Lucia lives in Scarborough with her mum Liz, stepdad Ralph, brother Oscar and step-siblings Walter, Delia and Abi. The 11-year-old is a Year 6 student at Kapinara Primary School where she loves being with her friends, dancing, taking part in plays and playing netball.
In her own words …
Age when diagnosed? 10
How do you find managing your Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)? I do feel like I’m still a bit lost in a maze but I know I’m getting closer to understanding what I’m dealing with. Sometimes I feel like the maze is getting bigger and I used to think that I was so unlucky to have a maze this big. But one day, as if I had found one of those magical towers that let you view the whole maze, I realised that I’m not alone and that my maze is actually a lot smaller than others. I climbed down the tower with an all-new approach to diabetes. As injections and tests become more routine, the path to finishing the maze is becoming clearer.
What are the biggest challenges you face having T1D? One would be having to watch people eat stuff that I can’t eat. Even if you know they’re not trying to be mean, it can feel like they’re teasing you. Another thing would be that I get slowed down doing injections and tests before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes it can get so bad that I am just starting dinner after doing my injections and my family or friends have already finished theirs.
How are you finding the CGM trial? I feel like I am more in control and that I can predict my levels more easily and prevent hypos and highs from happening. It’s amazing to see where my insulin kicks in and wears off and how my actions can have a big effect on my levels. It’s also great for my parents and teachers to be able to see my levels.
Is it getting easier to live with T1D? It’s definitely getting easier and I am grateful for that. As the injections are becoming more routine, they are easier to cope with. It’s still hard and I know it’s going to stay hard for a while but I am willing to trek through this storm, knowing there are sunny skies beyond. Sometimes the storm can be overwhelming and I feel like I will never get through but I remind myself that other people’s storms are foggier and worse than mine. I am lucky that I only have Type 1 Diabetes.
Do you feel like your family and friends understand? Yes, I feel like my friends in my class understand because sometimes I have a hypo or high during class and do whatever I have to do. As for my family, my Mum and Dad are pretty much on top of it but my siblings are still not perfect with it.
What message would you say to someone just diagnosed with T1D? What you’re about to go through is going to be tough. It's going to be a big wave and it's not going to be easy getting above that.I’ve had diabetes for more than a year and I still haven’t gotten to the top and I know from experience that you will get dumped more than once. But you’re not the only one. There are so many other people getting dumped by the same wave but it’s up to you to keep going. To pull yourself up and take another breath. The more you fail to pull yourself back up after a dump, the more you’ll get dumped over and over again. Never stop trying to keep your head high. I know that if we really try hard, we will make it.
Above: Lucia in hospital for treatment and below, with singer Delta Goodrem.