Ava August—A Pop Star in the Making
My name is Ava August. I am a 10-year-old singer/songwriter from Southern California. I live with my mom, dad and older sister Regan. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 4. My mom and I wanted to share my story with all of you in the hopes that I might encourage and inspire others to follow their dreams and passions despite the constant challenges of living with type 1 diabetes.
The day I was diagnosed was a day I will always remember. I had been to a neighbor’s pool party and I was playing and swimming in the pool and most likely singing to myself. My parents say I have been singing, humming, or tapping my feet since I could talk … but more on that later. My mom picked up her cell phone. The doctor was calling. Time seemed to stand still. I watched as a look of deep concern washed over her face. She told me to get out of the pool immediately. We drove straight to the hospital and the rest was a three-day blur of blood test, shots, IV drips, meetings and a lot of crying as my family and I tried to absorb what would be our new normal. As my parents left the hospital, they vowed to not let diabetes dictate my life or interfere with my dreams and passions.
When we got home from the hospital, we learned over time that being prepared was essential. Whenever I leave the house I always bring a bag of supplies: juice, glucose tablets, glucagon, a few snacks and an extra site change. We noticed that my blood sugar would get very high before a singing performance due to an adrenaline rush, so we started testing an hour before to make sure we could make any corrections if needed. We also learned to watch for the low blood sugar to come about an hour after the performance. It seemed like after the adrenaline rush was over, the insulin would finally kick in and my blood sugar would come down too fast.
I have performed at all different times of the day and under different conditions, so you never know what challenges may arise. So much goes on behind the scenes that people not familiar with or living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) realize. I can remember several times my mom had to change my site under less than perfect conditions: public restrooms, the back seat of the car, under a beach towel and behind a park bench. Disaster always seems to hit at the most inconvenient times!
Despite the challenges of diabetes, I have spent the last six years pursuing my passion for singing and songwriting. I have had the privilege of performing the National Anthem at several sporting events, I have started my own Ava August Youtube channel where I post covers of a variety of songs, and I also wrote and recorded my first original song that is now on itunes called “You Let Me Fly.” The song is dedicated to all of the people living with type 1 diabetes. It is about a girl that lets her imagination “fly” her into her dream world for a day without T1D.
My parents let me know from an early age that it is OK to express myself. It’s OK to say I don’t like dealing with this disease day after day and that is how I came up with the lyrics for the song. I imagined a dream world without diabetes with the hope that one day the dream will become a reality. I hope that people can relate to the song. In the future I would like to continue growing as an artist and writing and recording more original songs to share with the world. I would also love to continue to gain more subscribers on my Ava August Youtube channel. My mom and I were so happy to find Beyond Type 1. It has been so great to connect with others living with type 1. I was so excited to find out Nick Jonas was one of the founders! It is so cool to see a singer living his dream and not letting T1D get in his way.
Besides having a passion for singing, I am also a competitive athlete. I play soccer and softball. For this past season, I scored 74 goals and helped my soccer team win the State Cup in our division in 2015! It can be a challenge to manage all of these activities while living with this disease, but it CAN be done. I hope that my story will inspire others to follow their passions and dreams!
Read Living the Dream Despite the Demons by singer/songwriter Crystal Bowersox who came in second on the ninth season of America Idol.