A lot of diabetes information is shared during the month of November. The yearly American Diabetes Association campaign raises awareness about diabetes and encourages people to make healthy changes. The message must be getting through because people with diabetes are living longer and healthier than ever before!
This does not mean that managing diabetes is easy. It takes hard work for each person to predict how food, exercise, and stress will affect their blood sugar readings. And most of this work goes unseen and unappreciated by those around them as many family members and friends misunderstand the basics.
Even so, people with diabetes are succeeding in the management of their disease and leading successful careers. There are long lists of performers, business leaders, scientists, etc. that have been diagnosed with diabetes. Below is a selected list of modern athletes who have juggled type 1 diabetes while performing at the top of their sport:
- Scott Verplank – started playing professional golf in 1986. Now on the Champions Tour.
- Michelle McGann – became an LPGA tour member in 1989. Now on the Legends Tour.
- Gary Hall – won a total of 10 Olympic medals as a swimmer in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 games.
- Barbara Jardin – retired from swimming in 2016. Swam for Canada in the 2012 Olympic Games.
- Jay Cutler – played 12 seasons as an NFL Quarterback between 2006 and 2016.
- Missy Foy – world ranked elite marathon runner. Qualified for Olympics in 2000.
- Mark Lowe – professional baseball pitcher. 2018 marked his 12th season.
- Sara Groenewegen – a pitcher for the Canadian Women’s National Softball team since 2013.
- Will Cross – mountain climber who ascended highest peaks on all 7 continents
- Zippora Karz – soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet from 1983 – 1999.
If you know someone with diabetes, take a minute to show encouragement and to recognize all that they do to take care of themselves! And if you want to learn more about diabetes, check out useful information on the Dedham Diabetes website.
-Cathy M., Diabetes and Exercise Consultant at Dedham Health