New Canaan, Connecticut
My name is Ashley Dunnam and I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I was diagnosed in July of 2008, at the age of eight, and am living my life with a positive attitude. When people ask me: "What is it like to be a diabetic?" I tell them: "I'm just a normal kid." (I really don't like people to treat me differently or "special" because of my disease.)
Having diabetes is a lot of work and a big responsibility. I take good care of myself by eating right, exercising regularly, monitoring my numbers, and going for routine checkups. I know that by taking care of myself, I will have less complications now and in the future.
Why do I want to stop diabetes? It's simple. I wouldn't have to poke myself with needles 10-12 times a day. But more importantly, so people wouldn't have to suffer any more!
It would make me so happy if more people learned about diabetes. This way they could help those in need. My mother says that: "raising awareness is a powerful tool". The more educated that people are about the disease, the more support you'll get.
Ashley is a 4th grader who loves to swim, takes dance class, enjoys art projects and is also a cheerleader. The New Canaan community rallied around Ashley and her family for last year's StepOut: Walk to Fight Diabetes with 400 walkers participating on Ashley's team (Ashley's Army) and raising more than $45,000.