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Sophia Binici

Type 1 Diabetes Success Story

Sophia Binici was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 12½ years old. At first she struggled with accepting her diagnosis and all of the changes that came along with it. Today she believes her experience with diabetes brought out her strengths and shaped her into the person she's become.

In November of 2019, Sophia celebrated 12 years of living with diabetes.  In high school she proved T1D has no limitations by becoming the first girl in her school’s history to play and score points for the varsity football team. “It was a challenge to manage my blood sugars,” she remembers. “I would run from football practice straight to ballet class.”  

Sophia remained active throughout her college career at Elon University by earning a minor in dance while juggling biology classes, working and volunteering. In her spare time, she coordinated the annual JDRF One Walk on campus, and also taught nutrition and healthy cooking classes at a local senior center.

She spent 10 summers at the camps for children with diabetes run by the Barton Center for Diabetes Education in Oxford and Charlton, Massachusetts. She started as a camper and became a counselor, health care team member and eventually part of their administrative team. Camp taught Sophia how to be more confident in herself while living with diabetes, become a stronger leader and it inspired her to one day work in pediatric diabetes. She loves being a role model to younger children with diabetes and “watching kids gain the confidence to try new things, whether it’s trying a new injection site or learning to change their site all by themselves.” 

The best friends in her life have all come from working at the Barton Center camps. They motivate each other to take care of their health and manage diabetes properly. Outside of camp, they hang out throughout the year and support one another. They each have diverse interests but are united by their shared experiences with diabetes.

After college Sophia began working at UMass Chan Medical School as a clinical research assistant. Her goal is to become a pediatric endocrinologist or diabetes educator so she can help children through the challenges of growing up with diabetes.

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