Meet Monica: Young and Active! – AMSL Diabetes


Monica Gardner

Meet Monica: Young and Active!

Monica is not your average 16-year-old. She has been living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for over five years, and during that time, she has gone from strength to strength! An avid gym-goer, Monica enjoys working out and staying fit. She’s also passionate about sharing her story with type 1 diabetes, so we spoke to her about her unique journey.

Q: Tell us a little about you. What hobbies do you enjoy?

I grew up in Alice Springs, which is a story in itself! In 2015, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In early 2020, I moved over to the Fraser Coast in Queensland from Alice Springs which created many opportunities for me to share my experience living with type 1 diabetes, including having my story shared by #beyondtype1 and posts liked by Dexcom. Recently, I also moved out of home and am now living independently and looking after my own finances.

Monica has lived with type 1 diabetes since 2015! Here, she is pictured in the hospital at diagnosis.

Generally, I’d say my lifestyle is quite active. I ride to most places and am a bit of a gym nut. I love the chin up machine, leg press and circuit training with my friend, however as I’m now living out of home now, I’ve had to cut back on the gym and look for alternative ways to keep active. I’m looking forward to getting back into the gym as soon as I can!

Previously when working out at the gym, I let my levels run a little bit higher so that I can avoid a low as I’ve been caught out one too many times having a low and realising I forgot my hypo kit. Having the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology has made being active so much easier.

Monica at the gym wearing her Dexcom G6 and t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology.

Q: Have you always used an insulin pump?

When I was first diagnosed I started on insulin pens, but then quickly moved to the Animas Vibe insulin pump. Now,  I’m using the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology.

Having my sugars directly on my pump saves me so much hassle and uncertainty. I mainly use my pump to see my current Dexcom G6 CGM readings, although I like that I have the option to also have it on my phone* as well.

Generally, I’ve had lots of ups and downs, but overall believe I have had great control, none of which would’ve been possible without the t:slim X2 insulin pump and Dexcom G6.

Monica loves using Dexcom CLARITY to help keep track of her diabetes management.

Q: Speaking of Dexcom, why do you like using Dexcom G6? How has it assisted you?

I like that Dexcom G6 is compatible with my t:slim X2 insulin pump and my new Apple Watch 6*, it’s great. I also love using Dexcom CLARITY, specifically the eA1c^ feature. 2021 has been an incredibly hard year and I used to worry when waiting for my A1c results, but now I don’t have to as I already have a mostly accurate estimate in my mind for my next appointment.

Q: And generally, how do you feel when your glucose levels stay within your target range?

When my levels are in range, I feel amazing. I’m more motivated, awake and overall, I feel better. That’s vital for me, especially coming into 2022 which is my last year of high school. I’m hoping to get a 65 ATAR! I’ll also be getting my Ps (provisional driver’s license) and hopefully getting back into the gym.

Monica pictured in 2015, shortly before her T1D diagnosis. She's about to start her last year of high school!

Q: Your open about your T1D experience online. Why do you think its important to share these stories?

I think it’s important to spread awareness of T1D for a few reasons. Firstly, so many people aren’t aware of what T1D really is and it is often confused or passed off as the same as type 2 diabetes. Secondly, I think it helps other T1D’s know that they aren’t alone in life with T1D.

Monica and her family in July 2021.

Editor’s note: Monica doesn’t let type 1 diabetes hold her back, whether that be from going for a ride or doing circuit training with her friends. She uses the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology and Dexcom G6 CGM to stay on top of her levels so she can get back to living her best life! Way to go Monica!

Wanting to share your personal journey? Join our AMSL Diabetes All Star Program and claim your exclusive AMSL Diabetes All Star kit today at product.amsl.com.au/all-star-program.

Always read the label and use only as directed. Read the warnings available on amsldiabetes.com.au/resources before purchasing. Consult your healthcare professional to see which product is right for you.

*To view a list of compatible smart devices, visit: https://www.dexcom.com/en-AU/compatibility

^Estimated A1C is only an estimate and does not replace the HbA1c test conducted by your healthcare professional. Dexcom CLARITY determines an eA1c as the average glucose from a minimum number of days with a minimum duration of CGM wear time. If “N/A” is displayed here, there is not enough data to estimate A1C.

Testimonial Disclosure
This testimonial relates to an individual’s response to treatment with our products and has been edited to ensure it is consistent with the products’ indication(s). The testimonial does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. Responses to treatment with our products may differ. It is important to consider individual circumstances and consult with your healthcare professional before considering any changes to your diabetes management. Monica Gardner is an AMSL Diabetes All-Star.

Dexcom, Dexcom G6 and Dexcom CLARITY are registered trademarks of Dexcom, Inc in the United States and/or other countries.

“Previously when working out at the gym, I let my levels run a little bit higher while exercising so that I can avoid a low, as I’ve been caught out one too many times having a low and realising I forgot my hypo kit. Having the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology has made being active so much easier in this way.”

Meet Monica: Young and Active!

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