Students with autoimmune disease hope to eliminate sterotypes

Since sophomore Mason Flynt’s pancreas doesn’t function properly, he needs to have an insulin pump in order to get insulin into his bloodstream.  The insulin then travels to all parts of his body.  This is all due to type 1 diabetes.  November, being Diabetes Awareness Month, is the perfect time to educate others about the symptoms and treatments, according to Flynt.

“It’s typically called juvenile diabetes,” Flynt said, “because it’s a chronic autoimmune disease that you usually get whenever you’re a teenager.”

Flynt has had this ailment for almost two years now.  He wishes to spread awareness in order to educate his fellow classmates and acquaintances.

“Basically, your pancreas fails to produce its own insulin,” Flynt said, “so you have to give yourself insulin like a normal person’s pancreas.”

With a month set aside for education and awareness of the disease, students like Flynt and junior Braydon Byrd, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December 2019, believes the national awareness month is very important in further informing people.

“It helps spread awareness,” Byrd said, “and I try and accomplish that through social media.”

Byrd is tired of people labeling diabetics with untrue descriptions.

“One of the major stereotypes is that all diabetics are lazy and fat,” Byrd said. “Obviously this isn’t true, as a lot of diabetics get it genetically. Another false stereotype is that sugar gives you diabetes. What contributes towards diabetes is what you do with those carbs.”

Flynt is appreciative of diabetes awareness month because he believes it is an opportunity to save lives.

“It means spreading awareness and making sure people know the symptoms and the risks with it,” Flynt said. “If someone ever does have the symptoms, they know they need to get help before it’s too late.”

Lastly, Byrd has a message of advice for fellow students and colleagues.

“If you ever meet another diabetic person, don’t think of them as lazy or such,” Byrd said, “It’s a very difficult disease to manage. You essentially have to be your own organ and respond as such 24/7, so the best advice I have is to not judge and stereotype.”