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Katie Norten, type 1 diabetes, US (03:28)
To all intents and purposes, Katie looks like any other student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. But behind the scenes she has a strict regime to adhere to.
“If you don’t control it now, it will catch up on you.”
At the age of 13, Katie suffered from symptoms such as frequent urination, a dry mouth, tiredness and weight loss. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. From that moment onwards, her life has taken on a different complexion. On a daily basis, Katie needs to remember to exercise, to eat well, to check her blood sugar levels and to give insulin.
In hospital Katie experienced strong support from her mother and the rest of her family. But on returning home to start her new life with diabetes, Katie became depressed, “Me and my mom are very close, I never want her to see me hurt or upset about anything, so when I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time in my room, feeling alone and upset.”
Katie and her family helped each other and worked through that difficult time, and today Katie feels that her diabetes is just one more thing to remember to take care of each day. At school she played for the lacrosse team, where she learned to feel the signs of low blood sugar. She feels that she can live the same life any other teenager lives – she just has to watch her blood sugar levels and take her insulin.
In the future Katie would love to see some serious advances in technology helping those with diabetes, and smaller insulin devices. But number one on her wish list would be a cure for diabetes.
“You might think it’s the end of the world right now, but it’s definitely not. I mean, you can definitely beat it and just always take care of your self, try to exercise, make healthy choices, check your blood sugar, and just keep on top of your game with your diabetes. Because you can beat it. You can beat diabetes.”
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