Singer Amelia Lily was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just three-and-a-half years old. Now 17, she was a contestant in the X-Factor, making it all the way through to the live final. Amelia took time out from her busy schedule to talk about her life with diabetes.
My mum had to pin me down
I was only three-and-a-half when I was diagnosed with diabetes and obviously it was a very difficult time because I was so young. I didn't really understand what it was and my mum had to pin me down to give me myinjections. I think a lot of mums who have children with diabetes will appreciate how hard it is to do that to a little girl.
When I was about eight I learnt how to do my own injections. I was very aware even at that age that I couldn't always depend on my parents. One day I would grow up and move out so I would have to learn to do it myself.
My first injection
I remember the first time I did it, standing in the kitchen at home with my mum. She stuck a needle in her belly just to reassure me that it was going to be ok. I did and I was taken out as a treat afterwards. But even then I don't think I really understood the importance of what I was doing.
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.
Checking my levels
Icheck my bloodsall the time. I like to know exactly what my levels are before I go on stage. I'm very lucky with the way my life is turning out but it does mean I need to keep on top of my bloods all the time.
You burn a lot of energy performing on the stage. Singing burns more than a run, so it's important for me to keep myinsulinlevels up. I always make sure I eat and have food in my tummy before I perform.
I believe it's made me stronger
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. It was this strength that helped me cope when I was voted off the show – twice.
My uncle has diabetes. He was diagnosed when he was 14 but I don't know of anyone else in my family who has it. It came completely out of the blue. I used to drink a lot as a child and I was constantly going to the toilet so my mum took me to the doctors for a check up. That's when I was diagnosed.
Diabetes UK recently celebrated 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 was diagnosed type 1 diabetic when I was ten (two months ago). It took about a week for me to eventually go into hospital and it was a very frightening experience. All the doctors and nurses were very nice to me though and they supported me all through the time I was there.
I am now getting used to it but I was disappointed at Easter when I couldn't eat lots of chocolate like I used to. I can't do my injections yet but I do do my finger test. I would like to say a massive thank you to all the people who have supported me and all the other diabetic people."
"When i was diagnosed on the 30-1-2013 the nurses told me to sit down and i didn't know what they meant but i had checked my sugar levels and they were low i had my first injection in hospital and my second and my third i had to eat hospital food three times i hate hospital food!! But i always could inject myself my mum has never helped or injected me yet hopefully she never will. BTW in 12"
"I got diagnosed with diabetes when I was 7. 27/11/2006 was the day my life changed. I remember that I was drinking an awful lot, losing a lot of weight, going to the toilet a lot and I wasn't eating any of my favourite foods as they didn't taste right e.g. pasta, pizza, potatoes, cereal... just anything that was a carbohydrate. So my mum took me to the GP and they said I should go to hospital urgently. Turns out I had diabetes. My dad has it but I didn't make the connection at the time. In hospital I remember having a drip and constant blood tests. I was in there for just over a week. It was hard because I was the only one in my primary school that had had it so they didn't really know what to do. My control has been pretty good so far and now I'm 13.
In secondary school it was easier to deal with as there was already 8/9 diabetics. My control is good and I have never had to be re-admitted to hospital since my diagnosis. My HbA1c has been stable for over a year now. I am a singer myself and I know how much energy it takes up. It surprises you as to how much it does."
"I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 8, I am now nearly 13. I found it hard at first doing the injections, but after about 3-4 months I got used to it. I am now on an insulin pump, it makes my life much easier because I get to eat more freely and it means I can eat more sugary things such as chocolate and sweets. It also means I don't have to inject every time I eat some thing! I love my life with diabetes, now I'm used to it, and some times it can be a pain in the back, but I have my dad to help me through it all!"
"Hi I'm Megan I've been newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, its very scary but the nurses are very nice. I'm 11 love my mummy she spotted it quite early on from when I got it. I find the needles quite scary and it is quite annoying to take them 3-4 of them a day. When I first got doing the injections by my self it scared me but I'm getting used to it.
The 2 main things that worried me first was what food am I going to eat and exercise but I've realised I can do anything I want really. Who should I tell? Was one of my questions but I've realised that none if my friend and family have treated me much different although at the start they were a bit nervous."
"I have to have sadatives to make me weak for my blood test still and gave been diabetics since I was 7 and u am now 14 XD IM ON INSULIN PUMP THERAPY and I hide pumpy in my bra LOL!!!!"
"I have diabetes too when I was 9 and i found it hard and i love to sing but I'm 12 now and I'm thinking about getting a pump."
"Hi my name is orla and I am 7 years old.I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes ecxatly one year ago tomorrow which is 10.11.12.My dad,papa,my grans sister and her husband are all diabetics but me and dad are the only type 1s.The first time I took my insulin by myself I was 6 and not realy scared as I had seen my papa and my dad do it loads of times.When I feel Im having a hypo I feel dizzy,sweaty and hot at the same time,comfuesed,upset and up tight. i have met one girl who is Type 1 at my street dance class but I met loads of kids with it 2 weeks ago when I went to Ayr on a Diabetes UK Family Weekend. It was great! I am now thinking about asking for a pump as I got to see loads of kids even younger than me using them. Having diabetes sometimes worries me but I have people looking after me like my parents and family who make me feel better. x"
"I was just recently diagnosed with type 1, I was peeing and drinking a lot too so I went to my GP & she got me rushed to hospital and I had to stay in there for 3 days whilst they were stabilising my bloods from 42.5 to 15, I found out 23/07/12 & I've dropped my levels to 4.1 already :) but sometimes I just want to just leave it and wish it away, it's horrible & I hate it :( but I've learnt so much about it and I've changed my way of living completely :)"
"I was 7 when I was found with type 1 and I thought I was gonna be over in a week, but guess not :(. It was 25/02/2004 and that date always stays in my head. In November last year I was I'll in hospital with keytoacidosice and I was 1hr away from being in a comcer and it really upset me and my mum because we had never experienced anything like this before and it just shows how much it can effect you:(Love Kelsea x"
"I was diagonised when i was 10 years old in 2012. I am still trying to cope with my condidtion but it is annoying me when my family can just eat but not me because i have to take my blood sugar then have my injection. Sometimes i wish i never had diabetes but it will keep me healthy. I fi wasnt diagonised when i was diagonised i would of been very ill. I used to drink alot then go to the toilet alot then sometimes i used to eat alot. I had to go to the doctors then they found keytoned in my wee so they made me rush up to the hospital. After that i had blood tests then the doctor came to me and said i had diabetes. I had to stay in hospital for 4 days then i went home with all my kit and things. I was really worried but i cope a little bit better."
"Hi, My name is Michelle and i have diabetes too! Im about to turn 18 and a massive x-factor fan! Looking at people like amelia makes me believe that nothing can hold me back, i have just got an amazing job as an administrative trainee and im hoping its going to open many doors for me. Watching amelia on xfactor i would have never guessed she had diabetes but WOW she can sing! Amelia you really are an insparation to loads of us type 1's! Diabetes should never hold anyone back but because its frustrating and a pain in the behind, some people hold themselfs back but seriously if amelia can get to the xfactor final the sky is truley my limit!"