A source of inspiration
Testimonial of Silas Fritsch
Diagnosed at 7 years old
At what age did you receive your diagnosis?
May 12, 2015, I was 7 years old.
Do you remember how you felt at that exact moment?
At first, no one told me it was going to be for my entire life. I had no idea. It took me about a week to learn that. It was mostly worry. It was very new. I spent a lot of time in the hospital. I didn’t really understand what was going on because I was quite young.
At school, do your friends understand your condition?
Have you ever faced any prejudices?
Prejudices have always been there and still are, and the prejudice is that most people don’t understand the difference between type 1 and type 2. Most people will say “Silas you ate too much sugar, you didn’t pay attention to your health” or false things like that. In the beginning, when I came back to school, my mother came to school for the first two weeks every lunchtime to inject me, to give me my insulin.
Did you know what diabetes was?
As I explained it to my friends but myself, at first I had difficulty explaining it. Now all my friends know it very well and I even have diabetic friends from the camp too. My friends from the camp I still see them.
Did you have stress, fear, frustration?
I didn’t really spend my dinners with my friends. I went to my house or my mother came to school. Sure, I felt different for the first few months, but after I started to become more independent over the years, now I can do everything my friends do with them without a problem. /p>
Did you understand what was going on?
Throughout my primary, I always had lunchboxes my parents made and they put a little label in my lunchbox that told me how many carbs it had. Now I make my own lunch box and in the morning I do the same thing, I calculate my carbohydrates.
Did you understand what was going on?
If I’m in school going, I’ll take my medications, inject me with insulin depending on whether I’m hypo, whether I’m hyper. I’m independent enough to do that (to handle hypo and hyper attacks
Did you have to change your activities?
For the first two-three year olds, yes. It took two years, after being diagnosed, before I was able to do my first sleep over, sleeping over at a friend’s house. But now, not at all, I do a lot of activities with my friends because I became independent. It took a while, but now I do everything my friends do. I have a lot of freedom with that.
How many times have you been to Camp Carowanis?
I’ve been to camp 6 times.
What do you like most about Camp Carowanis?
I think it’s pretty much the same thing for all the diabetics who go there, it’s every time we’re there, we see everyone again we know and we see that we are really not the only ones. Because outside of my camp life and my camp friends, I don’t know anyone else who has type 1 so every time I’m at camp it’s a reminder that there’s there are plenty of others with the same condition as you and it’s always fun.
Have you made any new friends?
Yes and I see them outside the camp.
Did you learn anything?
Lots of stuff over the years. Now I’m on an insulin pump, but before when I was still on an injection, that’s when I injected myself for the first time. After that, two years later, that’s where I put my first catheter on my own for the first time. I learned a lot about diabetes management and techniques, a lot of techniques to simplify the catheter change or a lot of techniques that make everyday life with diabetes easier.
If you had one thing to say, a moment to a child who has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, what would it be?
From here it only gets better.
Maintenant, comment te sens-tu face au diabète ?
I think it took a good 5 years before I started to really see the bright side of things. Now, it’s been a long time since I had a negative thought about diabetes since it has become so encompassed in my life that it has become like brushing your teeth for example. It’s part of me, and if I hadn’t had diabetes, there would have been a lot of friends that I wouldn’t have right now, a lot of people that I like that I wouldn’t know, so I see the positive side most of the time.
At Fred’s, we are inspired by the strength and resilience of our type 1 diabetic youth who share their stories and adventures with us. These young people inspire us to work towards a brighter future for all those living with type 1 diabetes. That’s why we are dedicated to supporting and advocating for our t1d youth through our foundation. We invite you to join us in this mission by making a donation and getting involved in our efforts to empower and support our t1d youth.
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of these amazing individuals.