A Diagnosis and the Music that Followed

WRITTEN BY: Adrian Milanio

I’ve always been a music aficionado. As a ambitious 17 year old, I had the desire to start writing songs, but couldn’t really figure out how to. I later found out as I got older, that writing songs requires inspiration and a need to tell a story.

The day I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, started my path of becoming a songwriter and performer. I still remember distinctly, going to the hospital, having a deadly 13.7 A1C. It was one overwhelming experience. The doctor explained to me the many adjustments I would have to make to my lifestyle, including the introduction of checking my blood sugar and injecting myself with insulin. Fortunately, I had a great medical team, and a supportive group of friends and family.

Despite this, I couldn’t explain to anyone the amount of dismay I was experiencing. I was of course grateful for the support I had, but felt the frustration of my diagnosis. During my stay at the hospital, I had a lot of opportunities to reflect and think on my own. I listened a lot to this album called “Continuum” by John Mayer. I’m not sure why, but that album resonated to me on a level that made me feel hope in a way I never felt before.

That album was an outlet that helped me process the way I was feeling at that time. In time, I figured out what it took to truly write a song. I had that inspiration and the story to tell because of my Type 1 diabetes. I ended up putting together an album the year following my diagnosis, and have been writing, performing and releasing more music since. Music is something I’ve been able to use to connect with people.

I know that there are people who are listening, that need a “pick me up” and I hope for my music to be that for them. Music has been that for me, and I hope to pay it forward by sharing it with others. As a 20-year-old now, it’s been over 3 years since I’ve been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and I’ve made the most of my time since.

With the support of my family, peers and professors I am graduating in May with a Bachelors of Psychology. I’ve been writing and performing my music nonstop, and will continue to pursue a career in it post graduation. I cannot be more thankful for the opportunity to live a meaningful life so far, with many more, bright years ahead of me.

Listen Adrian’s music here.

Adrian Milanio

Adrian is a college student from Tacoma, Washington. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes around three years ago. His diabetes has inspired him to study Psychology in school, and to perform music. He'll be graduating this May, and plans on sharing his music everywhere.