About 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 Diabetes, a number expected to increase to 5 million by the year 2050. T1D is a disease that does not go away and impacts everything in life. Lyfebulb believes empowering people with T1D to share and learn from each others' experiences will help them thrive with their condition. We are launching #RealT1DLyfe, the first part of a Chronic Illness Awareness Series, to expose the hard truths of managing T1D, as a call to action for better solutions.

We want to hear the real stories about living with T1D.
What do you wish people knew about T1D and how it impacts life for someone who has it?


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Read real life stories of T1D from our community:

Stefanie, 23
New York

While I was participating in a 5k-walk marathon I had to check my blood sugar to make sure the numbers were suitable for the run. I started off with 190, slightly higher than my average BG, which made me feel a little tired and sleepy. Halfway through the walk, my dexcom started beeping, informing me that my blood glucose was starting to go low. Anytime this happens, I get the same frustrated feeling, all of a sudden, I have to stop and leave to deal with my sugar levels at the risk of not being able to return to your exercise/event. However, this time, as I looked around, I noticed that most of the people who were at the walk had a diabetes gadget. This observation helped me realize I was not alone. This community support gave me the strength to determine that this disease does not run me, I run for it.

Anonymous, 17

T1D makes me feel compassionate. I empathize with others dealing with diabetes or any other chronic disease.

Chris, 28
New Jersey

T1D makes me feel energized

Vanessa, 42

T1D makes me feel stronger everyday. It helps me listen and learn more about my body.

Anonymous, 32

It makes me feel confident. Having to wear gadgets on my body all day and having people stare at them while still holding my head up high makes me feel confident and powerful.

Karin Hehenberger

The day of my diagnosis is still the worst day of my life, since it took away my independence at an age, when I felt invincible. I was going to need to inject insulin several times daily to survive and constantly worry about the ups and downs of my sugar as well as the consequences of long standing diabetes in my future. I decided to never tell anyone of my diagnosis and to dedicate my life to finding a cure for this horrible disease... Thirty years late, after MD and PhD degrees, two new organs and a pacemaker and much pain and suffering, I am feeling stronger than ever. My life has definitely not turned out the way I predicted, but I would not have it any other way. I have learned what is important, who to trust and what I want to do to make an impact. I have fought hard, but also allowed others to help me, and shared my experiences to help people. My story with T1D continues through Lyfebulb, and although I have not found a cure, I have personally overcome my fears of sharing my "weakness" and through that become stronger and a better human being.

Jana Aldeeb, 14
Doha, Qatar

It makes me feel empowered to try harder. Growing up I liked to say that I had a lot of self esteem, and I think it was true, people’s opinions and words never mattered to me which was something that my family loved about me, and as I grew up that self esteem really helped. But some of that self esteem faded away after I got diagnosed with T1D. Until now talking about Type One Diabetes and my journey with it is still a touchy subject and not a lot can shake me. Most people don’t know a lot if not anything about diabetes all they know is the stereotypical story of someone eating a lot of sugar and getting diabetes. I’ve been in multiple situations where people used diabetes as a way to make fun of me or point fingers at me, I’ve heard adults tell there kids that there is only one type of diabetes and it really shook me. After a few times of hearing people say those ignorant things it made me stronger and not just in diabetic situations but in any other life situations like anyone being mean to me or trying to pull me down and somehow, I don’t know how those situations made me stronger, I feel like those situations gave me that self esteem back that diabetes stole from me, I simply just don’t care.

Anonymous, 22

T1D makes me feel positive. Positive to know that I'm in control everyday for my body. It makes me feel positive and ambitious to stay healthy and strong and learn new ways to take care of myself and manage my diabetes in the best possible way.

Yerachmiel Altman, 60
Sharon, MA

T1D makes me feel like breaking ground while dealing with Type 1 issues.

Anonymous, 19

Nothing like being interrupted at 4 AM from your profound sleep by your Dexcom beeping (for those who’ve never heard that sound before- sounds like an amber alert x10) letting you know your sugar is “Urgent Low”. To have to stumble around a dark room in the middle of the night, go to the kitchen and having to eat something is annoying. It’s the fact that you have to eat at unusual hours, that your body is craving all the sugar and carbs in the kitchen, that it takes some time for your sugar to go back up, that you will have a harder time going back to sleep, and to top it off- having to wake up at 7 AM the next day and be productive at work. A good 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary for self care and a healthy lifestyle, managing T1D means understanding that sometimes our beauty sleep might get disturbed.

Beatriz Scher, 25

I have always tried to see my life with diabetes as best I could. With positivity and hope. Unfortunately the reality is that it is not always possible to see it that way. There are times when we have fear, despair, emotional and physical pain, among many other feelings. In these moments, we need to try to breathe and think that these feelings will pass. They are temporary and I'll be happy again. That's what helps me!

Nicholas Gogel, 33

T1D makes me feel strong! Hi! I’m Nicholas Gogel and I have had type 1 diabetes for almost 30 years! I chose early on to live my life with positivity and happiness, no matter the circumstances. Life isn’t easy and sometimes the cards we are dealt are not fair, but it’s how you choose to play the game that determines the person you become. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 4 years old, so having to overcome obstacles became part of who I am. I grew up with 3 siblings around the same age, so there was no room for special treatment. I never let being diabetic slow me down, as rather than feeling down about having a disease, I was a student athlete who participated in everything. I could have given up and let my body go, blame it on having bad luck and fold early. Instead I became the best version of myself, always stayed on top of being in the best shape I possibly could, worked out hard, stayed on top of my diabetes and even modeled for 10 years. Now I am a partner in my own business La Vita Aura, an online health & wellness company, to help others get in shape and manage stress. My love for sports, physical activity, delicious cuisine or drive to do what I wanted was never affected, as I did not let it! My mom made sure I never felt different and to this day I never see being diabetic as a setback, if anything it shaped the man I am today. I am here to tell you that life isn’t easy, but it’s the attitude in which we choose to face these challenges that defines who we are. It’s never too late to become a better you and to feel your best.

Richard Vaughn, 80
Kingston, NY

I was diagnosed with T1D in 1945, when I was 6 years old. 74 years of diabetes without any serious complications.There are many others like me. Some have lived more than 80 years with T1D. I want my fellow diabetics to know that this is possible. Life with T1D is challenging, but a long healthy life is very likely, especially in the 21'st century.

Anonymous, 25

Managing diabetes since I was 10 makes me feel in control. Every decision I make has a strong load in my life. Every moment I have to be very conscious of the decisions I take. Even something that might seem small (what I'll have for lunch), in my case is everything but a small decision.

J Jones, 35
Northern Ireland

T1 diabetes makes me feel proud, as being at a young age being diagnosed I always got oh you can’t do this or that. I believe the more of us that show we can do anything at any time and get the stigma away. For instance was out one night with my wife eating out dinner and the 3 young girls next to us noticed me injecting insulin. Now I never herd the girl but my wife did and she said ughhhh. Omg he’s just injected, boke. Now I was upset but my wife took time to explain to the girl that if I didn’t inject I’d die . The look on her face was a different story and she was also told if you are going to give an opinion on medical issues don’t be rude about it.

Christel Oerum
Santa Monica

T1D doesn't limit me but it's part of everything I do, every day. The first thing I do when I wake up is to check my blood sugar, and the next is start to plan how I’m going to manage my blood sugar depending on what I’m doing that day. Do I need more or less insulin for breakfast today? Well, it depends. Will I exercise this morning or not. After 22 years it has become a way of life, as second nature as brushing my teeth. Except that it’s there, as part of my mental picture 24/7. It’s there either in the background of front and center, but never gone. For me, it’s not too heavy a burden to bear, but if a cure was found I’d happily line up for it.

Anonymous, 15
Washington DC

Diabetes makes me feel connected and supported. Being able to hear so many stories of other people managing their diabetes that I can relate with, makes me feel comfortable. It makes me realize that I'm not alone in this, and that our diabetes community is so helpful and supportive.

Breanna M, 30
Long Beach Cali

Frustrated and sad at times but then I realize that though it gets hard with the ups and downs and daily injections I have the strength to fight and push through it. My kids definitely are my biggest inspiration to fight daily. They help me to smile through the ups and downs. I was diagnosed three years ago the same day I found out I was carrying my daughter. I was so scared I knew nothing about it! I definitely feel more confident about my knowledge about diabetes. Especially with the support of my family they are always studying and learning more on their own and always making sure I’m okay. I want people to just get more understand and knowledge about diabetes all around. So many people I know never knew exactly what it was until they had someone close to them diagnosed with it.

Laurent, 42
Paris - FRANCE

I am Laurent NICOLAS, I am 42 years old and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 30. At the time, I was already an entrepreneur. Bursting with energy, my health did not worry me because everything was fine. The first hours after diagnosis, I was angry. It was a shock -- I did not know anything about diabetes and at that time it came down to an incurable disease. Then, very quickly, I started wanting to understand everything; I took it as a challenge to overcome and I wanted to rise above it. The disease has never stopped me from completing my projects. I started several businesses with the same determination. From my personal experience of living with diabetes and knowing the challenges I was facing daily, my partner and I decided to develop a solution to optimize the daily monitoring of my diabetes. Today, I never get tired of presenting our solution DIABNEXT -- everyday that I learn more about the disease, the practices of the health professionals and the habits of others with the same disease. I am happy to have developed a solution that can help others as it helps me live with diabetes everyday. It is so exciting ! In hindsight, I often tell my partner that my diabetes is inevitable and I can not cure it, but I can surpass it by making it a strength.

India, 19

Having T1D makes me feel many things. It makes me feel trapped in my own body, sick and dependent on medicine but sometimes it also makes me feel confident. Constantly checking my blood sugar makes me feel trapped, my body does not work as it should and I have to monitor it all the time. This takes away the feeling I had of independence before my diagnosis. Now, I am never fully independent- there are surfacing things that I can’t survive without that other people can. However, there are times where having T1D makes me feel more confident. I, along with everyone else with the disease, am capable of so much more, I do everything a healthy person does with a chronic disease! I go to school, I study, I party, and I am sometimes stressed, but through all this I am managing so much more than people without T1D. I am managing, by myself, one of my bodies major functions that usually happens automatically. I think that quite amazing!! However, I do not want to glorify the feeling too much, having T1D is still terrible and stressful no matter how much confidence it gives me.

Anonymous, 20

T1D makes me feel like I'm riding a rollercoaster. A very bumpy but thrilling rollercoaster. It is a minute by minute disease, there is no tuning in and out.

Adriana, 26

I really started to live fully with diabetes only a year ago when I discovered my diabetes spark. For 8 years with this illness I was beating myself up for all bad bgs, all mistakes and I would simply refuse to check my bgs because I didn't want to see myself fail again. And then I met some diabetics who showed me that diabetes can be more than test strips and numbers. I became really interested in diabetes technology and I discovered so many solutions that exist but doctors don’t tell us about. After 8 years of failures and hating everything about this these, I understood that we shouldn’t adapt patient to the treatment but the treatment to the patient. And here I am with my mission about advocating for access to technologies and to the information for all patients with diabetes. Now I feel like I finally own this disease and I want others to feel the same. I try to report as much as possible about all news that are out there for all diabetes patients. I really want to empower others and show them that there are so many solutions out there.