Sweet dreams: Teen girl won’t let anxiety and diabetes stop her baking goal

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When Audra Martin first heard about The Greatest Baker competition, the budding 18-year-old baker from Winnipeg thought it would be a good experience, win or lose.

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After qualifying for the second round of the competition, Martin believes what happens now will just be icing on the cake.

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“It was more (of a case of) ‘winning or losing is an experience,'” Martin said. “I was hoping that I would pass the first round. I didn’t know how it was going to go, how many votes you were going to need and who else was registered. It’s a mix between amateurs and professionals.

“I was hoping.”

Currently, Martin is second in his field in the second round, pushed by his legion of neighbors and supporters in his home community of River Park South in St. Vital. The top 15 voters advance to the third of five online elimination rounds, before advancing to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final. The winner of the first prize of $10,000 will be announced on December 29.

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“River Park South has been amazing,” her mother Sandra said. “She has a lot of support from people in our area.

“The community has been fantastic and we’ve had so many people every day making sure they go online and get their daily vote for her.”

Considering how she got into baking, this is all just icing.

At age 10, Martin was diagnosed with general and social anxiety and she turned to baking to manage her anxiety.

“I’ve been cooking since before and it’s always been relaxing for me and it’s my way of helping me calm down.”

Soon she was cooking almost every day, offering her creations to family and friends. What started as a coping mechanism turned into a passion.

But it is a passion that almost derailed a few years later. At the age of 14, Martin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, leaving her in tears and her dream of opening her own bakery uncertain.

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But she found that if she watched her blood sugar and took her insulin, she could still pursue her dream.

“She can taste her products, she just has to take insulin if she wants to,” Sandra said. “It’s not so much of a panic now.”

Now her biggest struggle is maintaining her blood sugar when she’s up for eight hours a day cooking, Sandra said.

Audra has completed her bakery and pastry certificate program and is taking online marketing courses and plans to open her own bakery in her neighborhood of River Park South. The first prize of $10,000 would go a long way towards realizing his dream of opening his bakery before his 19th birthday.

“Being a type 1 diabetic kind of opens a door for her,” Sandra said, noting that nutrition labels are extremely important for type 1 diabetics like her daughter. “It’s something she’s going to incorporate into her business plan: having some of her products with labels so everyone can enjoy her items and not have to guess what the carb count is.”

Audra has an online blog on Facebook under Audra’s Sweet Delights as well as Instagram under Audras_sweetdelights. You can read Audra’s story and vote for her in The Greatest Baker competition at: https://greatestbaker.com/2022/audra-martin

[email protected]

Twitter: @SunGlenDawkins

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