Where can people find out more about you?
What is your title/job/activity?
Healthy Living Reporter, Time Warner Cable News Charlotte
President, Stacey Simms Media – provides broadcast & social media content
Please provide us with a two sentence overview of yourself.
I am an award winning radio & TV broadcaster, voice artist and author. I began writing and speaking about type 1 diabetes after my son was diagnosed at the young age of 23 months.
What age and year were you diagnosed?
My son, Benny, was diagnosed at the age of 23 months in December of 2006.
What type of insulin pump do you use?
He uses the Animas® OneTouch Ping® insulin pump. He started pumping in July 2007 (at 2 ½).
Give us a fun fact about yourself!
I have spent many years in morning TV and radio. That means I spent 13 years with my alarm going off at 3am! The best part of working morning shows is that you see the sunrise every day and they are beautiful. Of course, the worst part is either missing family activities at night and going to bed at 7pm or being exhausted. That’s one reason why I no longer work the early morning shift!
Why did you choose an Animas® insulin pump?
We love the ease of use and amazing customer service. We also liked the meter remote, especially with an active toddler. As our son has grown older, and does more of his own diabetes care, he uses the remote for more discreet bolusing.
Why do you like your job?
I have wanted to be a news broadcaster since I was in 7th grade. I am so lucky to do what I love. I enjoy meeting people and finding creative ways to tell their stories. I’ve always loved knowing and telling! Radio is more fun because it’s a bit looser (and less makeup). But nothing compares to the emotional impact of television.
What was your life like before an insulin pump?
We adjusted to shots pretty quickly, but we found that our caregivers did not. Needles made everyone nervous. Using an insulin pump seemed easier to most people and we were able to make our babysitters and relatives more comfortable with Benny’s care. We very much enjoyed the flexibility and precise dosing that the pump allows, but the biggest impact may have been with our care providers.
What are the main challenges with living with type 1 diabetes?
I think it’s the mental challenge that comes with having to think about almost everything you do. What you eat, how you move, where you’ll be, if you have supplies. It’s a lot of brain time. I worry about burnout as Benny gets older.
What advice would you give to others your age, who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?
Go ahead and cry. It’s a devastating diagnosis. But it’s not the end. Believe it or not, much of this will be become routine and you’ll find yourself with a new, wonderful normal. Don’t hold your child back, don’t live in fear. Take control of your diabetes and don’t let it stop you. And don’t forget to laugh at all the ridiculous that diabetes brings. Like the first time you ask your child, in public, if he’s high or yell at him to come back here – right now! – and eat that cookie before he can play. When you laugh at something, you take away its power. I take diabetes very seriously, but I laugh at it every chance I get.