Hallo! I am Laolu; I am NOT my Diabetes.
It has taken me a while to decide where to begin my story from and in the end; I choose to start from the middle. To start from the point that has brought me to this point - here. I had for years skirted the issue of who I am and what my purpose on this earth is. I searched my heart and my interests and beliefs and it seemed to elude me. In the meanwhile, I did what was expected of me - went to university, got a law degree, got married, had a child, got a masters degree, had a second child and then Diabetes.
After being bitter and angry and asking ‘why me?’, I remembered that in my core, I am a person who thrives on facts and figures. So I pulled myself up from the boot straps and decided, "This is my body, I determine who or what controls it". So for me this is who I am: Hallo everyone; I am Laolu, I am NOT my diabetes.
I took charge of my diabetes, started a strict diet and exercise regimen, lost 26kg and resolved to ensure no other woman has to go through what I had diabetes. To share the new life I am now live and if I could probably inspire only one person, then I would have served some purpose. I had no idea how to start but I knew that the information I could share would be invaluable. I began to research diabetes and found that so many others were doing a lot to further the cause of finding a cure and in the time being, managing it successfully.
I also realized the shroud of secrecy that surrounds issues relating to health in Nigeria is a more powerful killer than the diseases themselves; so I spoke with friends and family and one very dear friend told me about WorldPulse and the VOF program and I realized that this was a brilliant opportunity to get my voice heard; to ensure that I do not fall into the silence, of keeping this to myself and not sharing what I know with others.
Today, as I prepared to sit down and write this I heard someone say, “Together, each one of us accomplishes more” and I thought ‘this is what the VOF is all about’. Ensuring that many hear about the reality and experience of one person and share in it so that together a change can be made. I am confident to say that in my journey to find ‘me’, I have found many others like me; who live the same life as I do and who are just as determined to end the cycles they live in; just as I am.
My determination is further strengthened by my 21month old daughter. She will grow up to be a woman and I am determined that she be a woman of substance free of all I am to live with now – free from diabetes.