I had to take four shots of insulin every day, which was the easy part. I was advised not to pursue swimming and other sports for some time. This meant saying goodbye to my life-long dream of reaching state-level in swimming. It took me a long time to accept this, and in the meanwhile, I started reading more in detail about this disease. My parents sensitized the teachers and support staff in my school about my condition, and prepared them on how to handle an emergency if it came up.
In 2014, my doctor told me about the World Diabetes Tour 2014 organized in collaboration with Sanofi to one of the Seven Wonders of the World- Machu Picchu in Peru. He wanted me to participate in it. It was a big team with people from all over the globe. What was interesting about this is that they all were type 1 diabetics. After taking the necessary qualifying tests, I started training hard for the trek along with guidance from my doctor, the Sanofi team and my swimming coach. Cycling in the morning, working out in the evening and swimming late in the night- all my 24 hours were dedicated to getting myself ready for this extraordinary experience.
The trek remains my favourite memory till date. So many of us from all over the world were exchanging stories about our diabetes struggles, fears and hopes, and celebrating our successful climb to Machu Picchu. It taught me to become more confident about myself and be helpful towards those who are trying their best to cope with this disease. I spend time educating people about type 1 diabetes, and counselling kids and their parents on how best to live with it.