Molly Meines B’17 reflects on her experience living with diabetes

Amina Khan, Interviewer

Bellarmine has been a part of my life since I was three. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was six years old. The community helped my family significantly during that time and was also there recently to help my dad through his health issue.

When I attended Bellarmine, many teachers already knew that I had diabetes. If I was having a low blood sugar they would let me leave class and grab something from the Lions Den and come back to class. While I was playing sports, I would stop what I was doing and go test my blood, take care of what I needed to and come back when I felt better.

Having diabetes hasn’t always been easy. I felt like I was alone at times and that people looked at me differently when I pulled out my pump to give insulin at lunch or to correct a blood sugar. During my sophomore year, some of my friends and I started a fundraiser called the Hawaiibetics. It was a Bellarmine diabetes awareness walk team that raised money for kids with type 1 diabetes. Then people knew that I was not just Molly Meines,  a girl living with type 1 diabetes and a girl who is not afraid of showing the world that she has diabetes. At that moment, I felt more welcomed into the community and that people now understand why I would leave and come back with snacks from the Lions Den.

My experience at Bellarmine is probably different than most kids. My dad taught and now is the Dean of Students, my aunt teaches there and both my cousins and my brother now go there. I was surrounded by family which really helped with me taking care of diabetes. They checked in with me to make sure that I was checking my blood and that I was over all just taking care of myself.

Bellarmine’s community was so supportive with the fundraiser; we raised over $1000 dollars my junior year. I never felt that I was being held back from doing something because of my diabetes. I always did what I wanted but I also made sure that I was still watching my blood sugars while doing it. Again, Bellarmine’s community was very supportive and helpful whenever I needed help.

A little background on my story:
I was diagnosed when I was six years old, so I’ve had diabetes for 14 years now. Nothing ever comes easy with this disease. I have to test my blood 6-8 times a day and give insulin every time my blood sugar is high or I’m eating. Throughout my life I have had many ups and downs, whether it was my A1C (my average blood sugar), my frequent blood tests, or insulin. I had help from family and friends, some of those friends were from Bellarmine. At that time I was super close with my dad’s basketball team and I remember some of them coming to visit me in the hospital when I was 6. And to this day they still check in on me to see how I am doing.

This past July, I was admitted into the hospital for DKA (diabetic Ketoacidosis). Many people- family and friends from Bellarmine and others- checked in on me. Having this disease is not easy but when you have a support system this big, it becomes a little easier to deal with it.