Lakeville high school student shares unique story of living with Type 1 diabetes |

Lakeville high school student shares unique story of living with Type 1 diabetes

Updated: February 11, 2020 04:57 PM

All month long, KSTP has been bringing awareness to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. It's a disease that impacts everyone, including Callyn Melnychuk.

"I look like a very normal healthy 17-year-old, but on the inside, I have a non-functioning organ. You just can't see it," said Melnychuk.

The Lakeville South High School student was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in December 2014.

"It was a big change because we weren't really expecting it. The only reason we found out was my dad because he is a doctor, and he recognized the signs and symptoms pretty much right away, and then we went in and I got my blood tested. I was in the hospital the very same day."

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Callyn says she knew her life would never be the same.

"It's hard at school and sports. It makes it very difficult. I play soccer, and so it's just a lot of work, a lot of extra work," said Melnychuk.

"Everything we do as a family, Type 1 [diabetes] comes along. It's there on our trips, it's there for kind of everything," said Callyn's mother, Diane Melnychuk.

Now years later, Callyn is one of the first teenagers in Minnesota to use the Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).

"I go to a doctor and he numbs up my arm, and makes an incision that is really, really small ... with other CGMs you can't take it on and off because you have to put an entirely new one in, and usually the other ones last about two weeks, and you have to change it every two weeks. But for this one, it's every three months," said Callyn.

While she manages her diabetes, Callyn says it's hard sometimes to not feel alone. But there is one large support system that has helped, and that's the JDRF Foundation.

"We didn't really know what it was all about, but we decided since it was a life-changing illness, for not just Callyn but the whole family, we wanted to get involved," said Callyn's father, Alan Melnychuk.

Since she was diagnosed, Callyn has raised money for the JDRF One Walk each year.

"It just feels good because it's the one day of the year where it actually feels normal to have Type 1 diabetes," said Callyn.

Callyn has made it her mission to advocate for those who don't have a voice. She's raising awareness about Type 1 diabetes with a big goal in mind.

"Eventually, a cure. I hope one day instead of celebrating new management systems, I will be celebrating a cure with my family."

Callyn has raised about $20,000 for the JDRF Foundation since she was diagnosed. This year alone, she has raised almost $3,000.

The JDRF One Walk is happening Saturday, Feb. 22 at Mall of America.

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Ashley Zilka

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