I was 18 years old, healthy, fit, and going to college. Though, as we all know, life doesn’t always go as planned. At 18 years of age, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Yep! Show’s over, close the curtains, we are done here folks! Well, that is what it felt like at first. I looked at the doctor and asked, “I’m going to have to give myself insulin for the rest of my life? Are you kidding me?” The doctor wasn’t kidding. It wasn’t a big joke.This was real. I was now one of the 80 million Americans that have diabetes.  I wasn’t unhealthy. I exercised. I worked hard. I did everything I was supposed to do to stay healthy and yet, my pancreas decided to go kaput! Funny enough, managing diabetes revolves around nutrition and exercise. Two things that I already had a passion for. The difference now? My life depends on it! After that moment in the doctors room, my motivation and drive grew ten fold. The more I learned about my condition, the more I realized how nutrition and exercise directly affect a person’s health. Not just diabetics, but everyday people: The soccer moms, the office worker, the actor, the single dad, the grad student, the soon to be Mrs., the soon to be mommy, and you! So, it was the realization that everyone could benefit from my experience and knowledge that led me to my passion a personal trainer.

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Friend : “So, you have to give yourself sugar? ”
Me: “You’re kidding, right?”

Has anyone told you that you couldn’t do something due to your diabetes, and you proved them wrong?
My daily existence revolves around this. Proving to people everywhere that T1Diabetics can do everything and anything they want.

How do you inspire others?
Setting the example. In my everyday life I treat others with respect, love my family and friends, educate others on living healthy, and working hard.

Tell us a story about how diabetes has affected you.
Inspired by my personal struggle with Type I Diabetes, I have dedicated my life to health, fitness and education. I train young and old people alike and, on Saturdays, lead health walks sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Now, as a father of a beautiful little girl and one on the way, I feel compelled to affect an even broader audience.  This led to me write my very first children’s book, What Should I eat Today?

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Diabetes has made me realize my true purpose in life. Through diabetes I have been able pursue my dream career that ultimately led me to find my wife and have our beautiful daughter.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
Bring on the horse duck!

Ava »

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