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Sidney students to raise awareness for diabetes
Junior Ryan Secor and senior Glenn Rogers
Junior Ryan Secor and senior Glenn Rogers
 
November is Diabetes Awareness Month.
 
For two Sidney Central School District students, this year it has a bit more meaning. 
 
Junior Ryan Secor and senior Glenn Rogers are hoping to spread awareness about diabetes throughout the month of November, all while raising money for JDRF (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), a nonprofit that funds type 1 diabetes research. 
 
Though friends before, the two became bonded even more over the past few months as both have type 1 diabetes. Secor has had diabetes for a few years now, but Rogers was diagnosed earlier this year – after a scary incident before a baseball game. 
 
Finding out

May 10 was a significant day for Rogers, though maybe not the way he would have hoped. He hadn’t been feeling well all day – for a few weeks, actually – as he had been fatigued and a little sick more often, and not fully with it. He said he just thought it was the life of a high school student who took part in athletics, and was working hard academically. 
 
The symptoms started in March, Rogers said. He would get tired easier. He’d be thirsty a lot – to the point where he was drinking gallons of water a day and having to urinate a lot – more signs of diabetes. He was thinking about his future and what he wanted to accomplish, so he kept trying to push through everything that was going wrong.
 
“I ignored it,” he said. “I pushed it away. I tried to do what I always did, but I was worn out. I was fatigued.”
 
But as things took a bigger turn for the worse, Secor stepped in and started to tell him to get things checked out. He knew something was wrong and the signs were ones he knew well. Secor, who was diagnosed with type 1 when in seventh grade, continued to encourage Rogers to find out what was wrong.
 
“I had mentioned to him to get it checked out,” Secor said. “And he didn’t get it checked out.”
 
May 10 is a day that will be etched in their memories for a long time. As members of Sidney’s varsity baseball team, they had a home game that day, The two had gotten to the field to get ready. Something was different for Rogers, though, as he was winded from the first three flights of stairs going from the school to the fields. 
 
Add to that, he had been feeling woozy most of the day and then Sidney coach Kyle Vibbard said he looked a bit sick. 
 
Secor finally had enough of Rogers pushing things aside. He pulled out his glucose meter, and had Rogers take a reading – and the meter maxed out at more than 600. 
 
“All I saw was ‘over 600,’” Secor said. “I said ‘Glenn, you might want to get to the hospital.’”
 
That number might not startle people who don’t have knowledge of diabetes, but to put it in context – normal blood reading for a non-diabetic would be in the range of 70-130. 
 
When at the hospital, Rogers speech was slurred and his reading was at more than 1000. He said he got some high fives from the staff because they had never seen someone with a reading like that and be conscious. 
 
“They told me if I had not been active and doing sports like I had, I probably would have died,” Rogers said, who added he 100 percent credits Secor with saving his life.
 
“I was just happy he was doing better,” Secor said. 

About Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease and Control, diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. 
 
As of 2017, 30.3 million people have diabetes – 9.4 percent of the US population. That includes 23.1 million people diagnosed, and 7.2 million undiagnosed. 
 
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, and another 40,000 will be diagnosed with it this year. Type 1 can occur at any age, in people of every race, and of every shape and size. 
 
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. 
 
Diabetes is a disease that can be managed and people live long and healthy lives – but the key is making sure it is managed. 
 
Learning curve
 
Just being diagnosed isn’t the end of things. Having diabetes is a chore to manage at times, and it becomes amplified for those with type 1. 
 
When Secor was first diagnosed, it was almost like he was on an island.
 
“When it happened to me, we knew nobody,” Secor said. “I was in worse condition than Glenn was. Getting all the information was very overwhelming. I was excessive with the amount of information I was getting.” 
 
The information stacks up – insulin, pumps, what to do with things, how to manage your numbers, what to eat, what to do if your sugar is high or low etc. Push that all on anybody and it can be overload. A lot of this can be trial and error, Secor said.
 
But Secor had been through it, which gave Rogers a support system right away. 
 
For Rogers, he attacked things a bit different. He learned about the disease and what he had to do. But he had Secor to lean on, and he said when playing fall baseball this year, it was nice to be around one another so that he could understand the things to eat and what to do. 
 
But even with the support, Rogers has grasped it with his normal attitude.
 
“I’m a go, go, go kid,” he said. “I told myself to get it managed and go.” 
 
Raising awareness
 
Though diabetes is more in the mainstream, it still baffles a lot of people. Secor and Rogers want to raise awareness, especially within the Sidney Central School District and community. The two also want to raise money that can go toward the research of diabetes. 
 
One event will be a foul-shooting contest, which will involve the varsity and JV boys and girls basketball teams. Athletes will seek sponsors, who will be able to pledge an amount for each foul shot made or a flat amount for taking part. 
 
A second fundraiser will be a t-shirt sale, in conjunction with Shupperd’s Tack Shop. All proceeds will go toward the fundraiser. When shirt sales are available, the Sidney Central School District will announce where shirts can be purchased on its website and social media. 
 
There will also be a Diabetes Awareness Night event at the home boys basketball game on December 3. Several items are in the plans for the evening, including a half-court shot contest. 
 
“I appreciate Ryan and Glenn’s awareness work,” Sidney Superintendent Eben Bullock said. “By sharing their personal stories and advocacy work, more people can be made aware of this disease. Sidney Central School is very proud of Ryan and Glenn.” 
Sidney Central School District
95 West Main Street  |  Sidney, NY 13838  |   Phone: 607.563.2135  |   Fax: 607.563.2386
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