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The Caring Coach


As a healthy, energetic kid, Marianne Tetlow never expected her life would change drastically from a disease she knew nothing about. At only 12-years-old, Tetlow was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. “I just started to exhibit some of the classic symptoms of Type I diabetes, but I did not know what it was,” Tetlow says. “I experienced weight loss, fatigue and increased urination. My mom took me to my pediatrician who sent me straight to an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes, and that began my life of testing blood sugars and giving myself insulin injections and living on a specific type of diet.”

The physically taxing disease left Tetlow and her family in shock. No one knew what it was and what it entailed, and many told her it would not be manageable. She has since defied all odds by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, giving birth to her daughter and helping other people living with diabetes through her own practice as a diabetic lifestyle coach.

Volunteering and mentoring with the American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Tetlow shares how to manage the disease on a daily basis with other people living with diabetes and their families. “Diabetes affects every aspect of one’s life,” Tetlow says. “Some newly diagnosed clients are in shock, and they need someone to literally break down the medical jargon. Other clients just want validation. They want to know that they’re not alone, that they’re not the only person in the world because they didn’t exercise that day or they didn’t eat according to their meal plan.”

Tetlow does not consider herself a medical expert when it comes to diabetic treatment but rather sees herself as an extension to what every person living with diabetes needs. “[My contribution] is my personal experience and emotional support, and I work with [doctors] to better the lives of our clients,” Tetlow says.

And thanks to the advances in technology, Tetlow is not confined by geography. She hosts video chats with patients and travels frequently to speak on behalf of various organizations. She reaches people from all walks of life who fall anywhere on the diabetic spectrum.

Her volunteerism reaches far beyond the realms of diabetic programs as well. She is an active supporter of her church, her daughter’s Girl Scouts of America troop and her school, and is a member of the Junior League of Phoenix.

Originally from the South, Tetlow has been an Arizonan for the past nine years and thinks the state has much to offer through nature hikes and adventure excursions. She refuses to stop her life—and pursuing such fun activities—because of diabetes, and strives to help other diabetics see past the disease and experience life to the fullest.

The Diabetes Coach