Allison Ryan was your normal high school student. Involved in choir, show choir, jazz choir, drama club, and church groups, she was a very active student. She was dance captain of River City Rhythm and found ways to be a leadership figure in her other extra curricular activities as well. Allison was about halfway through her junior year when she found out news that changed her life.

On January 4, 2016, Allison was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Being a teenager with diabetes changed everything. She had to begin to plan her every meal. Where most teenagers can go out with their friends and binge eat, Allison now has to plan out everything she eats ahead of time.

“I was mad. I was angry that this was happening to me, especially during show choir season. I couldn’t believe it,” says Allison.

A lot has changed for Allison since she found out this news. When she is doing a lot of physical work, such as show choir, her blood sugars drop. She has to plan out the meals she eats before rehearsal and sometimes has to step out during rehearsal to check her levels or treat a blood sugar low. For Allison, planning out meal times is extremely hard, in addition to the emotional fatigue. There’s always a battle to fight for Allison. High and low blood sugars affect attitude, behavior, attention spans, and so much more.

“I love that she doesn’t let diabetes dictate what she can or can’t do. She even went with the choir to China and Orlando. Yes, it was and is really hard and tiring to manage diabetes, but overall she remained very positive about it,” says Allison’s brother, Jonathan Ryan.

Allison has had incredible support from her friends and family through her journey. Keep Allison and all of the other people battling diabetes in your mind during National Diabetes month.