As a husky 12 year old who had just developed an interest in girls, losing close to 20 pounds in a month seemed like a pretty good deal to me. To my parents there were many signs that alerted them that something else was going on. Frequent bathroom breaks, bags around my eyes, lethargic behavior, and a bad attitude seemed to indicate that puberty might not be causing my rapid weight lose. An hour trip to the doctor revealed that I had Juvenile Diabetes.

I remember crying and holding my parents for a long time in the doctors office and then realizing I had no idea what Diabetes was or what kind of journey I was about to embark on. I spent three days in the hospital and then I was released back into the world as the kid at school with a disease none of my peers knew anything about. With the support of my family and teachers I educated my peers and realized that I could still do many of the things I did before my diagnosis.

 

As I entered high school, the support I needed to control my diabetes became more apparent. Luckily, the support group around me could not have been better. My Endocrinologist (Dr. Fred Williams) and my high school Medic (Dr. Hamilton) along with my friends and family were paramount to my well being. I did everything a normal high school student could. I played football, I went to spring break, I went to prom, and I enjoyed a wonderful high school experience.

 

18 years since my diagnosis and nothing really changed with how I treat my diabetes. Of course the medicine and treatments have advanced, the equipment and the doctors are different, and the stresses of adult life add obstacles but the underlying key to my control of diabetes is the support group in my life. Without the key people in my life that provide the emotional and financial support needed to tackle a disease like diabetes I do not know where I would be.

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As I continue my journey through life with diabetes I hope that charities like Lemonade for Life will continue to provide research and support so that one day myself and millions of others can say that we are cured.

-John M. Lockhart Jr.