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I am not a diabetic…

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Diabetes is a big part of who I am, but it’s not the only thing about me. This is why each time I hear the word diabetic I cringe, as it defines the person by the condition they live with. As part of National Diabetes month, Oscar Insurance, a health insurance provider for New York and New Jersey, is raising awareness by inviting the Diabetes Online Community to share who they are and what they do while managing their diabetes. So here’s a little bit about me…

My name is Ashley,
my favourite nickname is ‘smashley’.
25 is the number of candles on my next cake,
something I learned recently, is how to bake.

I’m a daughter, sister and girlfriend,
of course to many others, I’m a friend.
I’m also a patient, healthcare professional and researcher,
in 2009 I was diagnosed if diabetes, if you need a refresher.

In July 2014, I became an accredited practising dietitian,
hopefully a profession to feed my food and health addiction.
A month later, I started a my research career with a PhD degree,
because an improved and collaborative healthcare is one I foresee.

Some may describe me as ‘jumping out of my skin’ with life,
in actual fact it’s the people around me who make things seem less rough.
I don’t see myself as a superhero or an inspiration,
just an awkward nerd doing what she loves until her next vacation.

Living with diabetes can be challenging and rough,
but my mum has always said I’m made of tough stuff.
There are many hats I wear, as I’m sure others do too,
we are balancing what life throws at us, this is true.

Diabetes is part of who I am, that’s for sure,
but there is more to me than a broken pancreas, I assure.
See the person behind the condition, don’t be apathetic,
each person is somebody and I’m not a diabetic.

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Pancreatically challenged, diabetes advocate, PhD student and dietitian - working to positive changes within the diabetes community and healthcare setting. Although diagnosed at age of 19 with T2DM, the type of diabetes I have is under constant debate. Finally pumping as of March 2014.

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