I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just before I started second grade, back in 1986. I played with Barbie dolls, colored countless coloring books with my box of Crayola 96 (sharpener in the back), and sported a messy ponytail as often as my mom would allow.
But my life also included dozens of plastic bags filled with orange-capped syringes. And black meter cases that zipped up the side and held my glucose meter. And small vials of bandaid-scented insulin. My childhood was colorful and fun and just like every other kids’, but there were some dreary bits of diabetes management as a running thread.
I wish there had been things like this to hold my meter in when I was growing up with type 1 – because these meter cases are awesome:
This meter case was created by Kyrra Richards, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007. I think it is GORGEOUS. After her diagnosis, Kyrra created Myabetic – a specialty store stocked with playful and cool glucose meter cases. She sent me a few of her meter cases to review here on SUM, and she also offered to share a little bit of her story.
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Kerri: Hey Kyrra! What’s your diabetes story?
Kyrra from Myabetic: I grew up as a dancer and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after returning home from a dance tour in Afghanistan. I had been performing for the troops at military bases and realized that I was out-eating soldiers in the dining facilities. After guzzling down 24 water bottles in a day and a half, I finally went to the doctor and received my diagnosis just before my 25th birthday. I began the endless cycle of doctor appointments, lab tests, educator meetings, and waiting rooms. The physical changes were frustrating, but the emotional obstacles proved to be even more challenging. I created Myabetic as a way to cope constructively with my diabetes.
Kerri: How do you think that Myabetic can help make a difference for people with diabetes? What gap are you guys filling?
Kyrra from Myabetic: Myabetic was founded because I felt a need to personalize health management. Although diabetes is a constant struggle, we have the opportunity to take control of our treatment. Upon my diagnosis, I lacked the motivation and self-worth to properly care for my condition. Using the standard-issue nylon case only made me feel more ‘sick.’ I personalize so much of my life – my cell phone, computer, license plate – why not do it with healthcare? We are all strong, unique individuals, and I wanted our daily testing accessories to reflect our personalities.
Kerri: What made you want to become more involved in the diabetes community?
Kyrra from Myabetic: The most rewarding aspect of Myabetic has been the opportunity to contribute to our supportive, accepting community. People with diabetes are passionate and strong! It’s time that our accessories and equipment make us feel the same way. I love carrying around our cases and am excited to share our products with everyone. I know they can make a difference and bring smiles to healthy faces. (Especially since I jumped for joy when my diabetes educator gave me a bunch of purple lancets – it’s the little things…)
Kerri: If people want to find out more about your products, or want to order a meter case for themselves, how can they get in touch with you?
Kyrra from Myabetic: We currently have cases for men, women, and children available on our website, Myabetic. We would love to have everyone become a fan of Myabetic on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter. Check out the Community section of our website to find the links. Also, if anyone would like to contact me directly, my email address is krichards (at) myabetic.com.
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Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us, Kyrra! And in the interests of full disclosure (also known as TMI), I’m sending the free samples I’ve received from Kyrra onward to some very kind readers who have reached out over the years. One good turn, right?
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*