I am Livingston Horald Martin Fraser from Grenada, West Indies and I am 21 years old. I live in the small village of La Mode St.George’s close to the south of the island. I was born on November 9th 1991 and have type 1 diabetes. I am a teacher at one of the best high schools in Grenada (The Anglican High School) where I teach Chemistry and integrated science. I am also a musician- I play the piano and bass guitar, and the leader of a Gospel Band. I attained an Associate Degree in Natural Science at the T.A. Marryshow Community College and one of my main goals in is to become a Doctor in Medicine.
In Grade 5 I experienced frequent urination, thirst and extreme hunger. I used to ask the teacher to leave the class regularly to go to the washroom or to go to the tap until she eventually got fed up and tested my glucose level (note, she had type 2 diabetes) which was 400+ mg/dl. She immediately called my parents so I could be sent to the pediatrician and I was diagnosed by the pediatrician that same day. I was ten years old at the time and I have lived with type 1 diabetes ever since. I had many challenges as most of my family members had diabetes, including both my parents and 6 out of 8 of my siblings. Maintaining a balanced diet, testing my glucose levels regularly and having enough syringes are my main challenges in managing and living with diabetes- but most of these challenges are based on economic factors. After being a part of the YLD progamme I was able to improve a bit in the face of all the odds against me. Through all these challenges I was able to earn my college degree and I was able to enter the work force as normal. I lived in fear of having diabetes complications; and therefore I lacked confidence in myself. But through it all I was able to accomplish many things in life.
As a young leader in Grenada I would really love to make a difference, by being open, confident about my diabetes and managing it effectively. I would also like to help other young people to gain the confidence to manage and to be open about it also. I aim to raise more diabetes awareness in Grenada and work alongside the Grenada Diabetes Association to help young people living with diabetes. As part of spreading awareness of diabetes and helping young people, I started an awareness programme on television where Cherry Williams and I were interviewed and informed the nation about the Youth Group in Grenada and about diabetes. A video is available here.
Through the association we also conducted a diabetes screening at my work place. When reflecting on the time spent in Dubai, I can recall having a great time in a dancercise session and have since collaborated with my member association in getting a dancercise session organized after a world diabetes month walk. My long term project will be to succeed in getting the “Life for a Child” programme implemented in Grenada, and the Youth Arm will be planning a youth camp for this summer session as well as educational sessions.