HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Toronto Raptor Gary Forbes refuses to let diabetes ruin his dream

By Doug Smith, Toronto Star

1248 days ago   Article ID# 1530809
Original URL

 

Canadian Diabetes Association

TORONTO, CANADA (Toronto Star) - Forever it will be a companion but not a crutch, a daily reminder of the frailties of the human body but not something that should stop a man from pursuing his dream.

Five times a day, Gary Forbes takes a tiny needle and plunges it into his body; every day he goes out and pushes himself to the limits of his endurance against some of the greatest athletes in the world, oblivious to the illness, the injections, the routine that is little more than, well, routine.

Forbes, an emerging late-season key piece with the Raptors, is a Type 1 diabetic, the injections are insulin, the monitoring of his condition is practically constant but a nuisance more than anything.

“It’s a manageable disease,” the 26-year-old Forbes said. “I’ve had it now for eight years, went through different ups and downs and learning and stuff like that but I’m still coming out here every day and competing with the best players in the world.”

Forbes has become a tireless worker for diabetes awareness and promoting the idea that it’s not an impediment to athletic excellence. Forget looking at his 6-foot-7, 220-pound body to see the evidence — he’s taking his message as public as he can.

He runs a camp for kids in his hometown that promotes diet and lifestyle as much as basketball; he works with the tireless Raptors community relations staff and the Canadian Diabetes Association, spreading the word.

Forbes knows first hand how relatively easy it is to deal with diabetes, but he feels it’s part of his job to get the message out.

“It’s a large, large issue, especially in the New York, the city where I’m from. The Latino community and African-American community are at risk from different factors, whether it’s nutrition-wise or the family-based things.

“I’ve been trying to do a lot about educating kids and families about healthy eating and things like that to stay away from this.”

The Raptors medical staff offers support any way it can for Forbes, who joined the team as a free agent at the start of the season.

There are glucose tablets and candy available if necessary; so far nothing’s been needed and there’s no suggestion it ever will be.

“It’s a lifestyle for him, he takes care of it himself,” said Scott McCulloch, the team’s head athletic trainer. “I have stuff available just in case and I carry stuff in my kit for emergency purposes but this is something he has monitored his whole life and something he’ll have to monitor when he’s done his career.

“It’s one of the things where he has to be responsible for himself. We’re here as a medical staff to help him in any way we can if there are any issues but it’s his responsibility.”

Diabetics are rare in the NBA but not in professional sports.

Pitcher Brandon Morrow of the Blue Jays deals with it; the highest-profile basketball player of late was former first-round draft pick Adam Morrison. Golfer Scott Verplank, NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, former NBAer Chris Dudley — there is a long list of diabetic athletes, many of whom are like Forbes, constantly aware of the need to test glucose levels but able to play to the best of their abilities.

That’s the message Forbes wants to get out, loudly.

“I met a kid the other day, I told him, ‘You can do anything, don’t let this be a crutch, don’t let this hold you back, it’s manageable,’” he said. “My nephew actually has it and he’s out there playing flag football and enjoying life.”

The family aspect of Forbes’s condition cannot be understated. His father, Roberto, has diabetes; his grandfather, Winston, died of the disease. When he was first diagnosed (“I lost 20 pounds in one week, all different types of symptoms,” he said) it didn’t take long to figure out what was going on.

“Once they said it was a possibility of diabetes, I kind of knew I had it; I’ve always seen my father taking needles,” he said. “It’s hereditary; my father has helped me greatly, and every staff I’ve been with, the medical people, have helped me to manage it and learn about it and be able to do what I do.”

The managing part has become routine. The five injections a day, the checking of blood glucose levels before each game, at halftime of each game and after each game is something he does as a matter of course. He eats well, get his rest and if there’s one little issue, it comes with sticking himself with that needle. But, like dealing with diabetes itself, that’s become normal.

“I’m petrified, petrified of needles, so, so scared of needles,” he said. “I trust myself, I don’t trust doctors but it’s routine now. I don’t think about it; I could do it with my eyes closed.”

Not thinking about it, just as he doesn’t think about the condition.

Copyright 2015 Toronto Star   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1248 days ago   Article ID# 1530809

Canadian Diabetes Association    Visit Website

More News

Education and prevention essential in fight against diabetes

369 days ago From Regina Leader-Post  

REGINA, CANADA - Brie Hnetka, manager of programs and services with the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), organized the diabetes health fair for the ...

Hundreds raised thousands for charity during Forest City Road Races

491 days ago From Wicked Local Waltham 

CALGARY, CANADA - Jenkins is one of nine runners on the Perkins charity team who will pound ... At last year's Boston Marathon, Jenkins had run 19 miles when the race ... Flag as irrelevant ...

Welland girl close to $2,000 goal

1041 days ago From Welland Tribune 

WELLAND, CANADA - From left, Reane Storey, 8, and her sister Cheyenne, receive a donation from Ron Lostracco, owner of FreshCo on Ontario Rd. Cheyenne was collecting donations Wednesday for the Canadian Diabetes Association. She is participating in the Freedom Run in ...

Runners make strides for diabetes research

1048 days ago From Nanaimo News Bulletin 

NANAIMO, CANADA - Runners make strides for diabetes research. Share this story. Tweet. Climber on diabetes trek · Events focus on diabetes awareness · Family tackles diabetes risks · Clothing donors fight diabetes · Runners make strides in ...

Beaudoin donates for diabetes cure

1118 days ago From Spruce Grove Examiner 

SPRUCE GROVE, CANADA - During her trek she has partnered with Team Diabetes of the Canadian Diabetes Association. The inspiration behind Beaudoin's generous use of her time begins close to home. Fourteen of her family members suffer from the diabetes disease and some h ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  Next >> 

<< Return To Celebrity News

Action Center

Severe wildfires threatening world's temperate forests

Action: Climate Change

More extensive and severe wildfires and a myriad other threats, including diseases and longer, more severe and hotter drought ...

Gorillas on the brink in Congo

Action: Wildlife Conservation

Andre Bauma rolls in the grass with a young mountain gorilla, Ndakasi. He hugs the hulking hairy creature whom he thinks of a ...

Rainforests doomed unless world adopts ‘development without destruction’, warn scientists

Action: Stop Deforestation

Tropical forests face a dire future unless humans adopt a radically different approach to protecting and managing them, warns ...

End mining within 100 feet of streams

Action: Stop Pollution

For decades legal loopholes have allowed coal companies to mine directly through streams, harming imperiled species like the ...

Whales face a new threat from the melting arctic

Action: Save Our Oceans

Climate change is hurting whales but not in the way you’d expect.

For the first time, an Icelandic whaling ves ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.