Dennis, who’s affectionately nicknamed the “Commander in Chocolate” by his supportive UnifiedStreamers community, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 16. Almost twenty-five years later, he still remembers being asked by his doctor if he knew what a normal blood sugar range was—and then being informed that his reading was about six times too high.
A month of hospitalization followed, which was tough for a teenager used to being active and healthy. His classmates missed him so much that a busload of them detoured from a school field trip to visit Dennis in the hospital.
Dennis learned about JDRF in 2019 when a fellow T1D streamer gave him a heads-up about our first Twitch fundraiser. He’s been a fixture of the JDRF Game2Give community ever since, throwing back numerous hot sauce shots for the cause and raising more than $6,500. He’s proud that charity streams give him an opportunity to educate people about T1D, and that he’s helping make new treatment options a reality for people affected by T1D: “What we’re doing is for everyone, not just ourselves, and that’s part of what I love about it.”
Keeping a Healthy Balance
Although the “LA” in his Twitch handle refers to his original hometown of Los Angeles, Dennis now lives in Georgia, where he works as a water well technician. (He admits to once playing hooky from a well convention so he could check out a retro video game arcade nearby.) Juggling a full-time job, regular streaming, and workouts can be challenging, but he’s figured out a healthy balance with a schedule that includes three-mile laps around the track on weekends. He also credits his family (including a father and two grandparents with T1D), his coworkers, and his online community for their empathy and support.
Dennis loves comics and manga, and he often streams fighting games on Twitch, so it’s no surprise that his favorite game is the superhero / beat-em-up crossover Marvel vs. Capcom. (Capcom is the company behind classics like Mega Man and Street Fighter.) On May 18, he’ll join us on the JDRF Twitch channel for a behind-the-scenes Q&A with a developer who worked on some of the games that are part of a JDRF-supporting Capcom bundle currently for sale at HumbleBundle.com.