Voting Platform: This is Diabetes

Thank you for helping us choose the winners of the Photo and Art Competition, This is Diabetes, This is Real.

Nearly 150 images were submitted to raise diabetes awareness across the globe! This year's competition focused on seeking submissions that capture the genuine challenges and day-to-day realities faced by diabetes patients. Looking for raw, unfiltered emotions that people with diabetes encounter. Whether it’s the burdens, day-to-day struggles, proud moments or triumphs.

As you pick your favourite images, please remember to read the artists’ explanations of their work and consider these three key factors:
1. The connection to the IDF’s theme “Access to Diabetes Care” and real life with diabetes
2. How well the artist told their story through the artwork.
3. The creativity and appeal of the artwork itself.

How to Vote

This website will allow you to select and vote for 3 images.

1. To vote click 'Select' button by the entry of your choice. It will add it to the Your Winning Picks below.

To remove the image simply click the "X" sign below it.

2. In order to submit your vote you are required to enter your valid company email address in the email input and select your location.

You can vote only once.

The voting closes on 7th November (11:59:59 pm Pacific Day Time) and winners will be announced on 14th November at and on Ascensia's social media channels.

Your Winning Picks

Choose your winning entry from the table below


Choose your winning entry from the table below


Choose your winning entry from the table below


The search for balance
Diabetes is all about balance. You may experience highs and lows, you may be provided with the tools and the knowledge to navigate through it and stay afloat...but you may fall and get hurt sometimes. Some waves will be bigger than others, some will be predictable and some will be sudden. Even when your legs hurt and you feel exhausted, you still have to push through and stay on your board, hoping for waves easier to surf.
The Circuit of Life
In a world where technology and biology intertwine, there exists a unique circuit - the Circuit of Life. This circuit is not made of silicon and wires, but of insulin, blood glucose meters, and an insulin pump. It’s a lifeline for those living with diabetes, a testament to their daily battles and victories. At the heart of the circuit is insulin, the life-saving hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It flows through the circuit like electricity, powering the body’s cells and keeping the system in balance. The blood glucose meter and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) are the sensors of this circuit. They provide real-time feedback, allowing for adjustments and fine-tuning. They’re the eyes in a world that can sometimes feel blind. An insulin pump, discreet yet essential, delivers insulin to the body. It’s a constant companion for many with diabetes, a symbol of their resilience. And finally, a red drop represents a blood glucose result. It’s a beacon of control amidst the uncertainty, a sign that despite the challenges, good glucose control is achievable. This circuit is more than just components; it’s a representation of life with diabetes. It’s about access to care in real life - the struggles, the triumphs, and everything in between. And while it may be hard for those not living with diabetes to fully understand, this image offers a glimpse into that reality.
Real Life Diabetes Care: A Connected Journey
Anupama, a middle-aged Indian woman with type 1 diabetes, starts her day by checking her blood glucose levels with her meter to calibrate her Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). After a breakfast of an apple, she uses her insulin pump to administer insulin. Her insulin pump, glucose meter, and CGM are all synced to her Android phone or smartwatch, providing consistent readings. These devices form an interconnected system that Anupama can control entirely through her phone or watch, helping her manage her diabetes throughout the day.
During my photography education I made a photo report about diabetes, the feeling of hypo and hyper, the consequences, the things you have to deal with, etc. This is one of the pictures I took.
Battle all life
Diabetes is a battle all life. It is full with ups and downs, but even if we are tired, we have to fight because it’s battle for our live.
Rising High and Overcoming Lows
As the title of this year’s theme says – Access to Diabetes care in the real world, my poster tries to reflect the real world challenges for people all around the world living with Diabetes. As a person living with Type 1 diabetes myself, I have understood the finer nuances of this chronic condition and tried to encapsulate the many aspects of living with diabetes on which our care is dependent. The title of my story is : Rising High and Overcoming Lows People come from various backgrounds and ethnicity, different countries and economic backgrounds too. Getting access to diabetes care includes good medical advice, right and timely diagnosis, affordability of treatment, awareness and education, right nutrition and exercise, diabetes technology tools and community support. We, as a community, need to unite to share more and create awareness so that we can all rise above the numbers, drive away stigma, improve mental health and not get caught in the web of these lows. We will overcome our challenges, have improved time-in-range and rise higher than all the aspects of care put together. This will be our real success and freedom from Diabetes.
Every populations is concerned by this disease, it is something that can reliable between all the country, ethnicity, without discrimination. I wanted to make a painting that bring the humanity together, to support each other and help the research to make progress to help the patients and the people concerned more. the diagnostic is often by measuring the blood glycemy through the finger, that is why i wanted to depict multiple hand holding each other, trying to reach every one and making a all. my grand ma was concerned by the diabetes, and my all family and i are proned to get it at anytime so i am really sensibilized by this cause, that can touched everybody from the two types. we need to raise the awareness and prevent people at our best to get hurt with the excess of sugar our the non access to healthcare. Best regards
Diabetes Access throughout Indonesia
Celebrating Minister of Health Regulations No 33 Year 2023 regarding Hospital Ships Indonesia as maritime country consists of 17,000 islands and rank 5th with 19,5 million people with diabetes The availability of hospital ships enable healthcare access for people with diabetes in small islands
Never Alone
My uncle has diabetes, and I've witnessed his day-to-day struggles for many years. He needs to plan everything around his illness, from what he eats, to how he travels. He often feels isolated dealing with this chronic issue, and sometimes thinks he's a burden to his loved ones. I wanted to create an artwork to show people dealing with this condition that they're seen and heard and are never alone.
There is a spring after every winter
I tried to draw a tree and the four seasons in my picture. When I think of diabetes, this image comes to mind, symbolizing the challenges and beauty of the four seasons for me. Winter is the gloom of coldness; Spring is a season when I feel the peace of greenery. In this drawing, I also thought of myself as a tree, representing the four seasons and reflecting my diabetes. Because in my opinion, diabetes is a chronic disease that has both difficulties and benefits. Living with diabetes is difficult. What may be ordinary for others can become challenging for individuals with diabetes. Living with uncertainty about the future in terms of health and people expecting you to adjust to this situation can be frustrating. There are beauties as well as difficulties. These difficulties are maturing you. I owe the current me to my diabetes. No one will be able to see diabetes when they first look at this picture, just like people can't see diabetes when they look at me. The more you examine the picture, the more it makes sense. So are we; At first glance, our diabetes is not visible, it is not considered important. Our environment sees diabetes as ordinary and simple. The tree often meets the challenges of the season on its own. Sometimes a branch of the tree may break, but it doesn't mean the tree has died. The tree will rejuvenate, and a new branch will sprout. When spring comes, that branch will blossom. It's the same for me with diabetes. It may have direct or indirect negative effects on me. I also know that I will not experience winter just once. As long as the tree exists, it will continuously experience the four seasons. But another thing I know is that "there is a spring after every winter." If we've had a breakdown, it's time to laugh. I'm sending hugs to all diabetics from here.
It is real and there is help
It's life changing news with emotions and with fear As the simple indulgence surrounding you is now hard for your body to bear You have sunk so deep that you have given up who you are But help now reaches out, not from a distance, not from far.
spoons out of reach
"Access to Diabetes Care in real life" I thought long if I could enter an artwork. In Germany we are very privileged in the access to Diabetes Care. I didn't want to use a point of view that I had no understanding in because it is not my reality. So I thought about what is in the way of accessing diabetes care even if finance is not a topic and came to the idea of my artwork "spoons out of reach". It is based on the spoon theory by Christine Miserandino which describes that the amount of energy one has is limited. Especially with a disability one has to think about what to use the limited amount of spoons for. With diabetes type one it is the additional phone calls with doctors and insurance, the extra appointments, the thinking forward, trying to be prepared all the time, lows and highs and many more things that cost extra spoons - physically and mentally. We can't count on doctors to be informed over the technologies and we can't count on the insurance to pay it. We have to be informed and we have to argue over moths to get that sensor or pump we dream of. Sometimes it seems to be just out of reach. We have to invest a lot of spoons in the access to diabetes care.
Crossing borders for diabetes care
6 years ago I came to Belgium for an internship...and I stayed. At the time in my home country, Poland, I was not able to access the diabetes care that I needed. I had to pay for insulin and all the equipment that from the perspective of Western Europe, could be considered ancient. I feel privileged to be able to move within the EU freely and access one of the best diabetes care systems in Europe. I was finally able to get the treatment that I needed to control my diabetes well. The 13 test strips symbolize the 1300 km I travelled from Poland to Belgium. It was tricky to learn all about the local healthcare system and diabetes care, but I managed to do it all alone! Now, I am helping other PWDs who are coming to Belgium to work or study, as I know how overwhelming it is to come to a different country with diabetes.
Diabetic Breakfast
DIABETIC BREAKFAST Hi everyone! My name is Sara Novi, I’m a 21 years old girl from Italy, I’m an animation student at Nemo Academy (Florence), and this is my project: “Diabetic Breakfast”. As I said I’m Italian so I’m previously sorry for my language mistake! Two weeks ago marked my anniversary as a diabetic person: 10 years with my disease. A decade. It’s a huge amount of time, I’m close to a life where diabetes is more present than not. The most challenging thing in my everyday life so far is been numbers: I always say that being diabetic is like doing math 24/7. Numbers for insuline, blood sugar, carbohydrates count, diabetic glycate. Even a very easy and normal thing as having breakfast, for us is not so easy at all: we have to do a lot to “gain” a meal. My project started with a visual board and some brainstorming: I took some medical stuff as insuline pens, needles, glucose stripes, and I took pictures. Photography is always been a passion of mine and a way to research inspiration for my illustration. I wanted to understand the beating point of my story: what I wanted to tell you? Then a specific picture I took, captured my attention (I on't know hw to upload it here :c ). It's a fake breakfast set with a bowl full of needles and stripes, a little cup full of sugar and two insuline pens as spoons. The P.O.V. of a diabetic person in front of his breakfast. Like a “lens”, a reality distortion, where the “real world” is influenced by the disease. Then I started sketching, and my illustration “DIABETIC BREAKFAST” just came out. A girl, with a confused and little bit frightened look, is observing her bowl: lots of different numbers are floating from down there over her head. Her hands are huge, with a sort of “fish eye” effect , to create a kind of “disturbing” perception. She’s holding a fork and a insuline pen: those are the things that she needs to eat a proper meal. Proportions are weird because I wanted to create a surreal atmosphere: it’s seems like a dream (or maybe more a nightmare) but it’s all concrete for us. It’s our reality! I just wanted to capture a moment, a very little peace of our everyday life, with the thing I love the most: art. I think this is a situation where a lots of diabetic people can identify in, and I hope to make people feel understood and seen. Even a small thing like a meal for us can be a struggle, but we’re not wrong for that… we’re just humans trying living the best with a very uncomfortable unplanned partner for life: diabetes. Thankyou so much for reading, lots of love, Sara <3
Fall seven times stand eight times
story of the image is a diabetic patient .without insulin and medication they are the dark side .if they use there meds nd take care our self nothing can change their life to enjoy... Never lose hope
Motívate a creer en ti
Esta imagen es un autorretrato que representa los cambios y retos a los que tuve que enfrentarme a mis 18 años al ser diagnosticada con DT1. Fue todo muy rápido, sin ser prediabética o al menos saberlo un día desperté en el hospital y toda mi vida era completamente nueva, incluso tuve que aprender a caminar con uno de mis pies adormecido, lo cual duró meses, en un principio me culpaba y dudaba de mi capacidad para mantenerme sana, sin embargo, quería aprender hábitos sanos y todo lo que me había conducido a ese punto (cetoacidosis), tristemente no contaba con una orientación médica para aprender a administrarme insulina o utilizar un glucómetro, este periodo atravesó la pandemia en 2020 y espero que ese fuese el motivo de no tener un acompañamiento, sin embargo, es importante para mí que esto no le siga sucediendo a más personas ya que fue un proceso mucho más difícil por el sentimiento de estar caminando sola sobre una cuerda floja y fue hasta dos años después cuando la EPS me envió videos para introducirme al mundo de la diabetes, considero que la educación sobre esta condición es muy necesaria, ya que cae una enorme carga sobre el paciente que ahora piensa que debe sostener el solo su cuerpo y programarlo de manera manual a diario, esto resulta bastante agotador pero al ser consiente y querer hacer las cosas bien resulta gratificante, ya que aprendes a amar tu cuerpo, cuidarlo y así mismo se genera un sentimiento en ti de querer educar a más personas para que puedan hacerlo.
Quiet, Heavy Hypo
In my twenty years of diabetes, I have found hypos generally fall into two categories. The traumatic, fast-paced, 'red' hypos are the ones that often draw the most attention, but it is the second kind that seems to become the larger challenge in my diabetes management. These are the quiet hypos, the slow creeping heaviness and disconnect between myself and my body, myself and the world. To appear perfectly fine while quietly slipping into a world of distortion and danger. Here I sit, trapped in my hypo bubble and quietly suffocating under the weight of the fall.
I was diagnosed with T1 just over a year ago, a few weeks before my 16th birthday. I've made a lot of art during the year to help me process what I am going through. I made this piece in response to the number of hypos I had in the beginning. It focuses on my hands and how they became my lifeline, telling me what my blood glucose levels were doing. The photographs are all taken in places where I experienced actual hypos. This one shows me sat at the kitchen table. It made me realise right from the start that I need everyday access to diabetes care.
"In this poster design, I attempted to convey that diabetes is not perceived as an illness. In fact, when looked at from a positive perspective, it can also be seen as a divine gift. With a healthy lifestyle and diet, one can both improve their quality of life and effectively cope with the condition. This positive concept is illustrated graphically by utilizing the iconic artwork of Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam.'"
When One Door Shuts, Another Opens
The image is split between a journey of 2 pathways. The right hand side shows a hospital. The male has tried to go into hospital to get help, help with access to diabetes care to better control his diabetes. In front of the hospital is a security guard, the security guard represents a force stopping diabetics having access to the car they need. Things like, Waiting times, cancelled appointments, lack of funding etc. due to the ‘security guard’ this diabetic hasn’t got the access to care he needs and therefore has ended up stopping at the next pathway. Heaven. Hundreds of thousands of diabetics die every year, a lot of the time because of the lack of access to care. This art demonstrates the reality to what happens when a diabetic doesn’t get the correct access to care.
Inner Strength
Diabetes is a lifechanging experience, it can feel intrusive and daunting on first diagnosis. However, I am inspired and admire family members living with this sometimes challenging disease. Their strength, positiveness and living life to the fullest with a happy heart leaves me in awe of their inner strength.
Are they getting the Point?
Moving from Hungary to the UK 7 years ago was an eye opening and life changing experience for me. The difference between the diabetes care I’ve received in each country was huge. It has completely opened up my world. Therefore Earth and space was the foundation of my picture. I wanted to show the reality how different parts of the Earth get different amount of Diabetes support and care. I think of injections, insulin, finger pricks, hospital and medication first when it comes to diabetes care so I’ve picked “insulin injection” - the one if not the most important thing for a Diabetic - as my main action. The red dots ( points) and bruises on the belly are the marks of the injections representing access to diabetes care. The areas with more dots show locations with better access to diabetes.
Highs & Lows
In May of this year, our world changed dramatically when my 13-year-old son, Alex, received a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. This diagnosis marked the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, one filled with challenges, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to maintaining his health. Our journey with Type 1 Diabetes has taught us the value of perseverance, empathy, and the strength that comes from facing adversity as a family. We continue to embrace the infinite loop of blood glucose checks and the daily battle of highs and lows, knowing that it has shaped us into a stronger, more compassionate, and more resilient unit. My submission represents the ongoing cycle of blood glucose checks and the daily struggle with highs and lows as we strive to stay within the target range.
Triumphing Diabetes
Triumphing Diabetes My work seeks to convey a powerful message about the potential to overcome the challenges of diabetes whilst I was participating in an 8 year around the world trip. With the right mindset and preparation you can triumph diabetes and continue to have a normal life. The central character, inspired by a jellybaby, wearing a blood glucose monitor space suit embodies the idea of a resilient spirit, engaged in a deep contemplation amid a world of colourful, diverse communities represented by lancet figures. The characters ascent to the stars on a rocket ship named ‘triumph’, designed based on a finger pricker. This symbolises the limitless possibilities that can be achieved when we approach diabetes management with determination and forward planning, just as I did when travelling from country to country, often in the most basic of places, sometimes without proper refrigeration. The piece reminds us that we can rise above adversity and reach new heights in the face of this condition. Digitally created by Amanda Scorer using Procreate 400 mm x 400 mm
The cost of being normal
The image reflects the reality of having to constantly ensure your blood sugar is normal . The body is covered in bruises which illustrates the on going battle, with insulin needles forming a prison like boarder as diabetes can feel like a life long sentence. The subjects pose as she applies her blood sugar monitor is reminiscent of the WW2 poster ‘we can do it’ which serves to incourage people living with diabetes, acknowledging their strengths and the struggles they face daily.
Empowering Life: The Resilient Journey of a Diabetes Warrior
A person relies on an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring for managing their diabetes through a closed-loop diabetes management app. However, they must be vigilant as an excessively high basal rate can lead to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Despite these daily challenges and constant vigilance, they find triumph in their resilience and the strength to manage their condition effectively.
The theme of ‘Access to Diabetes Care’ is very important to me. In September 2022, I was rushed to hospital. It was sudden, it was scary, and it was diabetes. It was diabetic ketoacidosis, and it changed how my life would function day-to-day. I’m not the same version of myself as I was, but I am a version of myself who is comfortable with her diabetes now. But when I was diagnosed, it felt like I had broken. It felt like the biggest change I would ever have to endure, and it felt like looking into a broken mirror. My art piece reflects those feelings. It is a 108cm x 93cm watercolour and charcoal artwork on cardboard, made up of collaged images from my 3 day hospital stay. I had a dream of studying art at university, and my diagnosis was in the year of my A-Level exams and disrupted my studies, but I knew I would not let my diabetes hold me down. Instead, I let my diabetes lift me up. I let it inspire my artwork at the time, and ‘Diagnosis’ is a celebration of myself, my diabetes and my recovery. It is a celebration of the fact that, although it was scary and in my piece I look somber and scared, I am now burning brighter than I ever imagined I could. ‘Diagnosis’ is a celebration of the steps people take to learn to live again when they are diagnosed with diabetes. It is recognition of the way that people with diabetes feel— the highs and the lows, in multiple senses, the focus on numbers, the struggle to find comfort with yourself. But ‘Diagnosis’ is also hope, it is also a reflection of the person that you can just as easily become again. It is a look back at where you have come from and how you are now. It is a reflection of the first step in a personal journey. I could not have gotten to grow into the person I am without the care that I received. It was life saving treatment, and I always be grateful that it was there for me when I needed it. I am thankful for the care I receive now, a year later, receiving check-ins and appointments from my diabetes team now that I am in university, pursuing my dreams of fine art. I am not sure if I could ever repay all of the people who helped me following my diagnosis. The doctors and nurses at the hospital, my family, my friends. But I hope that they find the person that I am today a ‘thank you’ for what they have done for me, because I dedicate my recovery to them, every day.
(not) hard to notice
(not) hard to notice At first glance you see a woman facing backwards. Then you notice circles that make you take a closer look and suddenly you see lines, cables connected to each other, you don't know exactly where they go, they end with a plaster on the arm and there is also a rectangle. It seems like nothing, but so much, just like with diabetes. It is not visible on a daily basis if you are not aware of it. Each reflected circle is a trace of the injection, the sensor, those successful injections and those less successful, which only leak blood and leave bruises. These lines are decisions that bind us: "should I give less insulin now if I run 1 km more?", "have I taken everything for 3 days to the mountains, or will nothing happen?". "I counted everything correctly, why is my blood sugar rising?" Diabetes in real life is not only a picture of a glucometer, what I constantly try to show on my Instagram, it is decisions, sadness, joy and the feeling that we can do anything at every 100, constant uncertainty whether it will really be good, even though we have so many tools, it is traces that remain on our body and in the mind and they don't leave us, because you can't take a vacation from diabetes, you have to put on another layer, another sign, a circle and keep fighting, in invisible superhero capes, fighting for yourself.
A day in the life with diabetes
After living with diabetes for more than 53 years, I would like to tell my daily story with an illustration. Diabetics all over the world will easily recognize this image, but for the uninitiated this could be a clear representation of what diabetics struggle with every day: keeping blood glucose within safe ranges. The drawing shows a green-striped road that we should walk within the lines as much as possible, this is now called the Time in Range. At the top a random timeline and on the sides the blood glucose values (in mg/dl and on the right in mmol/l). On the road (and also above or below it), all kinds of people walk, hang or lie on their glucose level (the red line): this also differs from person to person and from moment to moment... If the values are high, you do everything you can to get back to the safe path: remove glucose from your body (the backpack), adjust insulin in injections with an insulin pen or pump, etc... Hyperglycemia can cause a lot of thirst, you are tired, ... sometimes you get stuck at the height and you can't get a handle on your glucose levels. In the event of a sharp drop, you may end up in a hypo and it is best to 'sweeten up' as quickly as possible and climb to a value within TIR (Time in Range). An insulin pump or insulin syringe can help with this. At the front of the illustration, among the healthy foods, are foods that we would love to eat in unlimited amounts. The road is sometimes difficult to walk, everyone has their own life, boundaries and needs. Having diabetes is different for each of us: sometimes with many problems or 'bumpy' glucose values. I have also known other times: blood glucose levels could not yet be measured at home, I was treated with insulin from pigs or cows, having diabetes was not easy and there was great ignorance: high and low values alternated and the risk of complications a later period were almost self-evident... Fortunately, medical progress brings more and more light into our lives, depicted in the illustration by the sun. We can now quickly check our blood sugar levels, there is better insulin, pumps and other applications that make our lives easier. This will hopefully lead to the rapid eradication of diabetes in the future! Kind regards Luc Vernimmen
In my mind
My story is much like every single other type 1 diabetic. I was 13 years old, underweight, thirsty, nostalgic, all of the symptoms that made that part of my life so very painful. It has taken so much time to accept the fact after being diagnosed that I may never get rid of this agonizing distressful disease. The story or message that I'm trying to reach to others who don't have to deal with type 1 diabetes, is that for many who deal with it, including myself, it's not this light little thing in our back pocket, but sadly is always heavily on our mind. We as humans like everyone else in life do things easy such as tests, swimming, sitting, talking, running, going through airport security, wearing a tank top, eating, sitting in the sun, absolutely everything, we have this troublesome and irritating disease right up in our face affecting our every move. I embarrassingly tell my teacher I'm not able to participate in gym today because my blood sugar is 3.4 (68) going down, as she can see me close to tears, hands shaking rapidly, sweaty, barely able to speak, and all I can hear from others kids is, "she's fine she just doesn't want to do gym today". I and so many others have heard these hurtful, thoughtless words “your being dramatic”, “just work out then” “all there is to it is sugar” “you got it cause you had too many cokes a day”... makes my (and other type 1’s) blood boil. So why I painted this is to show the true gravity and how many components there just are to this disease. To all those who as well go through it or are new to it please know that yes it absolutely sucks but you will get through it and you are so much stronger, and to those who live life without it please show empathy to them, there are so many disabilities or diseases that life throws at us that we need stand up to, and as well show respect to the ones who go through it. -Ivy Hayward
Diabetes does not define me
Diabetes is a serious disease. After becoming ill with diabetes, life with the disease seems scary. However, life does not end, but you have to learn new ways and learn to live a full life with the disease. Information is constantly increasing and treatment methods are improving. You just have to dare to live healthily and courageously.
No matter what struggles I face daily with being Type 1 Diabetic I don't fear showing off my omnipod and freestyle libre with pride to showcase that I can overcome anything life throws at me. I have hope that one day there will be some form of cure for Type 1 Diabetics.
I was suffering from type 2 diabetes 6 years. I was taken insulin and pills daily. So decided to have gastric sleeve surgery. So after I had another surgery for excess and caught an infection where I had to have another surgery to save my life. But it all started with diabetes
Under the surface
My image is called under the surface because it shows how diabetics are ao much more than numbers . They have a life outside of diabetes and for some people it's hard to realise that. My photos was taken at a track because that is my personal sport . When I was first diagnosed the first question I asked was can I still run . I let diabetes controll my life for a bit and then I realised .Why. why was I doing this it's my life and I need to show diabetes that I own it and it doesn't own me or Controll my life . Yes under the surface I may be numbers but on thr surface I am a fighter . My image also shows how people who don't have access to proper care would be very unknown of all their numbers under the surface while they get worse and worse
I created an art piece called 'Parched' inspired by my journey with Type 1 diabetes. This piece holds deep personal significance for me. The word 'parched' played a pivotal role in my diagnosis – I kept repeating it, catching the attention of my mom, who then tested my blood sugar. It was alarmingly high at 562. The blue circle in my artwork symbolizes Type 1 diabetes. To me, it represents the entirety of what this condition means in my life, both the positive and challenging aspects. I used test strips to form the circle, connecting it to the constant monitoring that's part of managing diabetes. I decided to make the devices on my body pop out in black and white. It's a reflection of my mixed feelings about them – while I'm proud of my Type 1 identity, I sometimes feel insecure about the visibility of these devices. In my artwork, you'll also notice an orange juice, which speaks to the ever-present concern of low blood sugar. Behind me, there's a red line of beads, representing my blood sugar tracking on my Dexcom, including the high and low blood sugar arrows. It embodies the ongoing effort required to keep my blood sugar levels in check. This art piece, 'Parched,' is my way of sharing my unique journey with Type 1 diabetes, capturing the pride, insecurities, and constant vigilance that are part of my daily life.

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