WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – “I was four and a half years old when I was diagnosed with type 1 so I don’t really remember a point of my life where I didn’t have diabetes,” says Annabelle Doyle who is not afraid to speak out.
Another reason she’s vocal? Her older brother also has type 1 diabetes.
“Everyone at my school kinda knows what it is in some capacity where I’ll talk to other kids and people will make fun of them for having a pump on them or confuse it with type 1 or type 2,” says the 16-year-old.
In July, Doyle took her advocacy to the next level representing Connecticut at the 2023 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Children’s Congress in Washington D.C.
“It was a ton of fun,” she says. “We talked with Senator Chris Murphy and the office of Dick Blumenthal,” says Doyle who also participated in discussions about fighting for lower insulin prices.
She met peers from all over who shared experiences with type 1 diabetes.
“I’d be sitting just at a table and my omnipod would go off and everybody around me would start looking at their phone, seeing if it was them, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is crazy,'” she says, referring to her insulin pump.
The disease doesn’t stop Doyle from having a busy, active life.
“No, it doesn’t, I don’t let it. I let it stay on the back burner,” she says, noting that she loves to surf, sing, knit and crochet.
She actually sells small items online to support JDRF. Doyle does it all for progress, advances in research and possibly even a cure.
“That’s why I love advocating because it kind of just gets people to know what it is and see the background of it and what’s really necessary to make some changes for it,” said Doyle.
This coming summer, Doyle is headed to Alaska with ten other teens – who all have type 1 diabetes – thanks to an effort called Riding on Insulin.