Fictional thriller meets T1D

Although it sometimes feels like it, my life does not in fact revolve around my diabetes. Like I’ve always said, it’s part of who I am,  but it does not define me. There’s so much more to me and my life. I feel like often when type 1 diabetes is depicted on TV shows, movies, or in books, diabetes is either there to get a laugh or is central to the plot of the story. It’s rare to find a character who has type 1 diabetes, but there’s more to their story.

That’s why I was so excited to read, The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe. I was contacted by the author’s team and sent a copy. The book is a fictional thriller about Thea Paris, a kidnap and ransom specialist. Her job sends her and her black-ops team on highly sensitive rescue missions to political hot spots around the world. When her own father, an oil magnate is kidnapped, she throws herself in the most urgent and challenging rescue mission of her life. Exciting right? And Thea has type 1 diabetes! The author’s own grandfather had type 1 diabetes, and watching him manage his diabetes is what inspired her to have her main character have diabetes too.

What I enjoyed most about this book is how Thea’s diabetes was depicted. This badass woman would be about to helicopter into a dangerous location to attempt to rescue a hostage and would first check her blood sugar levels on her smartphone to make sure her numbers were in range. Her diabetes was part of the story, but it wasn’t central to it. And I was really impressed with the accuracy of the portrayal of her diabetes. Hyped up on all the adrenaline from a mission, I found myself thinking, “her blood sugar would for sure go high!”, and sure enough, they acknowledged that it was. And when a downed plane explodes and leaves them stranded in a dessert, both my thought and Thea’s was how she needed to get more insulin since she was only equipped with 2 days worth and a couple protein bars stashed in her pockets. Which brings up another point that this book covered really well, always being prepared.

I was definitely interested to find out who the kidnapper was and what their motive was. But more than that, it was a nice change to read a story about a strong female who doesn’t let her diabetes slow her down. Even if it is a fictional story, that message is still powerful, relatable, and true.