Este Haim, singer and bassist of internationally successful music trio Haim, formed the band with her two sisters, Danielle and Alana. However, living with their success wasn’t always easy and Este sometimes had to tone down the backstage, rockstar lifestyle many successful musicians live, as she has type 1 diabetes. The three sisters played at T in the Park this year and Este spoke to reporters about the trials of dealing with type 1 diabetes when she is on tour.
Diagnosed at the age of 14, after experiencing weight loss, blurred vision and an extreme thirst, Este struggled with getting her blood glucose levels under control, as many people newly diagnosed with the disease do. Having turned to a vegan diet however, and remaining vigilant with her management, especially when on tour, she says she has good control of the condition and tries to promote awareness when she can.
“I was diagnosed with it in 2000 and from then on it was my dad’s mission for us to play as many charity gigs to help find a cure for diabetes,” she is reported saying.
“The trick is to stay as healthy as possible and find healthy food on the road. There are times when I think… ‘Why do I have to put up with this and nobody else has to deal with it?'” referring to the fact no one else in her band or crew has the disease.
This angry feeling is only when she gets frustrated however. Last year she referred to her sisters and band mates as her “diabetes Nazis”, because of the way they harangue her about her medication and testing, help her find diabetic friendly food, and support her in any way they can.
Normally her diabetes doesn’t affect her life, as it “has become such a part of [her] routine that [she] doesn’t really think about it.” However, sometimes little things can bring back the reality of the disease, such as being unable to share some cake on her sisters’ birthdays.
Este said that her continued motivation for controlling her diabetes is the knowledge that uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause serious long term complications and that she fears suffering things like kidney failure and relying on a dialysis machine. “That’s what keeps me up at night” she said, “that I will be on that machine cleaning my blood because my kidneys don’t work because of diabetes.”
Due to the dedication to treatment and the love and support given to Este by her sisters, diabetes hasn’t stopped Haim from breaking out onto the official charts across the globe and becoming a much loved and very successful band.

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