Highs and lows: Being a Division I athlete with diabetes

College Sports
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New Orleans — “It’s just something I live with. It’s not who I am. It’s just something I have.”

Scott Crabtree is a senior on UNO’s baseball team, but unlike his teammates he’s a Type 1 Diabetic.

“You have your ups and downs,” Crabtree said. “You have days where you think you have it all under control. You have weeks where you think you have it under control but there’s days or weeks that you’re just all out of whack.”

“When he was first diagnosed, we thought it meant the end of everything but didn’t let him think that,” said Scott’s mother, Breni Crabtree. “We immediately said you can do anything you want and we’ll figure out a way to do it.”

“I was very hesitant to give shots so I would just not eat,” Crabtree said. “I was super skinny and honestly scared of food.”>

Diagnosed at the age of 10, Scott’s come a long way these past 12 years. He now has an insulin pump and has really learned how to manage the highs and lows, but it’s still an ever-present part of his life that requires constant awareness.

“It definitely challenges you,” Crabtree said. “You’ll have days where I’ll be in the workout room. We’ll be lifting weights and my blood sugar crashes. People don’t understand all the time that I have to sit down for a few minutes and eat a snack or drink some Gatorade and relax for about 5-10 minutes, let that blood sugar start to rise back up before I can get back into it.”

“It’s insane honestly,” said one of Crabtree’s best friends and teammate Zach Thompson. “My body hurts all the time because we do so much. We’re out here all day every day and with his diabetes and he’s sweating and having to constantly put insulin in and constantly have a certain snack because it goes up and down so much form being out in the sun and running all day. It’s just crazy that he can do it.”

Scott’s journey with diabetes has reached well beyond his own life. He’s a TeamType 1 Global Ambassador and is a mentor to kids who are also diabetic, using his story to show them how to manage diabetes and still live an active life.

“To have something like that,” said UNO Head Baseball Coach Blake Dean, “that he can share with other people and overcome, it sets him up for the rest of his life because he knows how to deal with adversity.”

“It’s good for everyone to see that Division I athletes do have this,” said UNO baseball trainer Tyler Trahan. “Professional athletes do have this. It’s good to know that there is a way to still compete at a high level.”

“We make it a point to never forget that he has diabetes and to always say to someone else, ‘He did it. You can do it,'” said Breni Crabtree.


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