“Actually, I Can.” From a Thought to the (Virtual) Shelves

Morgan Panzirer

Publishing a book. It seemed like a crazy idea to me too, especially as a first year college student studying biology. The idea first came to me to start writing in seventh grade. I was fed up with the misconceptions that I heard day after day. “You got diabetes because you ate too much sugar.” “Oh sorry, you can’t eat this ice pop. It’s not sugar-free.” I heard these comments so frequently, and I was frustrated.

I began by just writing about my story, and trying to outline what a type 1 diabetes diagnosis entails. After a year or so, I got to a road block. I filed it away on my computer, not sure what the next step was.

I rediscovered what I had previously written during my sophomore year of high school. Many years had passed, so I figured I would add in the rest of my story up to that point. After another year or so, I was stuck again. I ultimately decided to ask my English teacher senior year to read it and give me her thoughts as to whether or not it was worth continuing. Her feedback to me was very encouraging.

I worked with her for a few months on drafting and editing, and then it was time to start the search for a publisher. After sending a bunch of emails and figuring out what would be feasible while I was still a student, I found one that I thought would be a good fit. I ultimately signed with Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing in November of 2019. We worked together for the remainder of the year, and my book finally became available for purchase on June 9th of this year.

So far, the responses I have received from readers have been overwhelmingly positive.

But I am more so still in shock that people around the world are reading my story. It is such an incredible feeling to know that I have the ability to influence others with type 1 diabetes.

I had two main goals in writing this book. The first was to educate the general public and try to put an end to all of the misconceptions I mentioned prior. The second was to show all of my fellow T1D fighters that we are capable of anything at all, as long as we have the drive and passion to keep going.

Morgan meets the Pope

I am by no means saying that my journey that I talk about in this book is full of all rainbows and butterflies, because I can assure you that although those moments are there, they are not the only ones. There have been countless times in my life where I have felt helpless and beaten down. One moment in particular that sticks out in my mind was when I was on the treadmill running a couple of years ago. My blood sugar had plummeted, but I was determined to get one more mile in. My mom told me it was time to call it quits because I needed to eat something for my low blood sugar. I knew she was right, but I didn’t want to admit that type 1 was controlling my life. This is just one of the many moments where I have felt completely broken down and defeated. But over the years with T1D I have learned that the key to overcome moments like these, is to look at life from a totally different perspective. Turn the obstacles life throws at you into opportunities, and that is what my new book, “Actually, I Can.” is all about.

Morgan Panzirer headshot
Morgan Panzirer

Morgan Panzirer is 19 years old and is from Westchester, New York. She attends Villanova University as a Biology major and Spanish minor, and rides on the university's equestrian team. She hopes to attend medical school for pediatric endocrinology after her undergraduate years. Morgan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age six, and is greatly involved in the advocacy side of her disease as well. In addition to speaking to many people who battle Type 1, she has traveled the world meeting with leaders who can help improve the care for T1D patients including Barack Obama, and Pope Francis. Her first book, “Actually, I Can.” is currently available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.