Juvenile Diabetes Foundation

(Maharashtra Chapter)

Success Stories

Who said juvenile diabetics cannot lead successful lives? Doctors, engineers, architects, cricketers, singers, homemakers, parents, travelers, cyclists...the list goes on... Read the success stories of juvenile diabetics within JDF as well as juvenile diabetic celebritites over the world.

Namrata Dhanak


Birth Date: 10/11/1980

Date of Diagnosis: 22/6/1993


The summer holidays of 1993 were difficult. I lost a lot of weight, felt hungry and thirsty all the time, had painful boils and became very irritable. A blood test revealed diabetes. My family was shocked. I couldn’t make much sense of it but I got the impression that diabetes is not a good thing to happen. Elders were worried about future complications – kidney problems, eye damage, difficulty in wound healing, trouble in getting me married. I was scared. I felt my life was ruined and I fervently prayed for a cure.


About 1 month later, I was referred to a specialist, Dr. V.S. Ajgaonkar. I went with my parents, hoping that he would know of a cure. As he went through my reports, he asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As I look back, I feel that question changed my life. I found new hope – that I will grow up normally, that I can be what I want to be. He told me about JDF – a place where several children with Type I diabetes meet and learn about ways to manage diabetes. When I went to JDF for the first time, I was immensely happy to see that I am not alone. There were several people there who had grown up with diabetes and were doing very well in their professions and lives. I met pilots, doctors, journalists, businessmen – people who were diagnosed at 5 or 10 and were absolutely normal. I met a lady who had had diabetes for almost 50 years and is now, not just a mother but a grandmother. There were countless examples of diabetics who were happily married and had non-diabetic children. Any doubts that diabetes will stop me from developing to my fullest potential were erased. I went on to study commercial art and became an entrepreneur, launching my very own design studio at the age of 25.


Having a start-up has been both challenging and rewarding. It includes leading a team, hiring people, managing clients, planning concepts and strategies, ensuring that accounts are in order and chasing clients that don’t pay up and vendors that goof up. As I ran around in several directions, I have always ensured that my health is not compromised.


Doctors at JDF do not merely give us prescriptions – they empower us to manage diabetes ourselves. We are taught to check our blood sugars regularly, eat healthy and exercise. Kids as young as 5 take their insulin injections on their own. Over the past 19 years, I have had a very good rolex replica control. When I take up a rigorous activity like swimming/cycling/dancing, I adjust my insulin dose myself to ensure my sugars stay within range. With me, even my family has learnt to eat a balanced diet. Thanks to diabetes, we are all in good shape!


I believe the first step for every person who is newly diagnosed with diabetes is to accept the facts:


  1. You have to take excellent care of your health. Several advanced technologies are available which will help you in diabetes management. But it is upto you to make the best use of these technologies to ensure that you maintain an HbA1C of < 7%.
  2. If you have well-controlled diabetes, you need not compromise on your dreams. You can pursue the career of your choice and participate in activities you like. Complications happen to those that do not take care of themselves. Otherwise, you are absolutely normal.

Harsh Pandya

Birth date: 24/04/1988

Date of Diagnosis: Somewhere around 20th Nov, 1996

I was a kid; I was in 3rd grade and on my way to Shanku Water Park in Mehsana, in a car with my family. It was somewhere around Diwali that this event took place. The ride was excruciatingly long- Bombay to Mehsana via Ahemadabad. We had everything that was needed for a family to sustain such a trip. Bread-butter-water-roti-sabzi-jam-cheese-thepla-biscuits-more water-cassette player- cassettes, etc. Well, en-route our journey the car was stopped almost every half an hour for 2 minutes. Not because the engine got heated up, nor were there any problems with the car. It was because I had to pee. And pee in gallons for what I used to remember. It was quite weird for this to happen to me, and even stranger for me or any of my family members to realize the actual reason. None the less we carried on thinking it was just the extra intake of water that causing me to urinate so much so frequently.

We finally did reach our destination, Shanku Water Park. Woah..!!! It was I guess the first time I was visiting a water park, and boy it was a delight. The entire day was action packed which obviously made me hungry. So at the days end we sat for our food at the restaurant and that’s when things started to turn ugly. What happened was beyond my understanding, but all I could remember was that the nerves in my body went stiff, I could not eat, my head was spinning, was feeling nauseated and the thought that “Ohh my God, I am gonna puke” filled my head. And puke I did.

I was left pretty weak for the rest of the journey, including the ride back home. On returning my family doctor insisted that we get my check up done immediately. We visited a pathologist who after a few days gave us our report. He said, “Well, he seems fine except for a small glitch. The WBC count is pretty low and there is quite a possibility that he could be a diabetic. I am not authorized to conduct this test but could do it for you.” We had no option but to go for it, the results for which were..well….. You wouldn’t be reading this if that result was negative. I hardly knew what the whole fiasco was all about then, and the same evening my dad took me and my brother for a movie while my mom cried her heart out for what the result stated.

Diabetes!!! What the hell is that..??” I said to myself and my sister, who was then doing here MBBS. It was time for my first blood test and insulin shot. She was called over to of course treat me and convince me that what was to be done, had to be done. That it would be my way of life now. No sweets, no sugar, controlled diet, fixed meal timings, regular exercise, blood test
before every meal, before playing, before sleeping, after waking up, followed by insulin shots; 3 per day!
Well, what could I say? I couldn’t say anything, I didn’t. So I cried.

Click! went the pen, piercing my little finger, and I still cried; a small droplet of blood oozed out which was collected on a strip which after a minute would show my blood sugar level. After which came the main event: the insulin shot! I didn’t know how to inject myself, not at that age when all kids were supposed to do was go to school, eat what they like, when they like, play when they like, sleep when they like; and not worry about what they would eat when their blood levels were not normal. Same for even if they were normal, it didn’t matter. The bottom line was, I had to take that shot whether I liked it or not. So since I was incapable of injecting myself, my mom was taught how to inject for me then. So she wouldn’t know whether it pains or not even though she was technically correct replique montre in what she was doing! And it was the most painful shot that I had, which rang a buzz of pain forcing me to cry louder. And then I kept crying and cried to a point that I fell asleep, wishing it was all just a bad dream.

It was not hard at first to manage with all the new routine, just for the reason because it was confusing! Yes! All I knew was that I had to eat on time, eat food specially prepared for me and hence the entire family, food consulted by doctors as to how to prepare them, check blood sugar, take insulin, keep a Diabetic ID card with me at all times along with sugar and biscuits.
I didn’t question what I was doing, or what I would do with a situation like this, how would I manage myself, how would it affect my lifestyle, career or vulnerability to do things. Lucky I was to attend a JDF winter camp the next month itself where some of these confusions got clear. There were other kids too at that camp, of all ages, who were diabetic and seeing them imbibed with feeling that I was not alone. I even self-injected myself for the first time then,which filled me with a different confidence thinking that "If I can inject myself without a hitch at this age, then I can do anything that a normal being can!"

Yes, additional care was taken initially that nothing serious would happen to me when I went for school picnics or small treks or participate in some major events. Teachers and close friends around were informed of my situation and also how to go about if at all anything happens. But I slowly learned to accept what I had and make the most of what it would provide. And it provided me with a lot of opportunities to challenge myself, to test myself, to push the limit. There is nothing normal kids can do which I cannot. In fact, I do it better than them.

Sketch by Harsh Pandya

7th grade – attended a 15 day military training camp at Raigad Military School.
Gold Medalist - Rifle Shooting
Participant in countless Poster Competitions, intra and inter school.
10th Grade - 12 day Himalayan trek with friends and cousins.
11th grade – participated in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon – Dream run, and raised funds worth 60,000/- for JDF.
2 times Junior college Carom Champion, Jai Hind College of Science.
Post 12th, admission in Architecture; which is said to be the toughest Undergrad course (no kidding!)
May – June 2010 - 30 day single travelling through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and many such trips of smaller scale throughout India with friends and family.
Winner/ runners up of many inter school tournaments including sports like football, chess, table tennis, volley ball, carom.
Awarded Sportsman of the Year 2011-12, School of Architecture.
Active member of the CEPT Musik Club. Instrument of choice : Drums, djembe.


Bhishma Trivedi

Date of Birth: 24 May, 1989

Date of Diagnosis: 1991


I am glad to be writing as an example to boost the morale of all those who have recently been diagnosed, who are still fearing the life ahead of them, and who are still wondering “why me” and “why am I not living a free, happy life like the rest.” Well, I am too a juvenile diabetic, and I have had it since the time I loved mango bites and éclairs. Of course, it is hard to imagine someone with diabetes to be leading a very content life.

You should know that I have been living alone in the maximum city, the city o’ dreams, Mumbai, for the last one year. There is no one to tell me “C’mon beta, eat your dinner” or “Hey Bhishma, here’s your tea.” There is no one to ask me “Are you fine or not.”

 May 14, 2011 was the first day I joined the huge swarm of the so-called strugglers in Mumbai. I came here from Bhavnagar, Gujarat, to pursue Sound Engineering after graduating Bachelors in Computer Applications.

It was never easy to reset your entire schedule or way of living, especially as a diabetic. I did try my best to maintain my blood glucose level, and I inevitably faced so many challenges: I would go into hypoglycemia during lectures and even during a live recording where I obviously couldn’t afford to take a break to treat it. Such episodes so petrified me that I would monitor my blood sugar 8–9 times a day.

Still, such similar experiences made me learn different things about taking care of my health over the last year.

It would be hard to believe that in the last year, I enjoyed complete meals outdoors only 3–4 times. And, exactly 8 is the number of times I have had the Indian burger, vada pav.

When I moved to Mumbai I was clueless about cooking food, but day by day I learnt (from my mother over the phone and friends) how to cook the tastiest of sabzis. Yet, rotis are still a hard nut to crack!

Living alone, homesickness, frustration, concern about my future, and lastly, diabetes, these took a heavy toll on me. But I refused to fight them, and instead, became friends with them! This phase of life gave me invaluable teachings.

Since I moved to Virar (Mumbai suburbs), the turmoil of rolex replica españa my life settled, both career- and health-wise. Since then I have been very careful with my health. I am just another adolescent who parties and hangs out with friends but I am aware of where to draw the line

To all my fellow JDs, don’t you think we are all very lucky? As diabetics, we are different than others our age, yet we are much more health-conscious in general.

I would like to share some lines in which I truly believe:

Jo man thi jovo to mara jevo dukhi koi nai

Ane jo ek vishwas thi jovo…

Ae sapna ane asha thi jovo…

Antar atma thi jovo…

Mara jevo khush biju koi naaai…

Faraz Ahmed

Flying with Diabetes

It was July 1999 when I got diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. Up until then I was a bright school kid, good at studies and a lover of sports. As with most other Juvenile Diabetics my life also changed post-diagnosis. And as with most things, changes could make things better or worse. Thankfully for me, diabetes turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Post-diagnosis my family's awareness & habits got healthier. It took me 1 year to get used to some new activities by sincerely following Dr. Nadeem Rais' guidance, which improved my health & immunity. And then it was just about getting back to focusing on studies and indulging in sports in between. Studies didn’t let me play much during college days but I still found some time for my good old bicycle. Participation in Mumbai marathon and some inspiration from Lance Armstrong (of course ;-) got the bug of long distance cycling into me. Few years back I saved some of my hard earned money to gift myself a road bike aka racer. Since then there have been thousand's of kms and countless rides on the saddle - cyclothons, independence ride, republic day ride, breakfast ride, new year ride, gateway, New Bombay, catch the sun ride, meet my friends ride... the list goes on. Coming across Team Type 1 (pro-racing team with type1 diabetic riders) inspired me further to get a hybrid bike in Pune, where I now ride 4km to my office. And weekends see me & my friends cycling long distances on the beautiful outskirts of Pune. More than anything, cycling is fun & keeps me fit! Yes, I need to take all precautions to ensure my sugars stay within safe zones for the long distances & duration of the rides. Starting from 10km distances a few years back, I now manage more than 70km rides with ease. I wish to do rides more than 100km, and hopefully that will be very soon. And well diabetes, yeah its still with me as my best friend for 13 years helping me live a healthy life.

Controlled diabetes is like a blessing, while uncontrolled diabetes becomes a curse. So it is WE who decide whether to make Diabetes a blessing on us or a curse.

I shall continue to prioritize health, and by God's will I shall keep flying with diabetes...

Gayatri Harvara

Date of Birth: 22 -01-1988

Diagnosis: August 2003

I was in standard 10, a very studious and sincere student. I remember reading a chapter on diabetes then. While reading the chapter, I realized I was experiencing the same symptoms as written in that chapter on juvenile diabetes. I thought that “I too had diabetes.” I also read about its treatment, which is insulin injections as well as diet management, among other things. After getting my tests reports, my family doctor broke the news out to my parents that I have diabetes. My parents were in dilemma n wondered how they should tell that to their daughter. But I was very sure that I had been diagnosed with diabetes, and I had prepared myself mentally for it. I told my parents that I already knew about it and what I should do to manage it, which surprised everyone! I even gave the first insulin injection to myself! (Although as a child I was very afraid of them!).


When I was diagnosed, for some reason, not once did I feel “why me?” The only thing I hated when hospitalized was when dieticians at the hospital would stick a strict diet chart next to my table. Of course, these diet charts did not include any of my favorites or any fancy foods. What also bothered me was the thought of eating “on time.” I found the idea of timely meals absurd, because people eat when they are hungry or when they feel like it, and not the time and food prescribed by a dietician. Eventually, I held on to this notion and I would disobey my parents on this topic, thereby never eating on time. I would always demand for food that was not “on the list” and would blackmail my parents by taking injections but refusing to eat after that. So my helpless parents would bring me to eat whatever type of food I demanded! Clearly, my HbA1c levels skyrocketed and remained there for quite some time.


All this changed when I joined JDF! I met so many children my age, and I found the doctors very supportive. Some people suggested my mother to consult the dietician at JDF, Mrs. Ruby. Naturally, thinking of the boring diet charts, I was hesitant to visit a dietician.


But something unexpected happened when I visited Ruby Di. She was smiling and cracking jokes, and she first asked me to make a list of all those food items I liked the most! This made me very happy! Without further ado, I filled up an entire page with the names of all sorts of junk food. The Ruby Di said, “You can have all the items that u have written here.” I joyously looked at my mother. Ruby Di then explained how eating all these foods in proportion and at the right time would not affect my sugar levels.


I was so inspired by her demeanor in dealing with me that I decided to become a dietician like Ruby Di. So, I joined a course on nutrition. Soon, I completed my masters in nutrition. Currently, I am working with a nutraceutical company as a senior dietician. I have also begun my private practice. You can say diabetes helped me choose my career for which Ruby Di is my inspiration. I think I am quite successful at what I am doing, and when diabetes is in control (which I am doing since a long time), it can never come in between your dreams and career. I think hard work, positivity, and the desire to excel in whatever field you choose are the only criteria for a successful life.