Seventh-grader makes mark as performer, educator
Keeping keen eye on health doesn't slow her down
Abigail Bryson lives life by the numbers.
It started seven years ago.
In just 10 minutes, when Abigail was 5 years old, her life went from spontaneous to systematic with a regimen of five to six shots a day, all meant to maintain the most important number of all - her blood sugar level.
In case you're wondering, Abigail has juvenile diabetes.
"It's definitely a big change to incorporate something like this in your life," said Abigail, a seventh-grader at Pilgrim Park Middle School in Brookfield. "It definitely changed me and how I see things, but I'm a regular person. It's something I incorporate in my life and live with."
Every day, Abigail tests her numbers. She pricks her finger, squeezes a droplet of blood onto a test strip and feeds it into a meter.
And she does it pretty faithfully, although by now she - or her parents, Lisa and John Bryson, and sisters, Megan, 16, and Elizabeth, 19 - can tell by her mood where her numbers are at.
Abigail is an ambassador for diabetes education.
The most common question she hears: Do the shots hurt? "It's practically like a mosquito bite."
Is she scared? At first, she said, "I was terrified, not wanting to do a thing at all. Now, it's one of these things I do."
In January, she sang the national anthem at Monster Jam Freestyle Mania at the Bradley Center. Last year, she was named International Miss Pre-Teen Galaxy. Abigail, who plays flute, clarinet, piano and guitar, also is the youngest member of Main Street Song and Dance.
She's busy, but it works. As long as she checks her numbers.
Just the Facts
NAME: Abigail Bryson
KNOWN FOR: diabetes education
ONLINE: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, jdrf.org
PEARL OF WISDOM: "The world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers. But most of all, the world needs dreamers that do." - Sarah Ban Breathnach
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