‘I definitely say diabetes boosts my confidence level sometimes’: Moultrie teen uses her condition to bring awareness

"Have faith in your future, because it does get easier.”
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:00 PM EDT
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MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - A teen from Moultrie is not letting her diabetes get in the way of living her life.

“I always try to celebrate it because another year of conquering diabetes. Because it is a lot to take care of, and it’s just nice to celebrate all of my accomplishments over the years. Taking care of my diabetes and keeping my body healthy,” said Alaina Riley, a Colquitt County High School student type 1 diabetic, said.

Riley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 6-year-old. May 20 marked her “Diaversary”-- making it ten years of living with this disease.

The pump you see many diabetics wearing is called an Omnipod. Riley said she feels like hiding it hinders her confidence.

“When people ask you questions you have to be like, ‘oh yes, I am diabetic,’ and it’s hard to do that sometimes. And also, I have an outgoing personality and I’ve always been a little confident. I definitely say diabetes boosts my confidence level sometimes. Definitely, as you can see, I wear my pump sites out for people to see them. Some people wouldn’t do that, but I do,” Riley said.

One way she has coped is by being a voice to the voiceless. She expresses her journey through the power of social media.

“It’s definitely a lot to cope with and some of my successes. I would definitely say is this Instagram account I’ve used it spread awareness and advocate for myself. That’s one of my proudest moments in diabetes. I don’t know, sometimes diabetes gets really stressful. You have to grow into this lifestyle, and it’s taken me some years to get used to it,” Riley said.

Riley has one message for those dealing with type 1 diabetes.

“People have told me, ‘Alaina, you make diabetes your personality trait.’ I try to make it my personality trait because I don’t know. Have faith in your future, because it does get easier,” Riley said.

Aliana hopes her Instagram will grow to educate and empower a community of people with diabetes.