I was terrified. At 8 years old I was just a regular kid who loved sports and everything outdoors. It was at 8 years old when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. My father (a T1 diabetic himself) was the first one to notice something was off. I had been extremely thirsty and had to go pee all the time. He checked my blood sugar and brought me right to the Children's Hospital.
I struggled for years with my identity as a Type 1 Diabetic. I always hid it, until one day, after I finished schooling, I decided to just be me–diabetes and all.
I made an unconscious decision to be open about my T1D and inform others. When someone would ask "Are you sure you can eat that?" I would reply, "Yes, I can eat anything I want. My pancreas doesn't make insulin, therefore I take insulin injections for all the food I eat to correct my blood sugars.". Most would reply with a "Oh really? I didn't know that.", although, some would say "Well my Grandmother has diabetes and she's on a strict diet!", my reply "She probably has Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is not the same as Type 2, one is controlled by diet and sometimes medication. Type 1 is an auto-immune disease where our bodies physically can't make insulin."
I realized with all the people I have spoken to, unless they know someone with Type 1 diabetes, they really don't know what it is. They don't understand the ups and downs we go through on a daily basis.
As much as Type 1 Diabetes is a large part of who I have become, it is not who I am. I still love sports and LOVE being outside–hiking, snowboarding, walks, swimming, etc. I just need to be cautious while doing the things I love. Having a CGM and insulin pump makes all the difference.
How Type W1N came to be
As soon as I started wearing my Freestyle Libre and Omnipod Insulin Pump, I felt like a robot. As a graphic designer, I had a desire to make these medical devices a little more pretty. This is where I came up with the idea of making Freestyle Libre Sensor Stickers and Omnipod Stickers. I knew they already existed, but there wasn't much in Canada and I wanted more options. I also wanted to make the stickers a little more affordable.
As time went on I realized there was a huge world out there of other Type 1 diabetics (the only other people I knew who had T1D was my Dad and my friends Dad). I love being able to interact and help other diabetics. Making these stickers allow kids, teens and adults feel more comfortable wearing their devices.
We have branched out recently this year to start selling Dexcom G6 stickers as well! We want to be able to cater to as many diabetic device users as possible.
Also coming in 2021, are stickers for the NovoPen, Medtronic insulin pumps, Tandem insulin pumps, and Miao Miao add-ons for the Freestyle Libre. A super exciting addition to our product line are backpacks made specifically with diabetics and all the supplies that come with being diabetic, in mind, and customizable zipper pouches, where you can add your favourite diabetic quote to personalize it.