Mission Statement: You're Just My Type was born out of a desire to give a voice and a face to an invisible disease. Combining photography with personal interviews, we seek to ensure that nobody living on this planet with type 1 diabetes feels alone.
Whether a middle schooler in Chicago or an entrepreneur in India, You’re Just My Type promises to travel to every corner of the earth to prove that we all share the same experiences that come with every high and low, and to end the stigmas associated with type 1.
My name is Laura and I'm 25 years old. I was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes at age 4 and I don't really remember living any other way. I grew up going to diabetes camps and attending support groups for kids like me, but to make one thing abundantly clear -- growing up with the disease never defined me. I was absolutely a child first and a diabetic second.
Following high school I enrolled in a photojournalism program in Europe that was based largely on injustice and poverty. I was privileged to work at an orphanage in China, to fight against human trafficking and child prostitution in Thailand and to work with drug addicts in Paris, among so many other amazing opportunities. (Traveling with diabetes for over a year while being granted only 3 months worth of supplies at a time should be an entirely different article). Exposure to such extreme situations left me consumed by a moral obligation to take action, whether I liked it or not. I decided that I wouldn’t settle for anything less than attempting to change the world.
Upon arriving home, it did not take long for the distractions and responsibilities of daily life to overshadow my goal completely. Fortunately, a couple summers ago I met a mother of a young boy who was recently diagnosed with type 1. She shared with me that he cries himself to sleep every night feeling as though he’s going through this alone. It didn’t take long to realize that this was the exact type of issue that I needed to document, using my photography as a platform to help spread awareness and educate the masses.
I like to describe this idea as “Humans of New York” meets Type 1 Diabetics, and I call it You’re Just My Type. Anyone who wants to get involved is simply asked to fill out a brief questionnaire ( What’s the most embarrassing story that’s happened regarding your diabetes? What’s a misconception about the disease that you wish you could change? etc.)
Once they send that back, I meet with them to take their photograph and immediately add them, along with my favorite answer(s) of theirs, to my website (www.yourejustmytype.com, Instagram (@yourejustmytype) and Facebook page (You’re Just My Type).
Thus far, over 100 people have been featured, but I must keep expanding. My goal is to be able to travel and include everyone who reaches out. I receive inquiries from around the world, and as hard as it is to tell them I’m unable to get to them right now because of the distance, I want to stay true to the idea of me personally meeting each and every person and being able to photograph them myself.
I think this project could be extremely helpful and popular among the newly diagnosed, showing them how many others, who look like them, have already gone through the same thing. I want people to know that their darkest feelings and frustrations have already been felt. I want people to know that yes, this disease sucks, but it sucks for all of us. I also ask each child’s parent to share their best piece of advice they’d give to other parents of type 1 diabetics. Sometimes, I find that the parents need someone to talk to or comfort them more than the children.
My main goal has always been to get my photographs published as a book. But what I’m realizing as I continue this process is that this is more than just a book, and it’s not just going to end with a book- it’s going to be a lifelong campaign about educating people.
You're Just My Type EIN: 813507372
935 W Avenue 37, Los Angeles, CA, 90065-3241, US