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DYC & DiAthlete

We interacted with ultra marathon runner & Type 1 DM since age 8 years Gavin


The much awaited day for the Special DYC meeting in Cape Coast had come and I couldn’t help but anticipate how the program would be like.

On the morning of the meeting, I woke up rather early out of excitement and anxiety to join my friends from DYC Accra for the journey to Cape Coast. I had already checked my blood sugars, took my shots of insulin and had also taken an early breakfast. I thought of HYPOs, HYPERs (the two extremes of diabetes) as I always do when traveling. So I packed sweets, coke, blood sugar testers, syringes and needles, cotton wool, and insulin pen. I was going for war and was really set to go. I joined my friends at the bus terminal and the bus set off. Once I boarded and was comfortably seated in the bus, I kept asking myself ‘What at all are they going to say that would be different?’.

After all we all are diabetics. But attending DYC (Diabetes Youth Care) meetings always lifted my spirit, takes the feeling of being alone and out of place away. Those are enough motivations to make me go. Steadily and surely, we arrived safely. Thankfully, nothing dramatic had happened on the bus.

The program which was about the diathlete Gavin, who is a diabetic and runs marathons started few minutes after our arrival. Gavin, a British, gave a presentation about his struggles and achievements living with diabetes. His friend, Fred, a Ghanaian who is also a diabetic also gave some words of encouragements using his life experiences living with diabetes .

In his presentation, Gavin said something that caught my attention. He said ‘Know your body and you will know your diabetes; own your diabetes’. You know when you attend a church service and the pastor says something, and you know he was talking to you? That was what it felt like. I said to myself, ‘this is just for me’.

I was fascinated by the fact that he could see positives in diabetes. He said that as diabetics ‘we are soldiers; we fight with our sugars everyday and still go on in life. We are mathematicians; we do lots of calculations (counting our carbohydrates, knowing amounts of insulin to take, etc). We eat healthy food because we know about our nutrients and diet. I said to myself this is great, they are all true. Keeping a positive attitude.

It was really inspiring to know that even at the tender age of 17 he was running marathons to raise funds for the diabetes community. Now I’m even more inspired to achieve my goal of becoming a diabetes health educator.

After the presentation, we checked our sugars and in a typical real life situation -dealing and managing diabetes, most of the results were high. Those who had high blood sugar levels gave reasons that they failed to take their morning shots of insulin, while others explained that their insulin is finished. Gavin after checking his sugar level, was having hypo. This revealed the highs and lows of diabetes we as diabetics have to go through. These, however, were all taking care of -those with highs took thier shots of insulin, those with lows were also taking care of. We ended the program with socialization, while others also mingled by taking lots of pictures.

It was a worthwhile experience in which I learnt a lot more new things about life with diabetes.

Thanks to Gavin, Fred, and DYC.

It is indeed true -Diabetes Wont Stop Me..

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