SSN Athlete Feature: Joe Karwowski

Living With Diabetes

Davis Gerig

Preparations for the basketball and baseball games begin, but for some athletes the preparations are different.  Joe Karwowski has diabetes, so he prepares for games differently. When asked what it is like playing sports with diabetes Joe said “playing sports with diabetes is more challenging, but I have to keep pushing.” Joe was diagnosed with diabetes spring of his 8th grade year. This would mean he would have to adapt before the fall of freshman year so he could make the basketball team. He would have to monitor his blood sugar before games. When he first started sports back with diabetes if his blood sugar got to low he would have to excuse himself from games or practice in order to go eat something then come back. Joe said “I have gotten used to living with diabetes, and it is just a part of life now.” His family, teammates, and coaches help him when he is struggling, and it seems like everyone is there for him.  Joe is a three sport athlete playing basketball, baseball, and football, so he always has to keep his blood sugar high enough. He doesn’t want something bad to happen on the field, diamond, or court. Baseball teammate Gavin Johnston says “I do not see a difference in joes play on the diamond, but it does affect how he prepares.” Joe has always been a hard worker Gavin says, and his diabetes just help him work harder. It is like a chip on his shoulder. When he first got diagnosed with diabetes he was in the hospital for a few day, and was wondering in his head if sports were ever going to be the same for him. The doctors assured him if he did what he needed to monitor his blood sugar everything would be the same.  Joe continues to work hard, diabetes is a minor setback for a strong comeback.