My name is Megan Wilson. If you saw me on the street, at the gym, or in the workplace, you’d assume I live a fairly normal life. What you wouldn’t necessarily see is that I live my life with diabetes. Diabetes, however, is a reality that I am faced with every day.
The day before I started second grade was one that changed my life forever—I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. My simple childhood as I knew it was turned upside down. Learning to live with this new disease is something I will never forget. To say I am not a fan of needles would be an understatement. During the first 3 years of living with diabetes, the only shot I had the courage to do was a practice one on an orange, while I relied on my parents and teachers to help me with my own shots. My next big adventure with diabetes came at the age of 10.
My parents signed me up to attend 1 week at Camp Needlepoint, a camp for children and teenagers with diabetes. It was there that I saw others my age and my counselors doing shots. My courage grew and I was able to do my first shot that week. This was a big deal for 10 year old Megan and the encouragement of friends and camp staff is something I remember to this day. The following 6 summers I looked forward to camp and I spent another 7 summers on staff as a counselor (including multiple summers at Camp Sioux in North Dakota). Camp was a pivotal experience for me in my life with diabetes. It taught me that I wasn’t alone. For one week each summer I could escape the life where I felt out of place and be in a place where diabetes wasn’t something that set me apart. I was able to grow confidence and independence in managing my diabetes.
Now at age 30, I am married, have 2 adorable dogs, and work as a full time real estate agent. In my free time, you can find me running, hiking, mountain and road biking, shooting landscape photography, coaching youth basketball, and spending time with my family and friends. In the midst of the ups and downs of life, I must choose daily to be intentional about monitoring my diabetes. Sometimes high and low blood sugars prove to be a challenge but I have learned to adjust, keep a positive attitude, and make the best of whatever this disease throws my way (although it is by no means easy).
In 2013 I decided to commit to participating in the Duluth Step Out Walk to STOP Diabetes with my mom since that year marked 20 years of living with diabetes. I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve seen firsthand the impact of this even, the sponsorship provide for kids so they can attend the life changing Camp Needlepoint, the money devoted to research towards a cure, and the thankfulness of people living with diabetes like myself when we see a community supporting a cause that affects our everyday lives.
I invite you to be a part of this quest to find a cure and in the meantime, support those living with the disease. Join a team or sign up as an individual and start spreading the word about diabetes and help be a part of a cure! On behalf of myself and the millions of other people living with diabetes out there—THANK YOU for your investment in our lives and our futures! With your help we can reach the Walk’s goal of $67,000!
Register online at: www.diabetes.org/duluth. We hope to see you on April 9th!
– Megan Wilson