Express Yourself


Throughout November for Diabetes Awareness Month, we called on artists to submit a piece of work that speaks to what life with type 1 diabetes is like. We had so many amazing submissions, and you can see them here on our Pinterest board!

Don’t think just because the competition is over, or because it isn’t November that you shouldn’t get creative though! We encourage all of those affected by type 1 to use art to heal, teach and inspire the world around us—every day of the year.

Check out some of our written submissions, also.


1st Place: Michael Natter

  • Diagnosis date: Sept. 1994
  • Medium: One-touch ultra test strips
  • Artist: Has type 1 diabetes and glue
  • Title: “Calloused Finger Tips” self-portrait
  • LocationPhiladelphia, PA, USA
  • Statement: Over the last 22 years of living with type 1 diabetes I have pricked my finger 40,105 times. Doing that something very powerful happens over time: tiny callouses form—our fingers harden to the pain, they adapt—just as we all have adapted to make diabetes a seamless part of our lives. The test strips are a microcosm of my every day life; however, the beauty is when you step back and no longer see the them, only me.

2nd Place: Josh Cooper

  • Diagnosis date (son): August 9, 2013
  • Medium: One-touch ultra test strips and glue
  • Artist: Father to son with type 1
  • Title: Untitled
  • Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, USA
  • Statement: Before my son’s second birthday, he was diagnosed with type 1. On his first diaversary, I made this by using the blood glucose test strips that he had gone through in that year. We had saved every strip in a drawer. Why? We didn’t know, just hated throwing away something that represented how much our son had gone through.

3rd Place: Camilla Jacobs

  • Diagnosis date: June 2009
  • Medium: Chalk and brick
  • Artist: Mother of child with type 1
  • Title: “Superstar”
  • Location: South Africa
  • Statement: Two weeks after Morgan turned 1 and had her first slice of cake, (a good memory!), she was diagnosed with type 1. Morgan would grow up from that day on with finger pricks, injections and some restrictions, but she would also grow up with love, support and confidence, knowing her own body. She smiles and takes on life with a determination to do good. This chalk picture captures how we feel—Morgan is our superstar!

Staff Pick: Maureen “Mo” Regulinski

moregalia_wings_z_hres-1 moregalia_wings_syringe_dt_hres-1
  • Diagnosis Date: February 1964
  • Medium: Wings, sculpture, women size 12, silk, acetate, 10,000 glucose test strips, 500 insulin syringes, silk, appropriated coat. Retail value of diabetes disposables presented: $10,080
  • Artist: Someone with type 1
  • Title: “Regalia: Wings” from Healing Avatars
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia, USA
  • Statement: Embellished with cuirasses made from thousands of cleaned recycled medical disposables, the feminine attire creates a narrative by portraying the physical, mental and financial impact diabetes has on the body. Like choosing a garment from the wardrobe, individual choice in addressing diabetes is largely left to personal commitment and finance. Each medical disposable element illustrates a premeditated action to assess and modify the body to establish balance and stability in its function.

Submissions were judged by our celebrity panel of artists: video story-teller Neil Greenhouse, street artist Appleton, composer Christopher French and designer Kyrra Richards.

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Please Note: we are requesting permission to republish your submission on our digital channels (such as our website and social media channels), with attribution to you, and without limitation.

WRITTEN BY BT1 Editorial Team, POSTED 10/31/16, UPDATED 12/26/22

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.