Living with Diabetes


Sara Stevens (11) has Type 1 diabetes and has opened to talk about it. Here she posed for a picture in front of a sunset.

Kayla Price

Sara Steven (11) has type 1 diabetes. She has had this disease for 14 years and tries to not let it affect her everyday life. Sara shared her story on why she has diabetes and how she found out.

“I was diagnosed when I was three and a half. I was showing symptoms of the flu. I kept drinking a lot of water and my mom knew something was up, so she took me to the doctor. Well, the doctor ran some tests on me and basically they found that I was a diabetic.”

At the doctor, once she was diagnosed, Sara says that her parents were devastated. They were really affected by seeing how much pain she was in in the beginning.

“My blood sugar was over 600. I’m supposed to be 120, but I [was] way over. I could’ve died if they didn’t catch it.”

Sara has started to become accustomed to being a diabetic and only really shares her story with her close friends. Due to this she said that she has gotten bullied before for having diabetes.

“I’ve actually gotten bullied, a few times in my life, for being a diabetic. People need to think about that there is a difference [between type 1 and type 2] and that you could offend someone who has this disease.”

Sara has two devices on her body that have needles in them. Daily maintenance is needed in order to maintain these devices.

“I have an insulin pump that basically gives me insulin whenever I need it, and I can change how much insulin I need. I also have another device that checks my blood sugar for me. When I first started being a diabetic, I had to poke my finger every single day, 5 to 6 times a day. Instead of that, I have an app on my phone and I can just read my blood sugar.”

When she was first diagnosed, Sara, had to give herself the insulin shots. She started checking her blood sugar when she was five, started giving herself insulin shots when she was seven, and she got her insulin pump when she was thirteen. These devices also have to be changed every three days.

“Ever since I was younger, whenever my blood sugar would drop in the middle of the night, I could wake myself up. I can tell because if my blood sugar is too high I’d have headaches and stomachaches. But when [my blood sugar is] low, I can tell because my heart beats really fast and I become hungry and I feel weak.”

Maintaining a steady blood sugar level can prove to be a challenge at times. Sara would like people to know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

“Type 1 is typically juvenile diabetes and something happens. Either it’s genetic, or in my case, I got sick when I was little and my pancreas basically attacked itself. Type 2 is more like adult onset. [For example] if you eat unhealthy or something, that’s how you get it.”