Pei Yan Heng, Singapore

My diabetes journey started (not-so-subtly) in 1996, when I caught a group of ants hanging out in my toilet. At the time, I knew nothing about diabetes or its symptoms. After a C-peptide test confirmed a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, I hated daily injections and was lazy about testing my blood glucose, and I hated revealing my condition to people around me. Today, I am open about my condition and I no longer hide my diabetes from the world.

The opportunity to meet new friends in the global diabetes community brought me out of my comfort zone and into diabetes advocacy. I participated in diabetes youth camps, initially as a participant and eventually as a camp leader and volunteer. I also represented the Association of Diabetes Educators (Singapore) at the IDF Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme. I currently run the Singapore Diabetes Online Community (SGDoc) Facebook group, an online platform for people with diabetes in Singapore to connect with each other.

I chose to be part of the Beta Change team because changing the diabetes community cannot be done alone. Partners and stakeholders must collaborate and cooperate to address the needs and concerns of the diabetes community. Anyone can be an advocate for change, and Beta Change is here to facilitate synergy among diabetes organisations seeking that change.

Beyond my endeavors involving my malfunctioning pancreas, I am a full-time mathematics and physics teacher. I am also involved in marine conservation projects and surveys in Singapore, such as photographing and blogging about marine life in our intertidal and subtidal areas (which involves a lot of scuba diving!). I play the violin and belong to a string orchestra group. I love taking selfies with Conus, my insulin pump, in various our various adventures.

Follow Pei Yan’s pump on Facebook, check out her blog, and follow her on Twitter.