Was it Type 1, type 2, or somewhere in between? When I was 19 years old, I had a sinus infection for what felt like forever. At first, I was told that I had type 2 diabetes, thus beginning my whirlwind adventure into the world of diabetes. My diabetes type has since been reclassified as type 1b, which means that my pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, but it’s not an autoimmune condition like typical type 1 diabetes.
My diabetes advocacy adventure started with my blog, Bittersweet Diagnosis, where I write about my reflections and thoughts about trying to balance life with diabetes. I have also volunteered and helped coordinate diabetes camps for children with type 1 diabetes. In 2013, I was nominated to represent Diabetes Australia at the International Diabetes Federation’s Young Leader in Diabetes Programme.
To create change within the diabetes community, I strongly believe that we need to work in collaboration with various stakeholders such as healthcare professionals, policy makers, industry. Beta Change, to me, represents growth and the future.
Outside of Beta Change, I’m a dietitian and am completing my PhD in diabetes education and mHealth technology. In my experience with the Australian healthcare system, there aren’t enough resources for young people with chronic conditions and I’ve made it my mission to change that. Specifically, I’m looking at the role social media can play in diabetes education for young adults with diabetes during life transitions.
Check out Ashley’s blog, Instagram, and Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter.