More than my diagnosis: Native Nevadan hopes to inspire others with type 1 diabetes

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 6:07 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -November is ‘National Diabetes Awareness’ month and one local Nevadan hopes to inspire others with the same condition.

“With my diagnosis, I always tell people i was beneficial in my eyes to get diabetes at a younger age because i don’t remember life without it,” said diabetes advocate Wes Fullmer.

He was only five years old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.

Diabetes Advocate Wes Fullmer
Diabetes Advocate Wes Fullmer(Wes Fullmer)

A couple years after Fullmer’s diagnosis, his dad also became diagnosed with type one diabetes.

“Which is actually pretty rare, type 1 diabetes use to be called juvenile diabetes because it does happen more in children but my dad was diagnosed at 36 years old,” explained Fullmer. "So he’s a living example that type 1 diabetes can come to anyone then a few years after that my sister was diagnosed at 3 years old.

Fullmer, now 21 years old and in college wanted to show others diabetes isn’t just a life sentence but just an adjustment.

“When I first got diabetes I had to give insulin shots anywhere from 8 to 14 times a day and that was really hard to do as a five year old,” added Fuller. “Now I wear an insulin pump where I type in some numbers and it does it for me.”

With an active voice in the Nevada Diabetes Association, he’s spearheading a teen leadership camp through the organization by teaching kids on how to live with diabetes in a positive way.

“That’s something I benefited from as a kid was attending these camps and really getting that education that I needed to realize that this disease isn’t something that was the end of my life,” said Fullmer.

Dealing with his own and family’s diagnosis has pushed him to pursue a future career in the medical field, highlighting the journey with diabetes has shown him the sweeter side of life.

“My career goals are eventually to go into an emergency room hopefully for kids and get my certified diabetes educator license to able to educate newly diagnosed individuals on what diabetes is,” added Fullmer. “Live your life, achieve your dreams because diabetes doesn’t stop anyone from doing anything.”

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