Sammamish lacrosse players manage diabetes during games

June 22, 2010

Issaquah Youth Lacrosse Nick Mauzy (55) plays in a lacrosse match this year at Skyline Stadium against Mukilteo. Mauzy, who has diabetes, monitors his blood sugar level during the course of a typical match. By Charles Mauzy

Sammamish resident Nick Mauzy, 14, has lived with diabetes since he was 5. Just like many Sammamish youths, he grew up playing sports and has managed to keep the disease in check. He is home-schooled, but plays for the Skyline High School club lacrosse team and in the Issaquah Youth Lacrosse League post-season tournaments.

Although he’s among a miniscule amount of young people with type 1 diabetes, Nick isn’t alone in local youth sports. He is among a handful of youth lacrosse players who balance the challenges of diabetes with playing a contact sport.

“Most people think of it as kind of a disability, something to prohibit you,” Nick said. “It really isn’t. You never back down, and get into what a normal person would do.”

Approximately 23.6 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, about 7.8 percent of the population, according to the American Diabetes Association. Only 0.22 percent (186,300 people) of the population 20 and younger have diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. With type II, the body doesn’t use insulin properly. About 5 percent to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, according to the association. Read more

What health care reform means to us

April 27, 2010

A lot of talk has surrounded the recently signed health care bill, and as it waits finalization by the U.S. Senate, the bill has raised as many questions as it has answered. But the basic need for a plan — and the effect of it on teens today — is relatively unambiguous.

The need for health care over the past decade has become apparent as prices of basic health care climb and the costs of dealing with disease become unreal. New and expensive asthma medications can cost $50 per prescription. For youths with diabetes, the annual cost of medications has doubled from 2001 to 2007, while the number of children with diabetes has been steadily increasing.

According to the American Diabetes Association, treating the disease cost the average patient $6,649 in 2007. As said by Time magazine, such things as growth hormone deficiencies have staggeringly high costs and the annual bill for parents can exceed $20,000 — doctor’s visits, tests and hospitalizations not included.

Read more

Diabetic takes on triathlons, inspires community

February 16, 2010

Bobby Heyer (right) races the cycling portion of an Ironman race team ride with one of his Team Type 1 teammates, Matt Vogel. Contributed

Bobby Heyer, a four-time Ironman-finisher and avid triathlete, is training to complete his fifth Ironman in Brazil in April. But apart from the physical task of finishing five Ironman triathlons, Heyer continually fights to overcome a separate challenge of its own: He is a type 1 diabetic.

Heyer, an Issaquah resident and member of the Team Type 1 triathlon team, kicked off two separate American Diabetes Association walks in October. The first was in Seattle’s Seward Park, followed by one in Tacoma. His message to diabetics was simple: “You’re never going to be perfect, but there’s no reason you can’t do anything that anybody else is doing.”

Type 1 diabetes is a form of the disease in which the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that moves blood sugar from the bloodstream into blood cells, causing the body to attack itself; it differs from Type 2 diabetes, in which insulin in the body is less efficient at moving sugar out of the blood cells, resulting in high blood sugar.

Heyer was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 15. He was a freshman in high school who at the time was actively involved in football, wrestling, skiing and track. Although he considers himself unique in that he already had such a broad athletic background, he held on to one philosophy that kept him from slowing down:

“At some point, you just have to own it.”

Referring to his condition, Heyer said he never truly “owned it” until his freshman year in college, when he decided that taking care of his body was the most important thing to focus on.

It was not too long after college that Heyer got into his favorite sport, cycling, as he joined a couple friends in completing the STP, a 200-mile bike tour from Seattle to Portland, Ore., in one day.

“That was when I truly got into endurance sports,” he said.

And after nine years, he has accomplished physical tasks that very few, let alone those with Type 1 diabetes, could dream of accomplishing. And as he has continued his pursuit of personal physical accomplishment, his passion for diabetes awareness has spread to the community.

Heyer is involved with Team Type 1, a cycling and triathlon team designed to raise awareness about people living with diabetes. The team was founded by friends and fellow diagnosed Type 1 diabetics Joe Eldridge and Phil Southerland.

Heyer got involved with the team in 2005, when he raced with Eldridge and Southerland in the Race Across America, a team-cycling race from Oceanside, Calif., to Atlantic City, N.J.

“I didn’t think we’d be that good, but we ended up taking first in our division and second overall, and set a record,” Heyer said.

The three of them, and eight other cyclists, came back to take first overall in the RAAM that next year. Heyer noted that by that point he felt as though Team Type 1 was really beginning to get its message about diabetes out to the community.

It seemed at the ADA Walk as though the message Heyer and Team Type 1 are preaching has continued to spread, at least to Gary Pruitt, a representative of Univar, one of the ADA Walk’s corporate sponsors.

“You (the community) are the real heroes for putting this all together. Every step brings ADA closer to a cure for diabetes,” Pruitt said in a speech right before the event began.

Nearing age 45, Heyer is still planning on deepening his career as a triathlete. His ultimate goal is to qualify for the Kona-Ironman-World-Championship in Hawaii; his next chance will be at the Ironman in Brazil next year.

“It certainly won’t define who I am, but I think I can do it,” he said.

Heyer mentioned that the Brazil event will be unaffiliated with Team Type 1, but he plans to continue to live his life with the goal of spreading community awareness as well as inspiring other diabetics.

“You don’t have to do an Ironman,” he said. “Just take care of yourself and live your best life.”

Jeff Lehman is a former student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

Aegis seeks children’s clothing donations

December 8, 2008

Partnership formed with Eastside Baby Corner  to help the needy

If your child’s closet is filled with clothes that no longer fit, consider donating them to a family who could use some extra help during the cold winter months.  

Aegis Living, a private, family-owned company for senior living, is holding a clothing drive to benefit Eastside Baby Corner.  

“As a company, we are always looking for ways we can be involved in the community and be able to give back,” said Leslie Campana, marketing director at Aegis of Issaquah.  

Aegis is involved with numerous organizations to help seniors, including the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Diabetes Association and Senior Services in King County. Organizers were excited by the opportunity to help a much younger generation. 

“We are very, very happy that Aegis is taking on this project and helping us to get the community support during this time of great need,” Karen Ridlon, founder of Eastside Baby Corner, said.   Read more

Donate children’s clothing at Aegis to help Eastside Baby Corner

December 8, 2008

NEW — 10:42 a.m. Dec. 8, 2008

If your child’s closet is filled with clothes that no longer fit, consider donating them to a family who could use some extra help during the cold winter months. Read more

Donate children’s clothing at Aegis to help Eastside Baby Corner

December 8, 2008

NEW — 10:42 a.m. Dec. 8, 2008

If your child’s closet is filled with clothes that no longer fit, consider donating them to a family who could use some extra help during the cold winter months. Read more