Beverly and I have known each other for a long time and now we are close. She is a brave, empathic woman who lives with Diabetes type one.

I invited her to be part my photography documentary series on rare and chronic diseases, so she can create awareness of the most common complication in type one diabetes, which is death.

Beverly was diagnosed with Type one Diabetes when she was just a teenager. Type One Diabetes (TD1) also known as juvenile diabetes, is a form of diabetes in which very little or no insulin is produced by the pancreas. The classic symptoms are frequent urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, and weight loss. Additional symptoms may include blurry vision, tiredness, and poor wound healing. The underlying mechanism involves an autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes can be distinguished from type 2 by testing for the presence of autoantibodies because it is an autoimmune disease .There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Treatment with insulin is required for survival.

Insulin therapy is usually given by injection just under the skin but can also be delivered by an insulin pump.

Complications of relatively rapid onset include diabetic ketoacidosis and nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Long-term complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, foot ulcers and damage to the eyes. People with type 1 diabetes are at higher risk for other autoimmune diseases, such as autoimmune thyroid disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. About 6 percent of people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease, but in most cases there are no digestive symptoms or are mistakenly attributed to poor control of diabetes, gastroparesis or diabetic neuropathy. In most cases, celiac disease is diagnosed after onset of type 1 diabetes.

The association of celiac disease with type 1 diabetes increases the risk of complications, such as retinopathy and mortality. Type 1 diabetes is associated with alopecia areata (AA).Diabetes is often managed by a number of health care providers including a dietitian, nurse educator, eye doctor, endocrinologist, and podiatrist.

Worldwide, high blood glucose kills about 3.4 million people annually, and about 12 percent of people with type 1 diabetes have clinical depression.

Beverly is in her forties, she lives independent with her sweetheart dog Dave with who she has a strong connection and who motivates her to fight in her daily struggles with the condition. She is currently sick and not working but she hopes to be able to go back to her part-time job soon as a hospitality Theater host which she loves doing. She needs to have a very healthy disciplined lifestyle and the determination to be able to handle the schedule and management she needs to survive.

She visits the hospital weekly and has professional support. She loves walking in nature with her dog, gardening, learning Spanish with duo-lingo, socializing and doing her craft that she calls her art therapy.

With this portrait she wants to let the public know about Type One Diabetes so she can help younger people who have the same discriminatory issues, not getting hired for work or being judged by people with a lack of knowledge. Information is very important because without it, it damages people with the condition. She invites people not to dismiss any chronic diseases as nothing just because you lucky enough not to have one. Be kind to someone who is living with a chronic condition.

With regard to the difficult sides( injections, fatigue, pain, depression) and the frustration and loneliness she doesn’t feel herself understood. She is determined to enjoy her life as much as she can, because every minute is precious, starting with the small things that they can still have and do with the Type One Diabetes.

I write a poem for every project to explain the concept of the story. Here below is the poem about Beverley entitled: “A Noble Soul”.


Beverley is a highly sensitive woman with a big heart,
because of her empathy.
She lives on her own with Dave
her lovely bulldog with who she has strong connections,
it motivates her fighting
her every day battle with Type One Diabetes.

She needs to be very determined
with her disciplined life.
If she walks on the street with Dave,
She has to carry always honey with her
for the hypoglycaemic,
She checks her blood glucose many times a day,
And the insulin injection will come after.

If you take a look in her house,
you can find a lot different types of medications
and holistic methods
because of the other chronic conditions,
that brings Type One Diabetes,
as neuropathy, celiac disease and fatigue.
She has hair loss as other people with her condition.

Her life with T1D gives her a lot of stress and frustration,
because she was often discriminated against and doesn’t feel understood.
Many people like her develop Depression thanks to their sensitivity
and the hard life of having the disease.
Specially people with T1D can die young
and every year many of them die.
No matter the heavy sides of her condition
and no support from her family,
She can still see light on her path
due to the job she loves in a Theater,
Dave and her craft work which helps
her calm down her stress;
and the pleasing time she has
with friends who understand her very well
because they have a chronic condition too.

Lees HIER Beverley's verhaal EEN NOBELE ZIEL in het Nederlands