Friday, May 02, 2008

Another Role Model

# May 1, 2008 8:27 pm US/Mountain

Jay Cutler Reveals He Has Type 1 Diabetes
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Vic Lombardi

Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, he told CBS4's Vic Lombardi Thursday.

Cutler's business manager Marty Garafalo confirmed the illness Thursday night to the Associated Press.

Cutler told CBS4 he dropped eight to ten of pounds towards the end of the 2007 season and that he was not throwing the ball with as much force as he had in the past.

"I"m just excited about this year now that we know what the problem was," Cutler said. "I'm not the first person to get it and I won't be the last person to get it."

CBS4 medical editor Dr. Dave Hnida said Cutler may actually see improvement in his play now that he has a diagnosis and is getting treatment.

"He should look for a long and healthy [life]," Hnida said. "New things are popping up every day and the disease will one day be curable. It's just a blessing he caught this one early and I bet his advice to you would be to get screened if you have any signs or symptoms. You don't need to be an NFL quarterback to beat diabetes." (Read more in Dr. Dave's Blog)

The 25-year-old Cutler found out about two weeks ago that he was diabetic and needed daily insulin injections, Garafalo told The Associated Press.

He said Cutler was managing his disease and "in no way is his football career jeopardized."

Some 21 million Americans have diabetes, meaning their bodies cannot properly turn blood sugar into energy. Either they don't produce enough insulin or don't use it correctly. With the Type 1 form, the body's immune system attacks insulin-producing pancreatic cells, so that patients require insulin injections to survive.

"It's something that he's dealing with and something a lot of other people have," Garafalo said. "Even though it's a serious condition, it's a condition that can be managed. That's the way he's treating it right now.

"Everything's fine," Garafalo continued. "His condition is fine."

Cutler, entering his third NFL season, threw for 3,497 yards and 20 touchdowns last season after supplanting Jake Plummer with five weeks left in the 2006 season.

The 6-foot-3, 233-pound Cutler was taken by the Broncos with the 11th overall pick of the 2006 draft, becoming the first Vanderbilt player taken in the first round since 1986.

Cutler is expected to hold a news conference Friday.

Three other notable NFL pros have played with Type 1 diabetes. Jay Leeuwenburg played for the University of Colorado Buffaloes and went on to have a 9-year NFL career. Wade Wilson, currently a quarterback coach for the Dallas Cowboys, played in the pros for 17 years. Cornerback Mike Echols of the Tennesse Titans also has the disease.

Other athletes who have competed with diabetes include Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke, Charlotte Bobcats forward Adam Morrison, golfers Scott Verplank, Michelle McGann and Kelli Kuehne and Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr.

(in for the haul..its amazing how upbeat/positive he is just two weeks after diagnosis,when I'm sure it still feels like the end of the world!) it's nice to have role models, but I wouldn't wish anyone that I admire/respect get this disease. It's the toughest.
(my humble opinion, two weeks after my diagnosis I was doing my darnedest to prevent people from learning I had it)


Donna said...

I read this article, too. Nice to hear someone with a positive attitude & correct information about type 1 diabetes, isn't it? I was impressed.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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