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Living With Diabetes

Editor's Note: Editor's Note: Lynn Chu lives in Victoria, British Columbia, and enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing and working out at the gym. Her volunteer work has included helping immigrants to learn English.

I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of six. It was 1974.

At first, it was difficult. I had to take an insulin shot everyday and avoid sweet things like candy, chocolate and cake. I had to stay on a diet that consisted of three meals a day, as well as a snack before each meal. It was so hard at that age. many of my friends were able to eat whatever they wanted anytime, while I could only eat goodies when my blood sugar was low! In the end, however, I got use to it.

Being a diabetic was the first challenge I had to face. It was made somewhat easier by the fact I never had any severe health problems like with my heart.

At age nine, my vision started to deteriorate. Initially, I could still read, but I had to use large print books in class, as well as special glasses and magnifiers. These devices were from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, but I didn't know that at the time.

I guess my parents just couldn't tell me what was wrong.

Over the years, my vision got worse. By grade ten, I hardly had any sight left. Optic atrophy, which is the deterioration of the optic nerve, was progressing.

In grade ten, I went to the school for the blind, the W. Ross Macdonald School, in Brantford, Ontario. While there, I learned braille and how to use the white cane. I became more comfortable with being blind.

I participated in sports there, such as baseball, ice skating and gymnastics. Gymnastics was one activity I thought I would never be able to do again, but

I could remember some of the moves from when I had sight. When the teacher said to do certain moves, I could do them. This made it easier to learn new ones.

In 1991, a few students went to New Mexico for the National Games of the Disabled. I won a gold medal for vault and a bronze for floor.

I was amazed I could do something like that. I learned that whatever I wanted to do, I could accomplish it. Today, I know I must be determined to reach my goals. Reaching them might involve obstacles and frustration, but accomplishing what I desire is always a great reward!