X-Factor contestant and Diabetes UK supporter Amelia Lily was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of three-and-a-half. This week Amelia, who is now 17, marked the 90th anniversary of the first successful use of insulin, and spoke of the difference that the drug has made to her life.
In an interview with the Sun newspaper, Amelia said, "This week Diabetes UK are celebrating the 90th anniversary of when the first person with diabetes was successfully treated with insulin. I thank everyone who was involved then and everyone who has worked so hard to make sure diabetics have been in good health since. Without them, I might not have been where I am today."
I believe it's made me stronger
Having been diagnosed at such a young age, Amelia didn’t initially understand about her diabetes, and said that her mum would have to pin her down to inject her insulin. Amelia learnt to do her own injections when she was eight, and it’s now part of her daily routine.
Amelia said, "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard at times and I think any diabetic would agree with me. But it does get easier and it becomes part of your daily routine. You have to stay on the ball to keep yourself healthy.
"I did question myself for years. 'Why me? Why can't I go one day without having to have an injection?' but now I believe it's made me stronger. I think it has helped me to cope with the whole X Factor experience. I had to mature at an early age and I had to learn to be strong."
Amelia now hopes that her example will show other young people and children with diabetes that you can still get out there and follow your dreams.
Amelia will be appearing in the 2012 X-Factor tour, which starts on Saturday 25 February. Find out more, and get your tickets, onthe ITV X-Factor site.