A girl managed to trek to the highest point of Kashmir, destroying all the socially built taboos for the people living with diabetes.
Sobia Syed, one of the peer leaders of Meethi Zindagi’s Peer Support, decided to trek to Gilgit through Kashmir with a group of trekkers. It was her first trekking experience on that seven day trekking trip. Being the only girl in her group, she still trekked to the highest point of Kashmir, which only a few girls have managed to do so. How did she succeed to trek to the highest point despite being a girl with diabetes? It is because she believed that living with diabetes cannot stop her from enjoying her life.
Sobia was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes at a very young age, but she never considered it as her weakness.
“I was very young, and I did not know what it meant to have diabetes,” shared Sobia.
When Sobia was diagnosed with diabetes, her elder sister and cousin were already living with it. As soon as her parents got to know about her recently developed condition, they exactly knew what to do, and led Sobia through it as they were her biggest support system.
“My mother has always supported me, and I am blessed for it,” said Syed.
Her parents did not impose any limitations on her. In fact, they always reinforced and encouraged her to do anything she wanted to do despite having diabetes. She participated in racing, cricket, and softball during her school years. She also started taking care of her parents from a very young age.
“I have raced and won. I have played softball and have scored a home run in it too.” Added Sobia
Sobia, being a wonderfully creative artist, paints her life like a beautiful picture. According to her type-1 diabetes is a just part of her incomplete sketch which never stopped her from coloring the remaining aspects of the picture according to her desire. Two years ago, when she made a plan to go on trekking, there was nothing that scared her even because of the situation she was in as she confidently managed her diabetes, every time and everywhere.
Trekking wasn’t just an achievement but was a life time experience for her. She used to trek eight hours a day. She just had tin food with her other than her own hypo supplies to deal with emergencies. According to her she used to have proper meals only twice a day and during the trek, she ate nuts and biscuits only in a portion which would help her to avoid low and high sugar levels. Her high moral, and supportive group members were the reason she was able to complete this expedition successfully!
Sobia also recalled certain situations while trekking, and told that once, at the highest point of Kashmir, they were not able to cook food due to rain. That day she only had one meal and passed the night eating biscuits which was scary for her. Also, she marked this situation as one of her mistakes which she counted in as experience.
Sobia was careful in making sure that her sugar levels didn’t fluctuate too much during this time. She did not for once thought that she could not do it. In fact, she felt a sense of accomplishment when she trekked the highest point of Kashmir. She was praised by everyone as only experienced trekkers have trekked to that point, till date.
Her first trekking experience made Sobia so sure about herself and gave her confidence to deal with diabetes even in the toughest situations. Since then, Sobia has undertaken several trekking expeditions. With her life experience Sobia taught everyone that diabetes does not drain colors from life, rather, one should live in a way which makes it colorful. Kudos to Sobia!