We just wanted to pass along this inspiring story from 13 year-old Stephanie Mowad who has been assigned to Fitness Together as our “corporate inspiration” for the ADA Boston Step Out Walk. Stephanie will be writing us monthly emails leading up to the walk and you will all have the chance to meet her at the event on October 23rd.
As you will read, Stephanie has type 1 diabetes. She explains how difficult life can be for a kids with type 1 diabetes and how much a cure would change her life. We thought perhaps sharing or posting this letter in your studio might inspire more people to get involved with the Cardio for a Cure program and to do some fund-raising for this very important cause. The more support and awareness we can give to the ADA, the better chance these kids will have of living even a small part of their lives diabetes-free.
Keep up the good work with the Cardio for a Cure campaign and keep pushing towards our goal
Hello, my name is Stephanie Mowad, and I was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes two and a half years ago, in March of 2008, at the age of 10. This was a difficult time for me and my family. I had lost 22 pounds, and was drinking excessively. My mother also noticed several black and blue spots covering my body. Being concerned, but not letting on, she made a doctors appointment for me, and it was then that I was informed that I had diabetes. We had just moved back from El Paso, TX one year prior, and we were still trying to adjust ourselves to our new city, new home, new job and new schools. We were already overwhelmed. We were definitely not ready for a new illness. The weeks to follow were the most horrifying weeks of our lives.
It was at this time that I had to learn to test my blood sugar levels, by drawing blood from my fingers, up to seven times a day. Then, after determining whether or not my levels were too low or too high, I had to either eat a fast acting snack, or I had to receive an insulin injection to curtail any further rise in my blood sugar level. Unfortunately, I had to take up to seven or more shots per day until I was placed on an insulin pump. I was pretty scared throughout this time, not knowing whether a low blood sugar would place me in a coma, or too many high blood sugars would cause damage to my body. It was a constant watch, and a constant unknown.
It has been a tough two years, but through education and the wonderful people that I have met through friends, school, Children’s Hospital and the ADA, I have learned much and have been able to not only control my diabetes, but am also able to live a very healthy and active life. I was also inducted as a Junior Youth Leader to the ADA last October, during the Step Out and Walk to Fight Against Diabetes in Boston.
The constant fear that I had been living with subsided. I learned that as long as I check my sugar levels consistently, watch my diet and exercise regularly, I can live a healthy and normal life and enjoy all of the things that I have grown to enjoy, like dance and soccer. Sure, every now and again, I may have to leave a dance class, or the soccer field for a low, but as soon as I treat my low blood sugar, I am right back in the game. The best part of all is that it has become second nature to all those around me, too. I no longer feel like the ‘different person’. I am just the person who needs to take extra precaution prior to engaging in a fun filled activity.
I may not like the fact that I was diagnosed with diabetes, and I may forever ask ‘Why Me’, but I know one thing for sure, that one day, with the help and support of people like you, a cure will be found, and I will no longer have to take those additional steps before partaking and enjoying life.
Until then, I will do what I can to help and educate others, and hope to be an inspiration.