk, with kidney failure and other problems. Yes I do everything I can to make sure I take care of myself, but I can’t help but think…will that be my future as well?