Fifteen year-old swimmer Michelle Martinez has been swimming competitively for the last three years but in addition to the proper swimming technique she has something else she focuses on twenty four hours a day, her type 1 diabetes.
Michelle was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 8 years old after passing out, completely out of the blue. When she arrived at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, she was pumped with fluids for roughly 4-5 hours. Her blood sugar was 600, which is extremely high and very dangerous. That fateful day has forever changed Michelle as diabetes effects everything in her life, from how she thinks, to how she acts, and how she eats. However, through it all she maintains an extremely positive attitude when it comes to life. Michelle views type 1 diabetes as being a significant assist in her eating healthier and she believes she never would have without being diagnosed so young. Also, it has impacted her entire family and the commitment they have to their health, as Michelle is one of five children in her family.
The daily commitment to managing her type 1 diabetes doesn’t just fall only on her shoulders, as it is an entire family commitment. Besides the importance of having a healthy diet to keep her blood glucose at a good level throughout the day, it has an impact of time and money on the Martinez family. Michelle and her family have spent many hours driving to doctor’s appointments in Orlando over the last seven years.
Michelle’s positive attitude on life has impacted her work ethic as well. While living with type 1 diabetes has caused her to work significantly harder than the others, she also says that it has made her stronger than others at her age. This strength is paying off in her passion to swim competitively. Michelle came to the Team Hyro4 swim team knowing she could further her swimming craft by training with the best coaches and team. The team has welcomed her with open arms and Michelle says she has had an amazing time growing as a swimmer and person with Team Hydro4. Her biggest accomplishment so far is her competing at the 4A FHSAA 400 free relay.
As part of her ongoing diabetes management, Michelle always keeps her glucose tablets near the pool and her coaches are well aware of her type 1 diabetes. Michelle mentions that controlling her diabetes is a lifestyle and she is thriving. She won’t let it get in the way of her life’s goals, including being the CEO of a company one day. Michelle is proof that being diagnosed with diabetes is something that shouldn’t be viewed as a hindrance in life, but a lifestyle and commitment to being the best you can be.