USA, Berkeley CA 10 am October 15th 1994, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Founder of non-profit DASH Sports Education, in 1 ½ years we have positively impacted over 500 diverse youth living with diabetes and over 200 parents and family members to believe and realize that they can thrive because of diabetes. I Graduated from Pitzer College with degrees in Psychology and Sociology in 2010, was a professional athlete in Belgium from 2010 to 2011, and I am a current student to become a physician assistant specializing in diabetes care. In addition I work as a Patient Advocate and Health Coach at Highland Hospital to aid patients and doctors in building a common rapport based on a patient centered approach, I am also on the Young Adult Board for UCSF's Transition Program, where I train nursing students on diabetes care from Samuel Merritt University, and direct the Diabetes and Spiritual Health Program in Bali Indonesia.
Managing lows on a daily basis is my greatest struggle. In playing a lot of sports and being active my blood sugar drops low (below 60mg/dl) several times per week. It’s difficult to maintain tight control of BG’s while finding a balance with hypoglycemia. Practice and routine makes it a little less difficult but overall managing a low in the morning before a heavy workday has been my most difficult challenge.
Diabetes care in the United States varies as I am sure it does in many other countries. Unfortunately a key factor to quality of care and health outcomes is income level in the USA. The people living in the most dire situations are also the ones most suffering from struggles with diabetes, although struggle with diabetes do not discriminate and anyone can struggle, but we all have the potential of overcoming these struggles.
My member association AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) and I are in collaborative talks about initiating a sports program for youth with and at risk for diabetes with several NBA teams including the Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls. We are continuing to build pathways for other young leaders to be involved in the AADE.
My project is a unique one with three facets. The first is helping Gavin and several other young leaders develop a proposal, plan and execution of 80 ultra marathons, 80 diabetes awareness events and an international video project. The 2nd aspect is to help Widny Dorcee run a diabetes awareness campaign in Haiti and the 3rd aspect is to unite every member of my region under a common project. In March alone, my organization has run 2 sports programs and 2 diabetes symposiums for over 500 youth living with both types of diabetes and their family members, in addition to launching our monthly donation based adult diabetes program and school based lunch time program.