McCall: Living with this Disease has Shaped My Life

My name is McCall Salinas. If you’ve read this blog before, you may remember my article from last year. You also might have heard Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014’s, story or read her amazing book, where she mentions me (you can purchase her book here: I am a big part of Sierra’s life, and she is a big part of mine. Sierra is the reason I have my insulin pump and I have had some incredible experiences because of her.


Quick recap on my life with diabetes: I was diagnosed on September 30th, 2011 at the age of 9. I was terrified. I had no clue how much my life was about to change. It took a full month before I was able to give myself my own shots but after a while it just became a “new normal” for me. I met Sierra in July 2014 at the Miss Idaho pageant and she instantly became my new best friend. She asked me where my insulin pump was and I told her I didn’t have one because I was afraid of what people might think of me. She made the decision right then and there to wear her pump onstage at the pageant to show not only me, but diabetics around the world, that it’s ok to be different. I received my insulin pump in September of that year, three years after my diagnosis. It changed my life as a diabetic. It brought down my A1C and changed how I took care of myself completely. If you are considering a pump, I HIGHLY recommend it!

Speaking of pumps…I had a bit of crazy year with mine! While pumps can be very helpful, like any technology, there will be difficulties. Over the summer, I was attending my family reunion in McCall, Idaho and my pump stopped working! I kept getting an altitude alarm. We called customer support and we fixed the problem for a little while but they ended up having to send me a new pump! I got the replacement, set it up and went about as usual. Well then about two weeks ago, the back button on my replacement pump stopped working! So, once again, I was sent replacement pump #2 and so far so good! *Knock on wood*

Diabetes sucks. We all know that. It’s a terrible disease. We all know that. However, through all the highs and lows, the past five years have turned me into the person I am today.  Living with this disease has shaped my life and opened so many doors for me. I was given the opportunity to travel to New York City and be a guest on the Dr. Oz show, I’ve been able to attend summer camps for kids with diabetes, and I’ve made new friendships that will last a lifetime. So, while this disease is absolutely horrible, and eating tabs at 2am when you have a low is anything but fun, it’s my life, and I must live with it. Whether I like it or not.

                Xoxo- McCall “Mac” Salinas

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