“I know that the pumps are expensive, and a lot of families can’t afford them. I hope that every child with T1D has access to the same opportunities as I have and can receive the pump.” – Lucia, 15 years old and living with Type 1 Diabetes.
Hi I’m Lucia! When mum told me that the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation had been in touch and asked if I wanted to share my story, I jumped on the opportunity to share with you what it is like to live with Type 1 Diabetes.
I was on a family holiday in Melbourne when I was first diagnosed at age 11. I had been feeling sick and lethargic for some time, so my mum took me to the doctor. The GP took one look at me, tested my blood sugar levels and told me my life was about to change forever. Turns out the doctor that diagnosed me also had T1D herself, so she knew the signs to look for. We were told to go straight to the hospital and I was admitted as soon as we arrived.
It was scary. I had no clue what was going on. I had heard the word Diabetes thrown around a lot, but I had little idea of what or how common it was.
When the nurses were telling me that I must test my blood sugar levels every day and inject insulin for the rest of my life, I found that very confronting. As soon as I started the insulin injections mum says that the colour just came back into my face. I felt so much better and felt like I had energy again for the first time in a long time.
Two weeks later, I was well enough to fly back to Perth and have been looked after by the Diabetes Team at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) ever since. I’m 15 now and have got to know a lot of other children with diabetes as well as the incredible nurses and clinicians who have looked after me over the years.
I was lucky enough to be part of a research project at PCH where I was given an insulin pump to wear for a year. It’s a small, wearable electronic pump that automatically delivers the right amount of insulin that I need. I loved it so much that I now have one of my own.
I cannot fully convey to you how much easier it is to have a pump.
The constant injections were really exhausting and were constantly on my mind. The pump is like a support system; it takes a lot of the stress of diabetes off my shoulders and I don’t have to be thinking about it 24/7. It gave me some control back in my life.
A cure for T1D during my lifetime would be amazing but until then I won’t let anything slow me down. I love to swim and can be found at the beach every second day. I love drama and being up on the stage performing in front of an audience. I also dance and used to play netball.
I know that the pumps are expensive, and a lot of families can’t afford them. I hope that every child with T1D has access to the same opportunities as I have and can receive the pump. I know the Foundation does a great job in funding some of these pumps as well as research into T1D and by sharing my story I hope more can be done for other children with T1D.
With your support we can ensure more children have access to life-changing equipment and technology like insulin pumps. Make a tax-deductible donation by 30th June to help WA’s sick children get well and stay well.