Dancing Through Diagnosis
Taylor Sharpe Dances Through Life—One Day at a Time
Lincoln Kids Readers, meet the unstoppable Taylor Sharpe!
After Taylor took her first steps, it didn’t take much for her to start performing in front of her family, whether that was theatre or dancing. Taylor found her love for performing while she did local plays and musicals as a young kiddo. She wanted to be the best musical performer, so she started taking dance lessons.
Soon after, dance became her true passion. Nothing could stop her from achieving her dancing dreams and goals. However, those goals were temporarily put on hold in March 2020.
In early March, Taylor went to Great Wolf Lodge with her best friend and their family for a fun weekend trip. On the last night of their stay, Taylor woke up to her ears hurting and her throat feeling extremely dry and no amount of water seemed to help.
Her mom, Amy, immediately scheduled a doctor’s appointment to figure out what was wrong with her daughter. At the doctor’s appointment, Taylor described her symptoms and she was immediately scheduled for blood tests. When her blood tests came back, her blood sugar level was 444. The normal range is 80-120.
At that moment, Taylor’s doctor rushed her to receive insulin through an IV because her body was nearly in a coma. Taylor received the diagnosis that she had Type 1 diabetes.
To make this situation even wilder, while she was at the hospital receiving insulin, she watched on TV as the announcer talked about how the world needed to quarantine due to COVID-19.
What’s important to understand now is that her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in no way stopped Taylor from dancing.
“Just because you have this disease, it doesn’t make you different from everyone else. You just have to watch your body,” said Taylor.
Taylor dances five days a week which is a lot of time that she dedicates toward something that she is deeply passionate about. She uses a Personal Diabetes Monitor (PDM) to track her blood sugar levels through an app on her phone that calculates how much insulin she needs. However, as a competitive dancer, this can be hard because having adrenaline before a competition can raise her blood sugar very easily.
But Taylor’s Type 1 diabetes does not define her, and it never will.
This June, Taylor and her duo partner of nearly five years went to Arizona to compete at a national dance competition. They were the only ones from their Lincoln studio that competed at this event. Because of their dedication and passion, Taylor and her duo partner completed a dancing dream of theirs – they performed in front of thousands of people and received First Place in their category!
Fast forward to today — Taylor is a 7th grader at Scott Middle School. She is continuing to learn how to become the best dancer she can be with her diagnosis by listening to her body’s needs.
This year, Taylor has raised over $4,800 dollars toward JDRF, which is a nonprofit organization that funds Type 1 diabetes research.
You can donate at any time toward Taylor’s JDRF team or through their website. To learn more about juvenile diabetes, and to see more inspiring stories, head to JDRF.org.
“Never forget to always be yourself. Don’t let anything stop you from doing what you love, because you can do anything.”
— Taylor Sharpe