My Type 1 Diabetes and Greek Life

WRITTEN BY: Ally Magee

The moment I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I was scared instantly. I thought no, it can’t be me … I’m not diabetic. I was diagnosed during a routine cheerleading physical, and it took almost a year to truly diagnose me. I was told by my endocrinologist “I’ll never see you again, have a great college life,” I thought it was too good to be true. The next day, I received a call that said I was definitely Type 1 diabetic. I had to go the following day for a doctor’s appointment, nutrition class and training. It was such a surprise and caught by accident. I had absolutely no symptoms and never became sick. I was diagnosed the summer before my senior year. I never imagined this happening; I was absolutely terrified of needles, and I sat in my nutrition appointment on the first day for an hour because I would not give myself a saline shot. I heard many people say “you can’t be diabetic, your tiny” or “you probably got diabetes from eating too much candy.” Those were words that irritated me beyond belief (and still do). It was so insanely hard for me to transition, but I can honestly say it has made me stronger, and I have more self-confidence. During my senior year, I knew college was fast approaching and I knew I needed to be involved, so I decided to go through formal recruitment. I was really nervous because of my diabetes, but I knew I would be fine because of my extremely supportive friends and family.

I decided it would be best to live at home for my first year and commute until my blood sugar was better controlled. I knew I had to find my home on campus. The first day of recruitment approached fast, and everyone was nervous. Everyone carried a small purse, but I had to have all of my necessities. I tried to keep my bag in the shade since the medications were not supposed to get hot. Going through recruitment is one of the most stressful, but amazing experiences.

I wound up finding my home at Alpha Delta Pi. They were so beyond welcoming, and running home to them on Bid Day was one of the best feelings. You would think having 160 new sisters couldn’t get any better? Well it did, two weeks after Bid day I was at the house and was approached by a sister named Nealy. At the time, I didn’t know her, but she introduced herself and told me she was also diabetic. During big/little reveal at our Beta Beta Chapter, Alpha Delta Pi wears white t-shirts, and we cover our hands in blue paint.  You then run into each other’s arms, and paint goes everywhere.

The second I realized it was Nealy I was beyond happy. She quickly introduced me to my Grand Big, Emily. Since then, we have learned we have the same major, and also have a class together!! We do our homework together every week, and we also attended an event for another sorority on campus that’s philanthropy is JDRF and finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The bond and connection we have is so unreal, we plan to see Nick Jonas next time on tour. We even talked about downloading Dexcom share so we can see each other’s blood sugars. I highly recommend anyone that needs a home away from home to go through recruitment. You will meet SO many new people, and gain so much confidence. I love having 160 sisters to encourage me when I am down. Nealy and I can share being sisters as well as our highs and lows in this crazy diabetes roller coaster. You can also text any sister and just tell them to come meet you for lunch, or just come and hangout. I am beyond thankful to have so many new sisters that are supportive. I would never change anything about the life I am living today. I have become so passionate about my love for Alpha Delta Pi and fighting Type 1 diabetes.

Ally Magee

Ally Magee was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on July 16, 2015. She was 17 years old. She's from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is a freshman at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.