This is where the rubber meets the road, my T1 story, truths and life on April 14, 2015.
On this day, 48 years ago at the 40th Academy Awards, the film In the Heat of the Night snagged an Oscar for Best Picture, Rod Steiger won Best Actor, and Katharine Hepburn won Best Actress. I know this because, as a 15-year-old young actress, I was supposed to be there. That night, instead of walking the red carpet, I made an entrance at Mount Sinai (now Cedars-Sinai) Hospital, where a type one diabetes diagnosis would change my life forever.
As I reflect upon my T1D survival, I remember the words my stepfather whispered in my ear as I lay in a hospital bed watching the prestigious awards ceremony on television.
Bonnie, do you know why this happened to you? Because God made you too beautiful, he made you too smart, he gave you too much talent. He had to give you something so that you would know that you are not perfect.
These words gave me the strength to pursue my dreams in entertainment. They continue to fuel my fire to fight for diabetes research, support and fellow long-term type ones who cannot hang their hopes on waiting for a cure. For many of us, the struggle is what about today? What about the emotional, physical and financial toll of type one diabetes complications, treatment, medications and care?
There is no one size fits all formula for surviving type one, but we can find inspiration from Win Johnston, an 86-year-old New Zealand diabetes survivor for 80 years.
At age six, Ms Johnston was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Her twin sister had it too, but she died at 16.
She was told she would be lucky to live until 55. Doctors also said Ms Johnston would never have children. But she has had four, including twins, and none of them have inherited the condition.
Ms Johnston has lived with type 1 diabetes for 80 years – a record recognised by the international diabetes community.
“There’s no secret,” she says. “It’s just getting on with life as it comes day by day and being sensible about everything.” Ms Johnston is sensible about exercising, what she eats and her insulin, with a good sense of humour to match her record-breaking good health.
Read Johnston’s entire story at 3news.co.nz.
With type one diabetes, there are good days and bad, ups and downs, highs and lows, but I speak my truths, tell my story, live my life and after 47 years, I’m still here. Cue the video of the late, great Elaine Stritch:
How was your day?