Stephanie Cesile, Perth, Australia

When diabetes came into my life at age 10, I was lucky to be living in Australia with immediate access to the latest management techniques and technology. Yet, my family and I were lost in the language and uncertainty of type 1 diabetes. With little knowledge and opportunity to meet with diabetes educators during diagnosis, we felt isolated, helpless and disconnected.

Years later, my parents encouraged me to get involved with the diabetes community. What a decision that was! Diabetes camps changed my perspective from being a “diabetic” to a person living life with diabetes, which motivated me to volunteer more frequently. Discovering the social side of diabetes has afforded me endless opportunities, including being a diabetes camp leader in three Australian states, enduring a cycling challenge through Cambodia and Vietnam, and being involved with Diabetes Tasmania, Diabetes Australia and the International Diabetes Federation. My journey in diabetes advocacy continues now with Beta Change.

Beta Change has affirmed my belief as to why diabetes advocacy is so important: risk-taking is never easy, yet creating Beta Change has been nothing but beneficial. We aim to raise awareness of the issues and needs of people living with diabetes rather than the politics that often surrounds making change happen. I’m proud to be part of this team of youthful and powerful change-makers living with diabetes from across the globe.

When I’m wearing my professional hat, I’m a geologist. It rocks! I work in exploration throughout the Pilbara region in the northwest corner of Australia – yes, it’s quite dusty and red! I also love playing soccer (the beautiful game) and going on camping trips to places with nice views.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter.