“I grew up in a Polynesian family where it was normal for your parents and older family members to have Diabetes, but I didn’t think I would be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at 22 years old. Initially I was ashamed to tell anyone, because I was worried that people would automatically label me as lazy. With time I realised that I shouldn’t be reluctant to tell other people, as I might be able to help others and prevent other young people from getting to my stage.

A few years before I was diagnosed I had been to see a doctor and knew that I might be at risk of Diabetes, but I wish I was told the harsh truth then – that if I was not serious about my health I would be heading that way sooner rather than later.

My life now is very different to how it was three years ago. I still have the occasional cheat day, but I have ditched most of the fizzy drinks and takeaways, I am more active and more cautious about what I eat. A positive is that I now step outside of my comfort zone, explore new territories and seek opportunities every day.

Yes, my Diabetes affects all the decisions I make in my life but it does not define me – I am more than just that.”

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