What Peer Support Means to Jazmine

Contributor
Jazmine Simon

CDN recently asked Jazmine Simon, founder of Jazmine Beauty, to tell us about her diabetes diagnosis, her brand's connection to diabetes, and what peer support means to her as a busy young adult living with type 1 diabetes.

The day my life unknowingly changed forever was July 13, 2017. I was 15 years old when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and told that I would have to live with it for the rest of my life because there is no cure for it. As I sat in the hospital bed, thinking about the months prior, I was numb. I thought about the excessive thirst, shortness of breath, and the 20-pound weight loss that caused my mom and I to fight all the time because she thought I was not eating. The doctors and nutritionists taught me what my new lifestyle would be like in a span of 2 days, and then they sent me home for my family and I to figure out ourselves.

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When I found out that there was no cure for diabetes, and that a lot of people did not know how to manage their diabetes, I knew there was something I wanted to do to raise money towards this cause that was so personal to me. This is why I started my beauty line, Jazmine Beauty. Jazmine Beauty is a clean, vegan, and cruelty-free beauty line. My mom has been in the beauty industry for over 30 years and started her own beauty packaging company known as Seacliff Beauty in 1999, so I have been around the industry my entire life. With every sale my beauty line makes, through our partnership with the University of California, Irvine, proceeds from that sale will go towards research to help find a cure and support groups for diabetes patients.

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"I knew there was something I wanted to do to raise money towards this cause that was so personal to me."

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CDN asked Jazmine to explain more about her beauty line's partnership with the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and how it has helped her discover the power of peer support.

Who is UCI Health and what role do they play in your virtual support groups?

UCI Health is a major research hospital located in the city of Orange, CA. It is the only academic health system and is also home to renowned healthcare providers and some of the top medical facilities in California. During my support groups, their doctors and nutritionists come on as guest speakers to help lead the groups and teach the guests new ways of managing their diabetes.

Why did you decide to start virtual support groups?

I decided to start virtual support groups to help encourage and guide people to start taking care of their diabetes and how to take care of it in the best way possible.

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"I decided to start virtual support groups to help encourage and guide people to start taking care of their diabetes and how to take care of it in the best way possible."

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What sort of topics do you cover in your support groups?

In our support groups, we cover a different topic each session. Certain topics we have covered include weight management, diet, exercise, etc.

How does peer support help you manage your diabetes?

Peer support has helped me manage my diabetes by reminding me that I am not alone in this battle against it. I’ve always had a good support system, and with how close I am with my family, I’ve never struggled to take care of my diabetes. I hope I can encourage others to do the same.

What is your favorite part of your involvement in your support groups?

My favorite part in my involvement in the support groups is getting to hear other people’s experiences with diabetes, and how they differ from my own experience

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"Peer support has helped me manage my diabetes by reminding me that I am not alone in this battle against it."

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How do you balance running a business while managing diabetes and juggling other responsibilities? 

I balance running a business, going to school, and managing my diabetes by sticking to a routine. I make sure to eat 3 meals a day, I’m always on top of my work and schoolwork, and that’s just with time management, I never wait last minute to do things. I also carve out 30 minutes, 5 times a week to work out and stay active. Doing this, my blood sugar is 85% in range most of the time with an A1C of 5.0. I am very on top of my health and my responsibilities.

What is your biggest piece of advice for young adults living with type 1 diabetes?

My biggest piece of advice for young adults living with diabetes are to not let it identify you as a person, and to make sure you take care of it, because the long-term consequences are just not worth it.