BROOKLYN – Scary.
If Amanda Hack had to sum up what it was like when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 27 years ago, that word fits perfectly.
“It felt like life just got flipped upside down,” said Hack.
Hack, now 36, was diagnosed with diabetes in October 1990. Now, the Brooklyn resident would like to raise awareness and give back by participating with Team Diabetes in the Wicklow Mountain Hike in Dublin, Ireland.
The hike is set to take place in October. Until then, Hack plans to raise money and prepare physically for the event.
“I was nine years old. I started out being really sick (and) we thought it was the flu,” she said. “Next thing you know, I’m in the hospital, and they’re telling me that I have to take needles for the rest of my life.”
Hack, who is also a VON nurse, says she’s still afraid of needles.
“Before I could be discharged from the hospital, I had to demonstrate that I could give myself my injections, measure my insulin properly (and) check my sugar properly,” she explained.
It was her responsibility to be able to manage her diabetes, she said.
Hack stayed in the hospital for two weeks and was discharged when the Kinsmen Club of Moose Jaw, Sask. donated a glucometer.
When she was young, Hack says her only wish was that her diabetes would go away.
Over the years, medical advances have made things a bit better for people living with diabetes.
“As a Type 1 diabetic, I’ve watched changes in the types of insulin that were available,” said Hack.
She says she was about 13 or 14 years old when rapid-acting insulin came out.
Then, when Hack was in university, a long-acting insulin with no peak was released.
Insulin syringes are another thing Hack has seen change.
“Watching how that’s all transitioned to the insulin pens coming out and then watching the needle lengths shrink to almost microscopic, non-existent,” she said.
In October, Hack plans to accomplish a seven- to nine-hour trek with an 800-meter ascent past Mullacar Summit. During the hike, Hack will pass an ancient village and old mining camps.
“I’ve always wanted to climb a mountain,” said Hack.
But she would also like to be a source of inspiration for people in Queens County.
“I truly don’t believe that you could say, ‘How many people are affected by diabetes?’ I believe that you could probably say, ‘How are you affected by diabetes?’ That’s how rampant diabetes is across Canada,” said Hack.
This will be Hack’s second time going to Ireland.
“I think just the challenge in itself,” said Hack about what she’s most looking forward to about the hike. “The challenge for myself physically.”
So far, Hack has begun an ongoing bottle drive. She is also planning to do some auctions and raffle baskets.
“Any help is greatly appreciated,” she said.
Hack is hoping to raise $7,500 by June.
To support Amanda Hack’s fundraising efforts, visit http://crm2.diabetes.ca/site/TR/TeamDiabetes/General?px=2130297&pg=personal&fr_id=2533#.WphcT2RG0fE or visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/amandateamdiabetes/.