Team Novo Nordisk pro cyclists share how they felt when they were first diagnosed with diabetes and how they feel now- and offer some words of encouragement to anyone who is newly diagnosed.
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How did you feel when you were first diagnosed with diabetes?
Ben Dilley: When I was first diagnosed with diabetes the thing that hit me the hardest was just the fact that now it was something I was going to have to live with.
Kevin de Mesmaeker: It was not such a big shock for me then for my parents, for my family, because they felt guilty about it. Because they thought they…it was their fault.
David Lozano: At the start I was feeling a little bit upset because I didn’t want to have the same disease as my father.
Javier Megias: Bad…bad. In the beginning, bad…bad.
Stephen Clancy: I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t… It wasn’t anywhere to be seen in the family, you know, genetically. So unexpected. And I thought it was unfair.
Scott Ambrose: Yeah- I thought I was dying, so to find out it was diabetes, I was kind of relieved that I knew it could be controlled. So in a way I was happy that it was diabetes, and not something worse.
Chris Williams: I was told when I was diagnosed with diabetes that I would have to give up the sport at east for a little while– and I was pretty devastated.
How do you feel about your diabetes now?
Martijn Verschoor: So after a while I manage my diabetes better and better.
David Lozano: Here I am, racing with the best guys in the world. So I think it was point in a part of my career. I feel great right now.
Ben Dilley: And the thing that really impacted me the most was I was very ashamed of it. I didn’t tell anyone. And it took a long time for me to realize that it didn’t have to be something that I was ashamed of.
Kevin de Mesmaeker: Immediately I wanted to prove I still want to fulfill my dream. And eventually after one year living with diabetes. I was a professional cyclist. So I did great I think.
Brian Kamstra: And now I’m really happy and I feel good, and healthy.
What would you tell someone who was recently diagnosed with diabetes?
Chris Williams: For those that are recently diagnosed with diabetes, don’t get down. Life’s not over. It’s just a little speed bump, a little bit of learning.
Scott Ambrose: Just go with it. Learn everything the doctors tell you, ask for advice.
Stephen Clancy: And day by day it becomes easier. And soon you realize it’s not impossible.
Ben Dilley: There is hope. It doesn’t have to completely change who you are. You are still who you are as a person. And you can still pursue the dreams and goals that you have.
David Lozano: Look at our team and look how strong we are on the bike or outside of the bike. Because you have been diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t mean you have to stop fighting for what you want to do.
Brian Kamstra: If we can do, you can do it also.
Kevin de Mesmaeker: It’s going to be a part of you but it doesn’t have to stop you.
Stephen Clancy: Nothing should come in the way of you and your dreams and that includes diabetes.