Taya and Mya break down the stigma of type 1 diabetes

National Diabetes Week is celebrated annually across Australia to raise awareness about all types of diabetes. This year, the ‘Heads Up on Diabetes’ theme focuses on the image, stigma and mental health of those with diabetes.

To help break this stigma, we spoke to Alan, father to 13-year-old Taya and 10-year-old Mya. Both girls suffer from type 1 diabetes, and truly embrace what it means to work hard and be yourself.

Taya was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three. Since then, she has always competed and excelled in sports, both in school curriculum activities and beyond. Taya has qualified for state athletics for the last five years and competes in multiple events per year. She has also participated in netball, basketball, AFL and dancing.

Despite keeping an active lifestyle, type 1 diabetes never leaves the families’ side.

“You are always battling with it. Taya has had it since she was three, so she has never second guessed what she has needed to do,” said Alan.

“Taya and Mya are able to achieve what they can through sheer hard work. They take care of their diabetes to ensure they can do what other kids can do – things like bike riding, having fun, going out and trying something new.”

“Mya has only just been diagnosed, so she used to look at her big sister doing the hard work, and now she is doing the same thing.”

Just like her older sister, Mya is also a superstar on the track. She most recently became a Victorian state athletics silver medallist in the 1100 metre walk.

“They don’t let anything get in their way and nothing stops them from doing what they want. Kids can do anything. We do a lot of hard work behind the scenes, but the girls love what they do and have fun doing it.”

At one stage, Taya was using an insulin pump and never shied away from showing it. She was never scared or embarrassed to show the people around her what she was on, helping break down the stigma associated with type 1 diabetes.

“It is a team effort between the kids and the parents. The kids are able to do all the sport they do by us as parents having the knowledge to support their recovery, making sure their bloods and nutrition are in check. If you have this part balanced out and ensure their health is always a priority – you can do anything you want.”

“Being a parent to children with type 1 diabetes is a constant fight. There are always ups and downs and days with struggles, but we have a good foundation and put in the work. Sport is something we all love and make the time to do.”

Despite the challenges of type 1 diabetes, these fearless young girls prove anything is possible.

For more information on diabetes, please visit https://bit.ly/36E5hGb

5 comments for “Taya and Mya break down the stigma of type 1 diabetes”

  1. Ainslie

    I have known these precious girls since they were born and to say I’m proud of them is an understatement! Nothing gets in their way and they keep fighting to achieve their goals. Love you both so much – Ains Corey Sammy Skyesie x

    Reply
  2. Liviana and Terry McClure

    As Taya and Mya’s grandparents, we understand the struggle that this disease causes for the girls and take immense pride in their achievements against the odds. The battle is hard on the girls and their parents and makes every achievement even more rewarding. Their smiles at the end of each day portrays their resilience. We love them dearly.

    Reply
  3. Kylie Sorensen

    What else could you say about these two girls other than legends in their own rights. With a ” I can ” attitude and the 24hr support of amazing parents Tay and Mya will not let diabetes get in the way of achieving their goals. We are so proud of the girls and they are definitely positive role models in the world of diabetes. Love you both and we look forward to seeing what your future holds.

    Reply
  4. Hannah McKechnie

    Congratulations on your achievements girls! You are both strong young women and are leading the way in showing other girls how to do things! Keep up the great work. You are both so beautiful inside and out!
    Always be yourselves!
    Love Hannah, Kaven and Stevie

    Reply
  5. Tracey Walker

    Reading stories like these is so uplifting and encouraging. I wish both Taya and Mya all the very best for their bright futures ahead.

    Reply

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