Athletes with diabetes: “You might have to do it differently, but you can still do it.”

My love for basketball has always been there. My mom was the coach so she would alway take me to the gym with her. She was big on basketball, so she’d always have it playing on tv You know, something that was always there in my life. So when I was 12 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes That’s probably like, the most pivotal moment in my life Before I feel you are so carefree. you can just eat whatever and not think about it I am remember crying. I felt so bad for myself. Its crazy to think about like how much it made me like realize how blessed I am to even like be able to be diagnosed or be able to have insulin to keep me alive and healthy. There was never a point where, Oh, I’m diabetic, I can’t do this. and my mom, I fell like she was really an important person. She was like “no, you can do whatever” She was like, “you might have to do it differently, but you can still do it” and its really helped me be balanced, helped me play how everyone else plays. When Jannon was recruited to transfer here the coaches were aware of her type 1 diabetes and so we had a sit down So that I can make sure that the coaching staff was prepared and to make sure that we had everything in place so that she can be successful here. She is, I would say the most important person for me here She checks on me so much, she really is like my second mom “So which arm, this one?” “So how are you today?” “I feel good” “Have you done your numbers yet?” She wants to make sure that younger kids don’t feel like this is something that’s going to limit them, that they can still be an athlete they can still go on and play Division 1. One of the things that I really like about her is that she is so open about being a type 1 diabetic but also the fact that there are people struggling to even get their basic medical supplies for being diabetic. and that’s something that she’s really passionate about. And I love that about her. Jannon is very healthy. She does a lot of extra workouts, she does a lot of conditioning She’s been playing basketball most of her life and she hasn’t let being a type 1 diabetic stand in her way. But, for the most part, she’s just like every single other player on the court. My teammates are like my sisters. I really feel like we care about each other and we care about each other’s success. Now we’re like best friends! Yea she has my back, I feel like, a lot. She’s always there for me. At home you’re with them, when you come to school your with them. Its fun, you know? Its like you’re living with your family or something. (music) I try to do the same thing everyday I just stick to a schedule or plan ahead for like class I always get fruit, fruits my thing You have to really be prepared with your meals, with your snacks It’s good to have stuff like this, so you can get snacks if you need it. It has a low glycemic index, it says that. So, that’s supposed to good for like your blood sugar. Those are my favorite My family isn’t well off, so having a way to support getting an education was the goal for me. Because if it wasn’t for basketball, I don’t think my mom would’ve been able to put me through college So I just feel like blessed to be in the position honestly, and like You have so much at UCR that you can use for your future I feel like sharing your story is important Everyone has a platform to spread awareness about the issues that they face It kind of like warms my heart just to know people are interested in it or they care about knowing more I want them to say ” oh, she has diabetes and she’s playing basketball” and I mean if that’s like, me being a role model then yea. But I just want them to know that they can do the same thing So I feel like its important to just, share it with the world.

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