Bailey Sullivan balances a lot on a day-to-day basis. Similar to her peers, Sullivan is involved in a variety of organizations in addition to her academics. But on top of all of this, Sullivan must balance her health as well.
Sullivan, junior in industrial and systems engineering, was diagnosed with juvenile type one diabetes at the age of seven.
"It’s funny, I remember being diagnosed, and I went to school the next day," Sullivan said. "My parents told me you have it and it’s OK; we can manage it, just keep going, do sports, do choir, be normal."
Sullivan's type of diabetes is genetic. She said the disease is autoimmune where the immune system attacks the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ responsible for producing insulin, causing those with diabetes to be insulin deficient.
Sullivan said her sister shares the same disease.
"I don’t view myself as a diabetic. It isn’t my defining quality," Sullivan said. “Like everything in life it comes down to choices. It would be easy to let diabetes define me but I don’t – I keep moving and tell other people they can do the same.”
Not allowing diabetes to consume her, Sullivan became very involved on Auburn's campus serving in a variety of roles.
Sullivan serves as an ambassador for the University as a War Eagle Girl, one of the directors of the financial management association and is a part of the executive council for SGA.
Sullivan said this involvement has shaped her Auburn experience.
"I liked how Auburn focused on pushing you to be well rounded; I love to be challenged," Sullivan said.
Along with her involvement, Sullivan earned an internship in New York City with Wells Fargo, maintains her grades and is training for a marathon.
Sullivan said remaining active is a way she manages her diabetes. She said she is training for a marathon and hopes to complete one soon.
“I hope that someone who is newly diagnosed could look at me running a marathon and have that be a message to them that nothing is off the table for them because they have diabetes," she said. "You can do it.”