Maggie Callahan and Haleigh Morris: Instagram Influencers (@t1dgirls)

 

Today we had an opportunity to have both Maggie and Haleigh on the Gluconfidence Podcast to share their story about being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 12, balancing life with blood sugar, their perspective on technology as it relates to diabetes management, and their busy lives while living with T1.  Maggie and Haleigh maintain great attitudes and outlook while pursuing their goals and active lifestyles, and also share their advice for those who are newly diagnosed.

Maggie and Haleigh were both diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes when they were 12, although they were both from different families and didn’t meet each other until they were in high school. Now, they both run the Type 1 Girls Instagram account, @t1DGirls.

Maggie and Haleigh’s Type-1 diabetes diagnosis stories are different, yet somewhat related.

They both grew up in Kentucky and studied at Eastern Kentucky University, EKU.

Haleigh was in seventh grade when she was diagnosed. She had returned from a leadership conference when her parents, upon seeing how much weight she had lost, took her to the hospital.

The sudden reality that she had Type-1 diabetes was hard on Haleigh, and for six months she didn’t tell anyone outside of her family that she was a Type-1 diabetic. She was unsure how to handle the situation, but with time she opened up and began sharing her story with others.

Meanwhile, for Maggie, her diagnosis was preceded by the classic diabetes symptoms. She had lost 15 pounds and was drinking so much water that she got tired of it.

Maggie’s diagnosis to acceptance journey was different than Haleigh’s. The endocrinologist gave Maggie and her parents a few days to accept the reality of the diagnosis before their education started. She was not admitted on that day.

Haleigh’s story was different from Maggie’s, and she stayed in the hospital for days after her diagnosis. Haleigh said she was angry when she was not given the food she wanted in the hospital, even though she was very hungry.

Maggie did not open up about her diabetes because she didn’t want people asking her questions.

While Maggie was quiet about having Type-1 diagnosis, Haleigh was more open about it in high school.

Maggie’s parents were a bit scared about her going to college, but since EKU’s college campus was not too far from their home, they felt a little more comfortable with Maggie leaving home for college. On Haleigh’s part, her house was also very close to EKU, so there was no fuss or raised concerns from her parents.

Maggie would love to see more mental health support for people diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes and believes that there isn’t enough attention given to the mental health of people diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes.

Haleigh would love a consistent medication that would keep blood sugar stable all day, so that people living with Type-1 diabetes don’t have to regularly check their blood sugar levels.

They both believe that people living with Type-1 diabetes should surround themselves with people who understand what they’re going through and are empathetic to and supportive of their situation.

Maggie advises that people diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes should take control of their health from the beginning.