Tarryn: Real People, Real Stories.

Tarryn is a vivacious individual who, at 40 years old, has navigated through life with grace and strength, all while managing Type 1 diabetes since the tender age of 8. Her journey began with noticeable symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, and excessive thirst, prompting her mother to seek immediate medical attention. The proactive GP recognised the signs, suggesting diabetes testing that led to a speedy diagnosis.

In those early years, Tarryn faced the challenges of being a child with diabetes, adapting to a lifestyle that set her apart from her peers. Deprived of the simple delights like Easter eggs and birthday treats, she struggled with the realisation that she was different. Managing daily insulin injections and continuous blood sugar monitoring added another layer of complexity, making her question her normalcy compared to others.

Through high school and into her early twenties, Tarryn chose not to share details about her condition, striving to blend in and be perceived as no different. It was a coping mechanism she later reflected upon, realising that embracing her uniqueness might have been a healthier approach.

Financial challenges loomed as well, with the escalating costs of medical care in South Africa. Tarryn, despite being on a solid medical aid plan from the start, found herself allocating a significant portion of her salary to ensure comprehensive coverage. This financial burden, coupled with a couple of hospitalisations due to low blood sugar and illness, underscored the complexities of managing diabetes.

Tarryn’s story is one of self-worth, overcoming public discrimination, and the financial strains associated with living with a chronic condition. Despite the hurdles, she remains positive, advocating for awareness and understanding around diabetes while incorporating a positive mind-set and resolve in every step of her remarkable journey.

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