My name is Keegan Hall and I am 25 years old and have had Type 1 Diabetes for the past 9 years. I was born on the 16th December 1988. I work for my local diabetes association (Diabetes South Africa) as the Marketing Coordinator and I am the current President of the Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme.
The greatest challenge for me in living with diabetes was reaching the acceptance stage. When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it seemed easier for me to ignore the fact that I have a life threatening condition than to accept it- as that meant injecting myself at least 4 times a day and having to deal with the social stigma that is associated with having type 1 diabetes. This all changed when I met other people living with diabetes and living successful, healthy and full lives with diabetes, even in situations that are more difficult to deal with, than what I live with.
Diabetes in South Africa is becoming a bigger problem every day. The access to appropriate lifesaving medication and adequate diabetes education is poor; especially in the rural areas of South Africa, where some people with Diabetes need to walk for 4 hours to reach a local clinic and the big Government Hospital patients need to take days off work to ensure they can get a hold of their medication, due to the huge amount of people that one hospital serves.