Diagnosed at age 47
Instead of looking at what being diagnosed with diabetes cost her, Gabby focuses on what she’s gained. “Diabetes taught me to stand up for myself, it gave me a voice,” says Gabby, a Diabetic Connect advocate.
Gone are the days where she tried to please everyone around her. Diabetes has shown her how to take control of her life. She lives by saying, “It’s my disease, my body, my future and it has taught me to take responsibility for it and do everything in my power to treat it.”
She credits her newfound voice to Diabetic Connect, “The support I received gave me the fearlessness I needed to live contently with diabetes,” she says. “Now I’m not afraid to contest a doctor or try an unconventional treatment. It’s been liberating.”
Gabby has made great strides forward while living with diabetes, but she is still working towards goals. “My nemesis is high glucose numbers,” she says.
Even with medication and insulin and diet and exercise, she still struggles to gain control. But she doesn’t let that discourage her.
“I did manage to loose about 80 pounds in my first year and a half of diagnosis,” she says.
Exercise has been another challenge for Gabby.
“I hated exercise growing up and I led a rather sedentary life,” she says. She has now established a routine with her dogs, who never let her miss their daily walk.
Her mother (who also has type 2 diabetes) has been there for her, showing she believes in her every day.
“She had the books and the daily know-how,” Gabby says, “I believe that is why I just tackled it head on from the very start, because she gave me the tools to make it work out.”
The message on her hand represents the strength she has gained through living with diabetes.
“I have been empowered and strive to help others find their voice as well," she says. “I stand up for myself and others. I’m not afraid to share my opinions, thoughts and ideas with anyone who will listen. In fact, I have had to learn to dial it back a bit.”
Gabby wants those diagnosed with diabetes to “Stop struggling and start living. When diabetes is a constant struggle all you get back is frustration, and that will lead to giving up.”
Every diabetic knows they will have to make changes that aren’t easy, but you can live with it.
“Actually, you most likely will live better with it," she says. "While diabetes is a disease, it has made me healthier overall and chances are it will do the same for you.”
There are a handful of amazing athletes who have diabetes, and Gabby says, “We are no different. Well, OK, maybe we are, but our dreams are just as important and letting diabetes get in the way lets diabetes win. Don’t do that. Go out and enjoy every day and the blessing it has waiting for you. Diabetes should not hold you back.”
If you would like to connect with Gabby, you can find her over at her profile Gabby.