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Hailey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of six.  Her symptoms included excessive thirst, frequent urination and bad breath.  Her Kindergarten teacher thought she was “taking advantage” when she went to the bathroom ten times in one day.  Her body ached and she was constantly exhausted.  On October 10, 2006 Hailey’s pediatrician sent her to the ER. 

Click Here to read an essay that Hailey wrote about her diagnosis.  She describes in her own words, the events leading up to it as well as the three days she spent at the UMass Pediatric Diabetes Care Center, receiving a slew of tests and the news that would forever change her life.

Today, her personal goals for the future provide self-motivation to take care of her own health. She looks forward to someday getting married, having a family and a good job. 

It is well known that a healthy diet and staying active are keys to diabetes control.  Always a fan of carbs, Hailey knows that people with diabetes should eat more fruit and veggies.  “When watermelon, strawberries and oranges are in season, I stock up and enjoy them!”    

She also realizes that exercise is much easier when it’s fun.  Hailey enjoys running and playing rugby. “I’m more productive at both when I have better control of my numbers.”, she said.  Her Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) gives her confidence that during a game she will receive plenty of warning about a potential oncoming low.  She packs her rugby bag with plenty of snacks, just in case.

Hailey recommends developing a relationship with your school nurse.  “My nurse from elementary school was recently my confirmation sponsor. Having her in my life has been such a blessing. She taught me how to take care of myself and has made managing my diabetes so much easier.”

The UMass Pediatric Diabetes Care Team is very important to her.  “They all really care about me as an individual, not just because it's their job.”, says Hailey.  “I know the staff at UMass genuinely wants to see me succeed.”

She has become very good at “guesstimating” with carbs.  “I have a lot of fun guessing what my numbers will be before I check.”, she said.  “I have contests with other diabetics to see who has better numbers, the best A1C or the lowest insulin dose.”

Leslie Soyka, Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at UMass Memorial Healthcare, is very proud of Hailey. “She has consistently worked hard to improve her level of control and has achieved this with the support of her family. Hailey is always a pleasure to see.  She is upbeat and makes friends with everyone in the clinic.  She also has had to manage several other medical issues in addition to T1D and never seems to complain and maintains a positive attitude about her health care.”

Hailey raises money for JDRF through their local fundraising walk.  Her team motto says it all: “Walk with the angels and help find a cure for diabetes”

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