IT’S funny how much can change in five years. I remember so distinctly the day I was diagnosed with diabetes: I thought my life as I knew it was over, and that the rest of my days would be spent eating cardboard food and feeling ill. But diabetes isn’t a debilitating condition if you know how to look after it, and these days I feel as healthy (if not healthier) than I did before I was diagnosed. The other is that I’ve been able to connect with a whole community of diabetics. When I was first diagnosed, all the information I was given was negative: all about the many complications of diabetes, and the many and varied horrible things I could expect along the way. But nobody ever said: “If you’re in good control, there’s nothing you can’t do.” That’s one of the reasons I started Sweet Life, a diabetes lifestyle magazine and online community. I wanted to connect to other diabetics and for us to be able to share experiences, ask questions and offer advice to each other. Diabetes can be such an overwhelming condition (it is so permanent, so every day) that it’s really difficult to go at it alone. Having a community, through our community blog and Facebook page (Diabetic South Africans) has really helped me to feel part of something greater than myself.