Amir Zand

Although I like diabetes and what it has given me, I would like to see people no longer having to deal with the condition over the next 100 years!

How long have you been living with diabetes?

I've have had a friend called diabetes for a little less than 14 years.

How were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed after experiencing symptoms such as frequent urination and extreme thirst.

Did your diagnosis come as a surprise to you?

Yes! I was just a little kid with a fear of injections that had no idea what diabetes was.

How did your diagnosis affect your family or loved ones?

It has always been tough. It took some time for my family to deal with the new situation. They even tried some traditional treatments. However, we are all happy today.

What are the most important things that have supported your diabetes care?

My family first of all! Your family and the community you live with is always the most important part. My family, like many others in my country, had no specific information about diabetes. My doctor has been another hero in my life. He has prepared me to live happily with my condition. I appreciate him not only for what he's done for me, but also for my country and society.

What has living with diabetes taught you the most?

I've learned to look equally at everyone's problems. Every single person has their own problems. None are more difficult than others. I've learned not to insult people by assuming that they are weak in dealing with their problems.

What has been your lowest point with diabetes?

Unexpected episodes of low blood glucose.

Have you ever experienced issues accessing diabetes medicines, supplies and care?

Sometimes and I've been lucky not to face issues every day. There are always issues to find insulin, blood glucose meters and sensors. Most of my friends have trouble accessing the medicine and supplies they need.

What would you like to see change in diabetes over the next 100 years?

Although I like diabetes and what it has given me, I would like to see people no longer having to deal with the condition over the next 100 years!

What do you think needs to change to improve the lives of people living with diabetes in your country?

Education! Unfortunately, many people with diabetes still avoid using insulin or following the recommended treatments. They have a great number of misconceptions about diabetes and it's very difficult to convince them that they are wrong. They deprive themselves or, even worse, their children of a high-quality life when they can live healthier than most people in our society.

What does the centenary of insulin mean to you?

A century is not a long time when compared to the history of humanity and the world. I am very optimistic for the future when I see the results of the last 100 years!

(Amir's answers to the questions above have been edited for publication on this platform)

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