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“The Voice” favorite RaeLynn reveals the health scare that changed her life at age 12 Warner Brothers/Joseph Llanes
Warner Brothers/Joseph Llanes

Getting a life-changing medical diagnosis is rough on anyone, but it’s especially tough for little kids.

That’s what happened to country star RaeLynn, who was only 12 years old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes following a very intense medical scare.

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One day, she woke up from a nap not feeling well and discovered her legs were all black and blue. She immediately yelled out to her mother for help, and they rushed to the hospital.

RaeLynn tells Rare Country, “I went to the hospital, and we quickly found out with how high my sugar was that something was wrong.”

They found out she was experiencing a life-threatening problem associated with diabetes, called DKA, where the body’s low insulin level means sugar can’t be used for energy. RaeLynn describes it saying, “It’s kind of like where your organ starts shutting down.”

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Fortunately, the Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis would lead to treatment to get those insulin levels back up. Finding out she’d have to go through a major life change as a result of the diagnosis was tough, though.

RaeLynn adds, “Any 12-year-old you tell they’ve got to take a shot every day and they’ve got to check their blood sugar, I thought the world had ended. I was very upset, and I didn’t know a lot about diabetes.”

For RaeLynn, the key to living successfully with diabetes was getting educated on the disease and how to manage it.

“As I went to classes and really learned about juvenile diabetes, I learned that it was something that was completely manageable and something you can live with every day and still have a normal life,” she says. “Yes, you have to change your lifestyle and check what you eat and check the carbohydrates and sugars to know how much insulin to give yourself, but it was nothing that I couldn’t handle. It was good for me to go to the classes and really find out from other people who had diabetes that it was OK.”

Now, RaeLynn has joined the Patient Ambassador Team of diabetes care leader Novo Nordisk to help other diabetes patients live their best life. She calls on everyone with diabetes to visit ShareMyDiabetesStory.com to tap into a network of education and sharing about all the ways you can thrive with the disease. More resource are available at t1support.cornerstones4care.com, too.

Rae says, “I just want to really be a voice and tell other kids or even grownups — anybody that has diabetes that thinks it’s going to hinder them doing anything or not living out their dream — it doesn’t, if you manage it.

She adds, “I want to be that voice to show I’m traveling every day. I’m waking up at the crack. My day is never the same everyday with my job, but I continue to take care of myself. I make it work, because it’s a lifestyle change.”

RaeLynn clearly hasn’t let diabetes slow her down. She just tied the knot with her long-time love, Josh Davis, earlier this year. And look for RaeLynn’s highly personal new single, “Love Triangle,” to be released this month.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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