Did Growing Up With Diabetes Make You Feel Different?
20 October 2017
We asked the Team Novo Nordisk riders who were diagnosed with diabetes as a kid if growing up with the condition made them feel different. Their answers were as unique as the riders themselves.
Did growing up with diabetes make you feel different?
Martijn Verschoor: Not really. No, when I was diagnosed I was just in high school, so the first year I don’t want to be different. And the first few years I have diabetes I was used to taking a Coke when I want to take a Coke. If I want to eat, I would. So those first years I just did what I always did. So my diabetes was like a roller coaster.
Quentin Valognes: I was 6 when I was diagnosed- I remember everything. But I did not understand this feeling, you know? Everybody: my teacher, my parents, my family, my doctor told me, “Now your life changed, you have to understand that.” But I was 6, I like, “ok, ok… What is this?” So I come back in my class, I come back to my normal life and everything was the same. I did not understand what was the problem. I just follow what the doctor told me. It was ok.
Charles Planet: In school, everybody was like, feeling sorry for me and I don’t like it. I was two weeks in the hospital, and all my…in my class, all of them, they come to me in the hospital. Even my teacher. At this point, it was good to have some support. But after a few years, I started getting more serious and all my friends, all my family, they all know I have diabetes. So they always try to help me and ask some questions.
Martijn Verschoor: But just when I got older and I have good people around me and I get more confidence, it’s easy to share the story. For now, I don’t like when people feel sorry for me because for me, it’s not…I don’t feel I have any problem. It’s a part of my life.
Charles Planet: From the other riders in the race? No… We are like, just one guy to beat. You have to win and I’m part of the peloton. There is no difference.
If have advice to give, it’s never give up. Trust in yourself. If you work, if you really want to chase this dream, it will happen. And just be happy becuase there are many, many people who have it much, much worse than us.
Fabio Calabria: If I had any advice for a younger version of myself it would just be to…never give up. Just keep going, no matter what it is eventually you’ll break through to the other side and good things will happen.