Amy is an adult that has been living with type 1 diabetes for 22 years. Here she shares her story…
It’s always hard to figure out how to start writing a blog post. I never know if I should just jump in and get to the matter at hand or if I go through introducing myself, giving the details of my life, etc. Given that this is my first ever post for the JDRF of Northeast Ohio, I suspect I should probably give a few details before I jump into anything else.
My name is Amy Ross. I am married to Steve and mommy to Hayley (age 6) and Abby (age 4). I have had Type 1 Diabetes since I was 8 years old, and as of last October, I am 30 years old. I live the typical work-from-home suburban housewife life…and I love it. I am also a JDRF newbie, having only recently gotten involved with the work going here in Northeast Ohio.
Not once in my life have I felt completely alone in this disease. My mom, uncle, and a cousin are living with Type 1 Diabetes as well. I may have felt alone in some of the stages of life (balancing Diabetes & pregnancy, being a new mom with Diabetes, etc.), but I’ve always had others with the disease to lean on for strength and advice. In the past year or so, I’ve felt a pull to reach out to others in Northeast Ohio who have Diabetes—those who have had it for many years, those recently diagnosed, and parents looking for some hope for their children. I knew how much inspiration I gained over the years through interactions with family members who understood what I was going through. I thought that maybe I could inspire someone else…maybe I could show people that kids with Diabetes grow up and live normal, healthy lives.
The trick was figuring out how to get involved locally. Growing up with my own built-in support group, I never took part in JDRF activities. To be honest, I don’t know that I realized there were local walks until two employees of a company that supported the walks moved in across the street from me in 2006. Then it took me 4 years to realize that maybe I should be taking part in those walks (of course, I had no idea just how to do that). After that realization, it then took me a couple months to realize that I could just send an email to my local chapter asking for them to help me get involved. Maybe I’m a little slow…but I didn’t know how to go about getting involved as an adult.
Sending that email opened up a whole new world of Diabetes involvement for me—a world I’m just beginning to explore. I’ve joined the Walk Committee, and for the first time in my life, I plan to be at the walks in Akron and Cleveland this fall. After 22 years with Type 1 Diabetes, all it took was a couple of emails to help me find out how I could offer support to others and benefit from the support available to others like myself. I don’t know why I waited so long!
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