Get to know Type One Summit Speaker, Tia Bravery
We recently caught up with T1D summit speaker, Tia Bravery, to chat about her journey with type 1 diabetes, how she manages her T1D while leading an active and busy lifestyle, and her hopes for the future of T1D. Let’s dive in!
How long have you been living with T1D?
I have lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly 15 years now. I was diagnosed when I was 14 and was very lucky to have had such an incredible health care team and family and friend support. My paediatrician said to me from diagnosis that “you know your diabetes best – we learn from you”. This empowerment has always helped me navigate the ups and downs that come with having a chronic condition.
Has the way you managed the disease changed much in that time?
When I was first diagnosed, I started on multiple daily injections and had to check my glucose levels 8-12 times a day using a finger pricker and blood glucose reader, recorded in a paper book before and after meals.
There’s been some amazing advancements since then. I remember when flash glucose monitors were first available which I used for about a year, as well as moving to an insulin pump for around the same time which meant I could try a new insulin delivery system. I loved the freedom I got from using these together – not having to calibrate and knowing that alarms would go off to alert me, my friends, family, and colleagues if my glucose levels were changing.
Then I found out about the Omnipod DASH® System coming to Australia last year and thought I would give it a go – I wanted to try different management systems and technology to figure out which worked best for me. Personally, this was one of the best decisions I made. The Omnipod DASH® System gives me great accuracy with basal rates, bolus rates (seriously who can do the maths of corrections and carbohydrates/fats/proteins!), and the flexibility to set temporary basal rates when doing activities like exercise.
Even not having to remember to do a long-acting insulin needle at night has been much easier for me. I really appreciate the health benefits I’ve seen, and I also love that my health practitioners can access my data from anywhere in case something needs to be addressed quickly.
These are just a few of my favourite freedoms I have, and it has simplified my life!
What are some things you love doing, and how do you make them possible while living with T1D?
My lifestyle is really active and busy, and I always make sure I look after the mental health aspects of having a chronic condition too. I love running and group fitness classes like TRX and boxing. I am about to compete in a wellbeing competition called “Miss Fit Bikini Model 2022”, and I’m training for the Noosa half marathon and the 30km Kokoda Sunshine Coast trek this year.
I love setting these health and fitness challenges for myself as I want to be a role model and show that having type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to hold you back. I have an amazing health care team including my diabetes educator, endocrinologist, psychologist, and dietitian who all support me to achieve my goals while managing my T1D well.
In my down time, I just love spending quality time with my friends, exploring, experiencing new things, and enjoying life. It’s important to make time for the small things as well as the big!
What is your best piece of advice for the T1D community?
Type 1 is a part of our lives, and you know your type 1 best. Some T1D options and even some health practitioners might not work for you, and that’s okay – but it’s important to find management and support systems that does work for you. And if you need help, ask for it. I would never wish Type 1 on anyone, but I am so grateful for the person it has made me become.
What is your hope for the future of T1D?
My hope is that no person with type 1 or those around them ever feel unsupported.
I would love for there to be a cure one day, and in the meantime, I hope awareness around T1D increases and that management options, like continuous glucose monitors, pumps, and the Omnipod DASH® System are more accessible for everyone.
I hope that everyone with T1D knows that although we can’t prevent or cure it yet – it doesn’t have to hold us back. We are amazing and can achieve the things we want to.
We loved learning about Tia’s story and hope you did too.
You can see more of her story and journey with T1D at her Instagram.
If you are interested in learning more about the Omnipod DASH® Insulin Management System, click here!
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