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Lily is the only person in her school with type 1 diabetes.

Life comes with many challenges but for Lily, keeping a growth mindset is proving to be key – remembering where she started and where she is now. It’s the misconceptions that can get in one’s way, from people not wanting to hang out with her, thinking they catch the illness, assuming Lily will be sick and faint.

Although talking about her diabetes is not the usual conversation starter with her peers, Lily encourages her friends to learn about her routine with blood glucose monitoring, checking what they think is a ‘good level’ and understanding that living with type 1 diabetes is not about ‘you can’t eat this’. Her good friend Caitlin knows when to ask if she is ok. Lily remembers that her friends would tell her: ‘In some ways, you are braver person than us’, but she just thinks that she’s just a normal person, but with diabetes.

This young articulate girl has a powerful message for everyone.

“I want everyone to know that if you have diabetes, it’s not like you should be treated any differently. No-one should make fun of you. It’s life.”

If that’s something that gets in your way, just take the note that it shouldn’t happen and if you are going through that, it actually makes you a stronger person, because ‘you’re living it through’.

Whenever she feels upset about her diabetes, Lily’s mum tells her that she is strong and she has done nothing wrong. Enjoying doing art, climbing her favourite tree and playing with friends, are just some of Lily’s favourite things. Lily named her teddy bear Indi, and likes to snuggle her.

Dreaming about becoming a book illustrator and author, Lily loves creating things, reading stories, and making up stories in her head. At school, Lily gets told that she should be a comedian.

Lily was 8 when she was diagnosed. She remembers feeling like something inside her had died and fell apart. Her daily routine involves a lot of planning around bolus and pre-bolus insulin adjustments before and after eating, and she admits that she likes a good sleep in. Lily agrees that it’s good that she has to do things on her own, working out her carbs sometimes, working out her blood sugar and bolus.

Now being 10, Lily looks forward to going to the next Diabetes SA Kids Camp as last year she wasn’t old enough.

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