60 Years of Saving Lives: Brianne's Story
“One of the most challenging things about living with diabetes is the fact that it’s an invisible disease.”
Brianne from Hamilton, Ontario was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1997 when she was just 11 years old. Fast forward to today, and Brianne is juggling her full-time job while raising her two young daughters with her husband and managing her diabetes.
“Diabetes can affect almost every part of your body,” Brianne says. “It can be quite complicated and frustrating to manage as blood glucose levels can be affected by more than just what a person has eaten. You can be so precise and careful about how you manage your lifestyle, but it’s unpredictable. It becomes challenging if you’re having a hard day and the extra pressure and stress of managing your diabetes can go unaware as others may not realize you’re living with diabetes.”
After her initial diagnosis, Brianne’s doctor referred her to MedicAlert and explained the importance of wearing a MedicAlert ID in case she suffered from a medical emergency and needed assistance.
“As a teen growing up with Type 1 diabetes, my family and I felt reassured that my MedicAlert ID would advocate for me in times of an emergency,” Brianne says.
“I’ve now been wearing a MedicAlert ID for 24 years and I wear it every day out of habit, so I don’t forget it! It provides me peace of mind just in case something happens, especially while running errands, or out with my children. It’s one extra layer of protection and I find it comforting knowing that my condition is engraved on my ID just in case anything happens.”
Brianne’s doctor also gave her an information pack from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to help her learn more about Type 1 diabetes and how to manage it as a young adult.
“Being diagnosed as preteen was challenging. I wanted to manage my diabetes independently without feeling coddled by my parents, however my parents were trying to learn how to care for someone living with Type 1 diabetes and the challenges that come with it. It was a difficult time. There is a lot of extra stress on parents who now have to learn how manage their children’s diabetes diagnosis.”
The support and information from JDRF information pack also provided information about their events and camps for children living with diabetes.
“I’m an active participant in JDRF’s “Walk to cure Diabetes” events and am an avid supporter of diabetes camps for children,” says Brianne.
“It’s important for newly diagnosed families of children living with diabetes to find a new community of welcoming people to help them get through this tricky and often overwhelming diagnosis.”
The value that JDRF and MedicAlert provides has also encouraged Brianne to become a regular donor.
“Donating is really important. It provides access for those less fortunate to receive care and support that could save their life. The money raised is going to the programs and people who need it most.”
After wearing her MedicAlert ID for 24 years, Brianne is an avid supporter of MedicAlert.
“I recommend MedicAlert to anyone who is living with a medical condition or allergy that could impact the care they receive in an emergency situation. A MedicAlert ID could change your outcome significantly as it is a valuable and lifesaving service for people.”