STORY OF HOPE | Paloma’s Story

PALOMA’S STORY: You might not be able to tell by looking at me that I’m actually a former farm girl. I lived my whole life in a small town in the middle of nowhere Arizona on my family’s ranch.

While I enjoyed horseback riding and helping my dad gather the chicken eggs, I always had a thing for glitter. I had big dreams of one day being in the fashion industry.

Paloma's Story of Hope | Strawberry Fields Medical ID Wrap
Fast forward to when I graduated high school in 2008, my dream came true. I was on my way to California to attend The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. My love for fashion actually became my career! I was working backstage at fashion shows, styling photoshoots and I landed a job for an accessory company!

Two years into my career I started noticing that as I was working my vision would get blurry and I would start to get very shaky. I assumed that I was just over working myself. After ignoring those symptoms, I started to suddenly get VERY thirsty. Again, I ignored it and just thought “I live in Arizona! Of course I’m thirsty!” I didn’t have health insurance as a young twenty-something. I never thought I would be ill enough to have to see a doctor.

Finally, my symptoms got to the point where I couldn’t manage anymore. I went to a doctor for the first time as an adult and he diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes.

I was an adult being diagnosed with a condition formally known as “Juvenile Diabetes.” I knew nothing about the disease, but my doctor assumed that since I was an adult I would figure it out. He sent me home with a glucose meter and a Rx for insulin. Thankfully my sister who was in nursing school at the time, took it upon herself to learn how to help me manage my diabetes.

Most of the time when something tragic happens to us, it is hard to find the silver lining. It’s easy to mourn and go through the “why me” phase. The important part is that we pull ourselves out of that phase and turn a negative into a positive.

Paloma's Story of Hope | Strawberry Fields sitting on Grass
In between injections and blood glucose checks, she slipped me a pamphlet for medical identification bracelets. She insisted that I pick one out and she would buy it for me. She explained that in an emergency situation, it would be important that first responders be able to identify that I had Type 1 Diabetes.

I looked at the pamphlet and thought “Ew! I would never wear these bracelets!” While I appreciated her offer, there was no way I was going to wear such a hideous accessory. PLUS, I was a fashionista. I worked for an accessory company! How could I wear an accessory that alerts the whole world of how “ill” I am? No way!

I knew I could make a difference and prevent others from feeling alone like I once did. I decided to jump at the chance to become a full-time diabetes advocate!

As time passed, I felt more and more alone in my diagnosis. I wanted to make friends and share “me toos” with people who actually understood. That is how my alter ego “Glitter Glucose” was born! I started posting my journey, asking questions and making friends on Instagram. Eventually, I was growing so fast that I ended up creating a blog to support my Instagram activity.

I was still juggling my day job in the fashion industry and blogging in my free time- all while trying to manage my chronic illness! The time came when I had to choose what was best for my future.

That’s why I love Lauren’s Hope. I can wear any of Lauren’s Hope jewelry with confidence. Confidence in knowing that I am wearing a fashionable piece of jewelry AND confidence in knowing that it will help me in an emergency situation.

I had always dreamt of being in the fashion industry and I was actually living it. I loved my job! It was never a thought that I would have to walk away from something I loved, but I loved being Glitter Glucose even more. I knew I could make a difference and prevent others from feeling alone like I once did. As a result, I decided to jump at the chance to become a full-time diabetes advocate!
Paloma's Story of Hope | Strawberry Fields arms crossedIf you were to visit my website, you would see how I have managed to merge both of my passions into one. My website is diabetes focused but I add my own flair of fashion and lifestyle. That’s why I love Lauren’s Hope. I can wear any of Lauren’s Hope jewelry with confidence. Confidence in knowing that I am wearing a fashionable piece of jewelry AND, most of all, confidence in knowing that it will help me in an emergency situation.

The important thing to remember is that diabetes is a piece of me, but not all of me.

Most of the time when something tragic happens to us, it is hard to find the silver lining. It’s easy to mourn and go through the “why me” phase. The important part is that we pull ourselves out of that phase and turn a negative into a positive.

I never dreamt that I would be chronically ill. My dreams only involved living a girly, glittery, fashionable life. With enough positive thinking and perseverance, I can live out all my dreams. The important thing to remember is that diabetes is a piece of me, but not all of me.

Learn more about Paloma (Glitter Glucose) and her journey by following her on her blog: www.glitterglucose.com or following her on her super fabulous instagram: @glitterglucose.

Read other entries in our Story of Hope Series!


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  • Lauren,

    First, let me say I have been retired for 23 years now so I don’t get a raise and haven’t for 23 years…..So my salery decreases every year as the economy goes up…..I would love to have one of your designs. but can’t justify it……Now, that being said I used to be a firefighter for 30 years and we were taught to look for any signs like your bracelets or necklaces on a victim and let the paramedics know…..And yes we did find them and told the paramedics…..So yes they do help…….I have a pacemaker and if I was unconscious and couldn’t tell the paramedics they might use the zappers on me ( not good ) ha,ha. Ron

    • We appreciate your comment! For starters, thank you for all that you did as a first responder! We love hearing from emergency personnel about their thoughts on medical IDs and how they can assist in saving a person’s life.