Health Hero: Molly Martin
Molly Martin, an inspirational 18 year old from Lorena, Texas, discusses how she races motocross, earned a veterinary assistant certification, volunteers, and participates in 4-H-all while managing type 1 diabetes.
Meet Molly Martin
My life as a teenager is never boring. I race motocross, work at a veterinarian clinic as a certified veterinary assistant, and have been an active member of my local 4-H group for five years, serving in several positions, including my current one as a reporter. On top of my busy schedule, I make time to manage my type one diabetes, a diagnosis I received when I was only 23 months old.
The impact of how diabetes would affect my life wasn't real until I started kindergarten. My parents wanted to place me in private school, but the school wouldn't enroll me until I was able to give myself insulin shots on my own.
Every day at school, I had to go to the nurse's office at lunch time to get my blood sugar tested and get my insulin shots. I was sad because I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to eat what I wanted and participate in class birthday parties, but couldn't because the sugar in cake and candy would threaten my condition.
Growing up, my treatment included four to six insulin shots daily. Then six years ago all that changed when I began using an Animas® insulin pump. This pump made life so much easier not only for me, but for my parents, too-who had helped me learn to self-manage my diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is very physically demanding. I have to test my blood sugar, count my carbohydrates at every meal, and calculate how much insulin my body needs. The pump makes all this so much easier and allows me to concentrate more on school, my activities, and the track.
I have learned how to manage this lifelong disease by taking care of myself and being responsible, especially about nutrition. Without diabetes, I don't think I would be the person I am today. Although this is a terrible disease to live with, it has shown me how precious life is and how a single day should not be wasted.
I am determined to encourage others who have been recently diagnosed with type 1 or are struggling to deal with the daily demands of diabetes. My advice to anyone who's going through what I am: Don't let diabetes control you-you can control it. Don't back down, stay one step ahead, keep a good attitude, and you will make it! Live your dreams no matter what life throws at you.
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