I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during my second week of kindergarten, at the age of five. From that day forward, my life forever changed. My days became consumed by shots, finger pricks, and watching what I ate. Because of my diabetes and the considerable responsibility that came along with it, I matured at an accelerated rate compared to my classmates, and it was hard dealing with the unwanted attention from my diabetes. All I wanted was to fit in.
Growing up, I felt quite alone because I did not know any other diabetics. I used dance, music, and horseback riding as my outlets. After I graduated high school, I moved six hours north of my hometown, Moorpark, to get a fresh start and attend UC Davis.
During my senior year of college, I completed my classwork at Dogs4Diabetics. I will never forget how I felt on the first day of class. Hearing the constant noises of CGM alerts, beeping pumps, test strip bottles, and finger pricks was like music to my ears!
For the first time in my life, I felt like I fit in. I felt “normal” being in a room full of people just like me. I knew I was becoming a part of something special, and I’m still constantly amazed by the dedication of the staff, volunteers, and Canine Training Partners at D4D. Everyone in this organization is committed to improving the lives of diabetics and creating successful partnerships.
I patiently waited for my trial placement, keeping my faith and trusting the D4D staff to pair me with the right dog for me. And they sure did! Rubina has completely changed my life, and it’s hard to put into words everything she has done for me.
While I knew she would help me with my diabetes, I did not realize the impact she would have on every other aspect of my life. With Rubina by my side, I feel like I can reach my true potential. She gives me confidence, not only with my health but with my whole self.
I’ve earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Chemistry and moved to LA to work as a Quality Assurance Chemist at a forensic toxicology laboratory, all with Rubina by my side. As I pursue graduate school and the rest of my forensic career, I know that Rubina and D4D will be there for me. I cannot thank Dogs4Diabetics enough for blessing me with Rubina and the amazing friendships I have made.
Thanks to you all, I have a second chance at life and a new outlook on my diabetes. Dogs4Diabetics is truly a family that every diabetic deserves to experience.
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