Baseball star shows kids they can do big things with type 1 diabetes

A type 1 diabetes diagnosis can be devastating to young children. The news often means that they could be limited in the types of activities they can get involved in and that they will have to spend significant amounts of their time testing their blood sugar and taking insulin injections.

However, one Tampa Bay Rays player recently made an effort to show some children who were just diagnosed with the condition that diabetes doesn’t have to slow a person and that it is still possible to accomplish big dreams.

Sam Fuld, a star outfielder with the Rays, visited the University of South Florida Diabetes Center to meet some younger patients and sign a few autographs, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The event was made all the more special for the patients as Fuld is also a type 1 diabetic.

"It's a cause near and dear to my heart," Fuld told the news source.

The outfielder has become a fan favorite in Tampa after being traded from the Cubs in the offseason. He has wowed fans with his acrobatic diving catches and speed on the base path.

Fuld told the news source that he has to check his blood sugar six to seven times per day, even on game days. Additionally, he requires insulin shots four to five times each day. These are the things that most young people are worried will slow them down after they are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, but Fuld is living proof that the testing and treatment doesn’t need to get in the way of life.

The American Diabetes Association states that parents should not let type 1 diabetes hold their child back. There are many things that can be done, from sending the child to special summer camps to taking a more active approach to blood sugar regulation, that can enable young people to live normal lives.

An initial diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be a significant shock to children and their parents, but there are plenty of examples of people living normal lives with the condition. With appropriate management, the disease doesn’t have to be devastating.