Living with Type 1 Diabetes and the impact it has on me in college

By Jason Archer
October 27, 2018

At the age of one I became very sick. I was losing weight every day and becoming very dehydrated. When I was taken to the hospital, the doctors told my parents that if they had waited any longer, I would not be here today.

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes that was caused by a virus that attacked my pancreas, completely shutting it down and changing my life forever. Diabetes affects every part of my life including school, sports and leisure time.  

Growing up, I never felt normal; I was always the odd man out, constantly going to the doctor and never finding time to hang out with friends. Imagine growing up like me and being told that you would live a shorter life than the average person. How would you live your life?

There are have been so many times where I wanted to quit and just give up on life. I am proud to say that instead, I have accomplished dreams and done things that most people can only imagine. I have lived my life to the very fullest, treating every day like it’s my last.

This is a sensor that connects to my pump (robotic pancreas) I use to help keep track of my blood sugar Photo by Jason Archer

I have dreamed of playing college lacrosse since I started playing the game. Throughout high school, I was told I would never make it. Despite all the negative comments, I continued to pursue my dream.

Everybody needs exercise, but for a diabetic like me there can be some side effects. Diabetics must take more breaks than the average person to maintain blood glucose levels and insulin intake.

I spent hours upon hours practicing the game that I fell in love with, working out every day for a minimum of two hours, and eating the right food to maximize my performance. I put a lacrosse stick in my hand every chance I could.

As a high school freshman, I played varsity which hasn’t been done at my high school in a very long time. By my sophomore year I was starting, which continued throughout my high school career. At the end of my junior year I started to receive college offers, ranging from division one to division three.

I chose to attend Cabrini University to learn and play lacrosse. Photo by Michelle Guerin

I chose to attend Cabrini University, a top 10 program with everything that I was looking for in a school. Once I got here I realized that I was alone. I’m the only one who knows how to take care of me.

Ever since I have been here at Cabrini, I have never felt better and I have grown as person.

I started to have many people in my life, including friends and family coming up to me with questions and asking for advice. I continue to tell each person that no matter what situation you are in, no matter what struggles you are faced with, if you have a dream, take control of your destiny.

When it comes to my diabetes I have had multiple near-death experiences, some of which that resulted in me staying in the hospital for days at a time. These experiences made me realize that living a “good life” is not about money, fame, success or status; it’s about doing things that make you happy and surrounding yourself with people who support you and your goals.

Time passes so quickly that you forget to focus on the little things that are essential to complete the puzzle pieces of your life. One must realize that you have total control over your situation, whatever it may be. Cancel the negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts to achieve a “good life.”

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Jason Archer

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