Berrie Center patient Morgan Panzirer, 19, is tired of listening to all the misconceptions about type 1 diabetes (T1D). She wants everyone to know she didn’t get T1D at the age of six by eating too much candy, and the insulin pump she wears is not a 3D sticker! Morgan wants to share her truth and wants other people with T1D to feel empowered to do the same. T1D has taught her to live every day to the fullest, and Morgan is sharing her lessons in her book “Actually, I Can.” — proving she indeed, can do everything she dreams.
In her book “Actually, I Can: Growing Up with Type 1 Diabetes, A Story of Unexpected Empowerment” (T1D Media) Morgan writes: “It has made me appreciate every hour, every minute, and every second I stand on this Earth. But the truth is everyone should live this way, because you don’t know if you’ll receive life-changing news tomorrow, and you don’t know if today is your last day. Everyone has obstacles in their lives; it’s just the way life is. But you don’t have to sit there and let them beat you down. Defeat them. Strength is a choice, and if you tell yourself you can get through whatever you’re battling, then you can.”
From her diagnosis with T1D through all of the challenges battling it, and everything she and her parents have learned — Morgan’s goal is to help other families and children facing T1D, and to show everyone it can be viewed as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
“Actually, I Can” has been a labor of love. Morgan started journaling in 7th grade as a way to channel her emotions. She put the project aside and then revisited it throughout the years. It wasn’t until a high school English teacher encouraged her to take her writing to the next level that Morgan contemplated publishing her work. Now it can be found on Amazon.
A member of the Villanova University Equestrian Team, and a biology major planning to attend medical school for pediatric endocrinology, Morgan is an incredibly determined and focused woman. On her desire to go into medicine she said, “I’ve always thought it would be interesting to be endocrinologist who also has diabetes.”
Morgan credited her Berrie Center endocrinologist for the past 13 years, Dr. Barney Softness, with fostering her can-do approach to T1D. “He’s always been very laid back and incredibly helpful,” she said. “Dr. Softness has kept my family calm and collected over the years.”
Said Dr. Softness, “I am incredibly proud of Morgan. I know her determination and focus will take her great places.”
The future is bright for Morgan, and the present is simply, busy! When she is not studying or horseback riding, Morgan is out promoting her book. She can be heard on podcasts and radio interviews around the country. She was recently featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Congrats, Morgan!
“Actually, I Can: Growing Up with Type 1 Diabetes, A Story of Unexpected Empowerment” (June 9, 2020; $16.00; https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578653931; ISBN 978-0578653938, published by T1D Media, New York.