"Samantha Project" - Samantha's Personal Statement
Samantha's Personal Cover Statement Spring 2013
My name is Samantha I am 22years old. I was diagnosed with type I diabetes at the age of 9. My diabetes and overall health was in a terrible state all throughout the period I lived in Illinois. I was in and out of the hospital many times with severe high and low blood sugars. This back and forth mismanagement of my diabetes was only the beginning of my struggle to live a healthy life. Doctor visits proved to be a nightmare. Payment was always their first priority and difficult for my mother on her own. I was sent to hospital regularly. My hemoglobin A1c levels (3 month average blood sugar levels) were rarely below >14 for the first 7 years after being diagnosed with diabetes. Upon entering high school in Chicago my mother was offered a job in Canada with her company.
We arrived in Toronto in February 2006. Shortly after I enrolled in school and was given an OHIP card. The first couple of months I lived in Ontario my diabetes began to change in the most positive way. I began attending the Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre (CHBC) where I was given diabetes counselling, nutrition information and supplies regularly. In the first year of my living in Canada, my diabetes improved. My A1c levels began dropping and the importance of managing my diabetes finally became clear to me. I had a new found support from dietitians, counselors and the entire staff at the Centre. During monthly doctor visits I became more eager to learn tips and advice on diabetes management. With each visit the doctor and staff always put my health first and showed real concern for my well being.
The improvements I made with my diabetes are a product of the quality medical care I received in Ontario and most importantly the supervision and support my mother and I accessed from the CHBD Centre. My HGA1c dropped from 13-14 to 8, my blood sugars reached healthy consistent levels, I received upgraded glucose meters and my primary health recovered. For the time I have been living in Canada, I have drastically improved my health in every aspect including diet, diabetes control and management, lifestyle choices and my relationship with my mother. In addition, I have graduated from secondary school and have been accepted to York University. Unfortunately my mother was let go from her position in early 2011 which ultimately lead to us losing our status in Canada and me losing my healthcare coverage this past year. As a result of this, I have had to deny multiple acceptances to university as I cannot afford international tuition costs for they are triple the Canadian cost. In addition to this I have lost the right to an OSAP loan leaving me to finance my tuition on my own. Although I am facing many difficult situations, I can still say my diabetes control continues to improve thanks to the CHBD Centre. I continue receiving necessary diabetes supplies and medical care from the wonderful staff there. If provided with the funds for my education I will obtain my student visa and pursue global political studies along with environmental studies. I aspire to attend university with the goal of working for the United Nations. Whatever path I do take, I intend to make the investment worthwhile for myself and whoever is willing to help.
If unable to attend university in the following year, I will continue looking after my health as well as working to earn enough for tuition to attend Canadian university to stay close to my mother and diabetes health care support. It may take a long time before I am able to afford my studies, but I am nonetheless willing to do whatever it takes to go to university. Education will play a vital role in my future success and I must do what it takes. Thanks.
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- Catherine Emmerson
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