Despite being diagnosed at age three, having type 1 diabetes (T1D) never held Joshua Tufts back from doing what he loved: playing sports. Throughout his life, he’s played baseball, basketball and football, even playing at Comerica Park, Ford Field and training fields across the United States. Currently, he has an offer to play baseball for Henry Ford College.
Josh admits that over the years sprints and warm days have been especially challenging in monitoring his sugar levels. However, he’s always had the support of his teammates, who have been well-informed about his T1D and what that means for him as a player, and his friends, so they know how to help him when he needs it.
“I’ve never hidden my diagnosis, because I’ve always thought it was better for others to know what I’m facing so they can help if I’m ever in trouble,” said Josh. “Sometimes my friends or teammates can see I need to check my sugar levels before I even feel it myself. They never hold it against me if I have to take a break to take care of myself.”
During games, Josh wears a sensor, but he does not wear his pump so it doesn’t inhibit his ability to play. However, he does put his pump back on at the sidelines to correct his sugar/insulin levels when needed during a game.
To help other children who like to be active feel more comfortable with their diagnosis, Josh serves as a mentor for those who are newly diagnosed. His goal is to help eliminate any shame or stigma they may feel so they are more open about T1D.
One way you can be active and support T1D research is to participate in JDRF’s upcoming One Walk.
Join thousands of supporters at JDRF One Walk on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at Milliken State Park/ Detroit River Walk for a one-mile stroll or Dexter on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at Hudson Mills Metropark for a scenic three-mile stretch.