WESTWOOD, N.J. -- Gianna Matesic never thought she'd be a poster child for those with Type 1 Diabetes but after getting diagnosed last year, the 16-year-old decided she had to do something.
Writing became a way to deal with all she was going through. And so, she began a blog, "LIfe and Diabetes ," as a way to help others understand her and her family's challenges.
Her goal, she said, is to show other kids they aren’t alone and that no one is perfect at managing their diabetes. She also wants to raise awareness about the disease.
The Westwood resident, after all, was shocked when she went to the doctor for a yearly check-up only to be sent immediately to Hackensack Hospital -- without much explaining of what was going on.
"It can be a hard process if you don’t have support around you," she said.
"I hope since I'm a teenager that I can connect with other teens and guide them through their own journeys," she said.
Since being diagnosed in July 2016, Matesic has since changed her diet and learned to take better care of herself. She's also had to learn to plan ahead when she's going somewhere, figuring out how much insulin she'll need and how much food she should bring.
Writing "LIfe and Diabetes" has helped her look back at what she went through and realize that she could have had it much worse.
It's also made her more aware of the preciousness of life.
"I'm more cautious of certain things now because I have different risks than others," she said.
"An example would be going to the beach. My body works extra hard to keep cool in the sun and swim in the water, which causes my blood sugar to go down.
"I have to worry about bringing enough food on the beach in case of a low blood sugar. This means carrying a ginormous beach bag and carrying it everywhere."
And though she admits it's really annoying to no longer just be able to grab her phone and wallet when wants to run out -- now, she needs a backpack filled with supplies -- she's learned she has to do what she has to do in order to stay healthy.
Follow her blog HERE . She plans on writing every week or so though with school starting in September --she's a junior at Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township -- she admits she may not write as frequently as she'd like.
Said Matesic: "It 's been a huge learning curve and I’m still learning every day. The blog has helped me come to grips with everything and I’m thankful I can share my experiences with others."
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