Our NorCal type 1 diabetes (T1D) community has a new hero in town! Over the summer the San Jose Sharks signed Luke Kunin for a two-year contract, and our young hockey fans are thrilled to look up to a local accomplished athlete, and JDRF Celebrity Ambassador, who also lives with T1D.
Born in Chesterfield, Missouri, Luke Kunin always knew he wanted to play hockey. When he was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 12, his dreams came into question. Refusing to give up, Luke sought inspiration and support from other T1D athletes and role models. In 2016, he was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the NHL Draft and went on to play with the Nashville Predators before being traded to the Sharks.
“To give back and help fund research and support kids and their families impacted by T1D means so much to me.” – Luke Kunin
In 2021 Luke launched the Luke Kunin T1D Fund with all proceeds benefiting JDRF. His goal is to raise awareness, fund research and support kids living with T1D. Luke invites families impacted by T1D from the JDRF NorCal Chapter to attend Sharks home games and meet with him afterwards. Luke talks with the kids about what it’s like to play a professional sport while living with T1D. The kids are inspired by Luke to live their best lives and pursue their dreams. Luke is inspired by the kids to give back and do what he can to help find cures for T1D.
Check out some recent photos of Luke with NorCal T1D kids and families: