Insulin Pump Demystified

Friday, October 20, 2006

Really inspiring!

I had the real pleasure of interviewing Pittsburgh Steeler Kendall Simmons a few days ago--Kendall was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a few years ago and is going on a campaign to raise public awareness about diabetes. I interviewed him for "Diabetes Health" magazine--look for the article in an upcoming issue. Now, I must disclose that I was a little bit intimidated to talk with Kendall because I am basically football--illiterate. This admission comes with the disclaimer that I grew up with a Dad who is a die-hard fan (especially of the Steelers & Eagles) and married a man who may be an even bigger fan (Eagles specifically, with respect for the Steelers). Yet all of those Sunday afternoon and Monday night games pretty much washed over me, just specks on the screen, as I went about my business. Yeah, I've paid a little bit of attention during the Super Bowl, but that's a national holiday, after all.

So Fred prepped me a bit for the interview and my Dad assured me that the Pittsburgh steelers are all stand-up guys, and in the end, Kendall was probably one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people I've interviewed. He talked about what it was like to go from feeling at the top of his game, having won "Rookie of the Year" to getting extremely sick during training camp before his Type 1 diagnosis came. He talked about needing to change his eating habits from basically eaiting whatever he wanted (Kendall is 315 pounds) to learning how to count carbs. He talked about how he needs to manage his insulin so that he can go out and block 400 lbs of weight as an offensive lineman, without worrying about being too high or too low sugar-wise.

But mostly what inspired me was his attitude that he had simpley worked too hard in his career to let his Type 1 diagnosis get the best of him. And that is what he is out there in the world talking about.

His message brought me back to thinking about, though I don't need to go out and tackle anyone (barring my 3 and 1/2 year-old from time to time) on a daily basis, I do need to keep my diabetes management at the top of its game so that I have the strength to manage whatever comes at me in life. Stress at work, at home, parenting, financial pressures, worries about the state of the world...I have a lot on my plate, as each one of us does. It's too easy sometimes to just give in to it all, to lose motivation, to feel a little self-pity, to let your sugars swing out of control.

Talking with Kendall gave me a good shot in the arm, no pun intended, and I'm watching myself a little more closely this week. And--not a word to my husband or Dad--I think I'm going to follow the Steelers for the rest of the season.

Peace to you,


  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Scott K. Johnson said…

    How VERY COOL!

    I'll look forward to reading more about it in the article!

    I got a lot out of his attitude of having worked just too hard to let this slow him down at all. That is very inspiring indeed.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • At 9:47 PM, Blogger GabrielleK-M said…

    No problem! I'll keep you posted on the article. I was just so impressed with what a nice, smart and very inspiring guy Kendall is.


Post a Comment

<< Home