Starting her doctoral program during a pandemic was challenging, but surprisingly not the most difficult experience of Keiwana’s first year. After starting her research rotation in a lab that focuses on diabetes and cardiovascular disease, she started to suffer from “auto-immune flare-ups” herself. Several misdiagnoses later, Keiwana was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, an impairment in the way the body regulates glucose that, left unmanaged, can lead to serious health outcomes, and disproportionately affects minority populations. Immediately, Keiwana thought about how this disease took the lives of both of her grandfathers. Instead of living in defeat, she decided to use this diagnosis as an incentive to pursue research in this field and to change the narrative for her community.
MORE ABOUT KEIWANA
Keiwana’s grandfather who spent his life designing engines, completely lost his eyesight due to diabetes. She was mortified for him and wanted to know why and why he did not get the same care as others. Her life’s mission is to find a cure, implement policies for affordable diabetes drugs, and bring access to quality healthcare to at-risk groups.