(CNN)As 19-year-old Alyannah Buhman begins her junior year of pre-law studies at Iowa State University, she has ambitions of a career in civil rights law.
She is inspired by her grandfather, a police officer, and by growing up biracial in a small town in which there were only a few Black people.
But living with diabetes during a pandemic presents major challenges to those dreams, most of which aren't immediately obvious. "If you look at me you'd think I was perfectly normal, until you saw a little device sticking out," she said.
That device checks her blood sugar every few minutes, buzzing if it's too high or too low, and houses a pump that can kick in to deliver insulin. Infections can easily disrupt that delicate balance, throwing her glucose into wild fluctuations.
The threat of coronavirus has left her "very on edge," she said. "I get sick really easily. I cannot fight off anything to save my life. I start puking everywhere. It's a terrifying thought."