Never Stop Dreaming

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2014-09-30 08:14:49 -0500
Started 2014-09-24 06:08:33 -0500

I am continually amazed at the athletes who have diabetes. They do some of the most incredible stuff, fearlessly and without reservation. Today I read a story about a young girl who is vying for the single slot on the Olympic team for kayaking. She's been in the boat since the age of two and never looked back, even after being diagnosed with type 1 at the age of three. Kudos to her parents as well who were not afraid.

Here is a snip-it of her interview.
"Donnelly is on the Team Colorado Whitewater Racing Club, where she trains with a coach from Spain, who helps her perfect her skills as she readies for Olympic tryouts.

And as living with type 1 diabetes, celiac and thyroid disease? She certainly doesn’t allow them to slow her down.

She wears an Animas OneTouch Ping waterproof insulin pump so her blood sugar stays in check during competitions, and checks her glucose levels before each competition so she can take in some sugar if her numbers are too low.

In a way, the discipline required to manage her type 1 and the dietary restrictions of celiac have both ultimately been beneficial, as she already eats the healthy diet required for an Olympic run (this morning’s breakfast was a veggie omelet, and lunch will come when she can tear herself away from the water.)"

- See more at:

What are some of your dreams? Are you working to achieve them despite your diabetes?

19 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-09-27 12:33:03 -0500 Report

Gabby, this is so inspiring! I always like reading stories about people who have overcome adversity, and this is a perfect example. She is living life on life's terms, but finding a way to also live life on her terms.

jNaZr 2014-09-25 07:57:05 -0500 Report

In a month I have transformed my life. I am now an avid cyclist. I have upper body definition showing again and my legs are beasts. Diabetes is NOT a death sentence. I try my hardest to eat clean 80/20 and I feel better than I have in years. Diabetes is the best thing that's ever happened to me. My goal is to be lean and reversed t2 issues to the point where I am strictly diet and exercise control. Also, I want to ride a 30 mile mt bike trail.

Pegsy 2014-09-24 13:20:55 -0500 Report

I lost over 90 lbs and I own a women's fitness club. All BECAUSE of being diagnosed with diabetes. Had that not happened, I would still be an obese couch potato. I am healthier and in many ways happier, because of it. (Not that I am glad to be diabetic, I'm not.) There are a lot of things that I used to eat that I can't eat now but that is a small price to pay for maintaining good health. My dreams for the future are unchanged.

Glucerna 2014-09-24 15:30:19 -0500 Report

How inspiring that you used a diagnosis of diabetes to not only improve your health, but to encourage other women to take charge of their health as well. ~Lynn @Glucerna

robertoj 2014-09-24 19:32:32 -0500 Report

Men too or should I say especially men. We tend to ignore things completely. Women tend to the needs of others overlooking their own health.

teacherspet 2014-09-24 11:55:27 -0500 Report

Amazing isn't it! I stand in disbelief of the people who will say highly intelligent things to me as "well, with diabetes you can't do this or that", or once woman even said, "well your life is over if you have diabetes"…I thin she was speaking of eating…and the possibilities of what can happen. But gosh so much mis or no information out there, That why I think we have to walk the walk, talk the talk and keep informing people. And, yes, KEEP DREAMING!

tabby9146 2014-09-24 11:22:46 -0500 Report

I know it is even harder for type1 athletes than type2 of course. but because of the weight connection, I know, there are very very few type2 athletes, but there has got to be a few? I used to search for them and never could find any. though I do find type2 celebrities. There has got to be some normal weight or slightly overweight type2 people in general, not just athletes, and they seem so very rare. just my thoughts.

Shawn Grant
Shawn Grant 2014-09-24 17:26:32 -0500 Report

There are some fit type 2 diabetics. I am 6'1" 160 pounds and I bike, hike, lift weights and very active. Dave Mendosa, a popular blogger for diabetes, is thin and healthy. Many type 2's that follow a strict low carb diet and exercise eventually become thin.

You won't hear too many athletes with type 2. The biggest reason is because the disease does not manifest itself until middle age long after the athlete has retired. Gary Hill has type 2 and won medals in the Olympics for swimming

tabby9146 2014-09-30 08:14:49 -0500 Report

I am a very fit type2 also. I was 35 lbs overweight, mostly in the midsection in 2008 and that weight was very very slowly put on over years after my children were born. I got to work "before" my diagnosis, and lost some of it, but I already had it, so that was hard to deal with at first. I love to exercise and I do an hour each day, sometimes all at once, other times in 30 min. sessions. when I do an hour it might start off with yoga for 15 mins, or pilates, and then low impact aerobics. I love to hike and bike also. I do interval training with weights a few times each week.

brazosbelle 2014-09-24 11:21:06 -0500 Report

She is truly an inspiration! I was inspired this summer by a runner who came through Waco, Texas running from Austin to Gainesville (about 260 miles)
He's a T1 since 7 years old, (he's 20 something now) and he was running to draw awareness for a diabetes camp for kids (Camp Sweeney) that he attended as a child and to prove to the kids that they are capable of anything.
He has even inspired my husband and I to enter our first 5K in November to raise money for the ADA. (We will be 65 and 67 at the time) I'm T1 and he's normal! Ha, ha~
Good health to all!

debcox 2014-09-24 11:20:13 -0500 Report

One dream is to ride my bike down the coast of California with my sisters. Maybe next summer.

DawnieD 2014-09-24 08:39:29 -0500 Report

Now here's a little girl who would benefit so much if/when they come up with an internal monitor/pump so our bodies imitate a real pancreas!

Type1Lou 2014-09-24 13:22:39 -0500 Report

Dawnie, they are getting closer and closer to an artificial pancreas…and I also just read about something being developed called "smart insulin" that will turn itself on when it detects high BG levels and turn itself off when it is not needed. "Smart Insulin" was just mentioned in an article that was proposing to give different names to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes…which I don't agree with…we both deal with a life-threatening condition that puts us at risk for serious complications if we don't properly manage our diabetes…through appropriate medications, diet and exercise. Here's the link to the article:

DawnieD 2014-09-25 16:09:08 -0500 Report

Thanks! What a refreshing eye-opener! I just sent off my insurance info to a gcm supplier to see if I'd be covered. But that Smart Insulin… how cool is that?!

Type1Lou 2014-09-24 07:16:05 -0500 Report

Truly inspirational Gabby! Thanks for posting. I never felt diabetes limited me in my pursuits and ambitions. I am living a healthy, retired, life now after an active and successful career. With the determination to make the right decisions to manage our diabetes and with the help of a good medical team, we can have it all…(except for those high-carb food items) !

GabbyPA 2014-09-24 09:39:53 -0500 Report

I am very happy with my life and I have done some really fun things after diagnosis as well. Not having it as a child does make a difference in many ways, but even now, I have a bucket list of things I plan to do before I die. I don't see diabetes stopping me on any of them.

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