Justin, who was a Grade 12 pupil at Norman Henshilwood High, was diagnosed with diabetes in Grade 10 and had to make some lifestyle adjustments.
“I had to eat differently and I had to exercise. I also had to inject myself four times a day before each meal,” said Justin.
Despite his condition, he never felt that he was at a disadvantage or is unable to live a normal life.
Justin’s body does not produce enough insulin, so to stay healthy he needs to maintain self-control, especially when it comes to what he ingests.
Though he is aware that he needs to watch what he eats, he does miss being able to eat anything he wants.
Living with diabetes has become a way of life for him, he said, but “sometimes I do spoil myself”.
But with exams comes stress, and Justin said he tended to crave certain foods.
However, instead of eating processed or “junk” food, he substituted his cravings with healthy options like fruit.
Justin said his parents helped keep him on track and his mother baked and cooked his meals, which he would enjoy.
Through his hard work, support base and determination to not allow his circumstances to control his destiny, Justin passed matric with a diploma pass.
He plans to to study graphic design.