I Am More Than… Diabetes: Mia Fasanella
At Reboundwear, we are so inspired by the stories our customers share with us. From fly fishers to artists, we know that our customers are everyabled--and are so much more than their injuries or diagnoses. That’s why we launched “I Am More Than,” an article series introducing our incredible customers, and giving them a platform to tell their stories.
Before Mia Fasanella was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during her sophomore year in college, she assumed she just had the flu.
“I had lost a lot of weight and was really tired and sick,” Mia remembers. “I thought if I reseted for a few days, I would feel better.”
But Mia’s roommate, whose mother was a nurse, was really worried about her. When her roommate described Mia’s symptoms to her mother, she said it sounded like it could be Diabetes. Initially, Mia brushed off this notion, but when she still wasn’t improving after some time, her roommate insisted she go to the hospital. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
“I learned that [Type 1 Diabetes] is an autoimmune condition, and that anyone can be diagnosed at any age,” Mia says.
She was shocked to be diagnosed with a chronic condition, because her whole life she had been so healthy, and if she did get sick, she would go to the doctor and soon feel better. So to hear that Type 1 Diabetes was something she would have for the rest of her life–and that she’d have to give herself shots of insulin everyday–was quite upsetting to her.
But as she started taking insulin and started to feel so much better and stronger, she decided not to focus too much on what had changed in her life, and she realized she could do everything she loved as long as she took insulin.
“I also began to find a community of Type 1 Diabetics online,” Mia continues, “It gave me a lot of confidence to see people doing awesome things with this disease.”
She was particularly inspired by her friend Erik who also has Type 1 Diabetes: he documented a journey of biking across the US. It made her feel like she could do anything she wanted to as well. And now, Mia shares her Diabetes experience on Instagram, too.
“Since I will always have Type 1 Diabetes unless a cure is found in my lifetime, I think I will continue to share my story and hopefully inspire someone who is going through something similar,” Mia adds. “I think Diabetes will always be a reminder for me to be grateful and to experience life to the fullest, because if it were not for the discovery of insulin 100 years ago, I would have lost my life at age 19.
“I will also continue to advocate for research for a cure for Diabetes and affordable insulin for everyone who needs it.”
While Diabetes is something that Mia deals with everyday–she has a continuous glucose monitor that allows her to check her blood sugar with a glance at her phone–she is back to doing all of the things she loves, like teaching yoga.
Growing up on Long Island near the ocean, Mia spent her summers swimming, sailing, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding–any activity that involved the water, you could find her there. She also started practicing yoga in high school to help improve her cheerleading.
“I had done cheerleading for 12 years, and after I graduated [from high school], I was a little lost without it, so I started practicing a lot more yoga,” she explains. “I began working at my college fitness center teaching yoga to my peers.
“I was shy in high school and I think teaching yoga in college gave me a lot of confidence to share my voice and teach people something I loved,” she continues.
During her junior year of college, Mia completed her 200 hour yoga certification–which was also when she learned that yoga was so much more than just physical activity.
“Yoga helps with my Diabetes management because physical activity helps increase insulin sensitivity, which means your body can use the insulin better,” she explains. “I also really enjoy teaching yoga because it keeps me motivated to keep practicing and learning new things.”
Fast forward to now, and Mia not only teaches yoga, but also teaches second grade at Success Academy in the Bronx.
“I really love whenever I get to share yoga or meditation with my students, and I try to incorporate some small activities into the school day because the kids really love it,” she says. “And it can be a really useful tool for them to learn as they learn how to manage their emotions.”
Mia’s unflappable spirit and calm, kind demeanor is apparent by just talking to her, or by taking her yoga class. She explains that since she was diagnosed, she tries to always take a moment each day to find gratitude for the opportunities and people in her life.
“I think if you are able to find a moment of gratitude,” Mia says, “It brings you back to the present and helps you appreciate the joy of life, even within the challenges you may be facing.”
Leave a comment