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Local athletes don’t let diabetes shut them down

Anna Yates saves a goal against Tawas.

Alpena, Mich. — Competing in sports is a commitment, but some local athletes show us that anything can be achieved with a little extra work.

“It’s a struggle. It’s definitely the hardest thing in my life,” said junior goalkeeper Anna Yates. “I manage it as best as I can and that’s all you can do with it.”

Oscoda’s Yates is used to defending the competition, as well as diabetes, but she’s not alone. Alpena shot put state qualifier Faith Weide was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 6-years-old.

“I have to before practice make sure my blood sugar is okay. During practice I have to eat something, said Weide. “I have to keep myself on top of things just beyond my sport, so it definitely pushes me to another level of responsibility.”

While most athletes have to remember their uniform or equipment, Yates and Weide also need to pack snacks, eat a good meal prior to a game and make sure they have enough insulin.

“I’ve seen patients go from 100’s down to 40’s and 50’s rather quickly,” said Diabetes Education Coordinator Angela Soltysiak. “Just because with that activity it’s a quick uptake of glucose.”

Yates does not wear her pump while playing soccer. Meanwhile, Weide chooses to wear her tandem insulin pump and constant glucose monitor when throwing. The senior has only faced an issue one time at a meet.

“My blood sugar went low, and instead of giving me a chance to get that blood sugar up I had to throw with low blood sugar,” said Weide. “It causes you to be shaky, you’re weak, and you cannot function correctly.”

Despite the extra preparation, these role models prove that nothing can hold you back.

“Honestly the intensity of the sports is the best part about it,” said Yates. “I like being in the action.”

“Go for it,” said Weide. “Diabetes does not stop you and it will never stop you.”

Weide will compete in her last state track meet on Saturday, June 1st in Grand Rapids. She has signed to throw with Western Michigan University in 2020.