Against the Odds –

For our first player/team of the week featured player, we are actually getting a little personal.

Thankfully, our own children don’t read the website, or else we would certainly be in trouble for writing about one of our own daughters. Or for writing about ONLY one of our own daughters. You get it, its lose-lose for us no matter how we look at it, but we also feel very inspired, and very proud of this young player and think it would be a great way to kick off the player of the week section on the website!

PLEASE submit your player/team submissions, along with any pictures to softballisforgirls@live.com!  

Depending on how long you have been following SIFG, you may or may not know that our 12-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was a massive shock to our family, one minute we were registering for middle school, and literally 2 hours later we were at the ICU unit at Children s Hospital in Atlanta. We had just recently returned from the World Series in Panama City, and after taking a two-week hiatus from all of her sports (track, cross-country, and softball) we knew our daughter was not feeling well. Already an extremely tiny framed person, she lost around 13 pounds over the course of the summer. She was growing taller is what we told ourselves.

She was also very tired. Understandably, though. Getting up for 7Am cross-country workouts and then having school softball workouts and then having travel team practice and then tournaments on the weekends is grueling for anyone. Right? Right. So although that little nagging feeling of doom that sticks in your mind when you think something is out of sorts was definitely there, we, as her family – were pretty much in denial.

Regardless, the diagnosis for Type 1 diabetes came fast, and we found out that she had been maintaining blood sugars between 500-700, for at least the last 3-4 months. It explained everything. What it didn’t explain, and what even doctors couldn’t believe, was that she was able to manage – and EXCEL, both physically and mentally for so long prior to diagnosis.

photo 1The worst part was, was this was a kid that never complained. Never whined. Never said she didn’t feel well (even though we knew…we knew)The NIGHT before we were admitted, she on a random whim, wanted to go out and run a few miles – and did so. Sick kids cannot do that, right? At least that is what we thought.

During her hospital stay, her first and most important questions were in regard to whether or not she would be able to play softball and run at school, and what was going to happen to her in regard to her sports. Tryouts were just  days away, and here she was in the hospital – stuck and learning to stick herself 10-15 times per day with different needles and finger-pricks.

And when she got out of the hospital, a newly diagnosed Type 1, with all sorts of things to learn, and an entirely new way of life to learn how to live, a new school year that already started without her – the first thing she did was try out and make the softball team.  The following Saturday, she played in a softball tournament with her travel team, and the weekend after that -she played pickup with another local travel team, and the weekend after that she ran a 5K and won her age division. Practice after school every day, games and tournaments in the Georgia heat, all while learning how to manage and take care of her Type 1 was definitely intimidating for us as parents – but she made it seem easy.

photo 2Again. Never complaining. Never whining. Never being upset or frustrated, never feeling defeated, never getting depressed, never skipping a beat. She picked up her new life where her old life left off, and never – not for one nana-second, looked back.

 

And most importantly, she was quick to decide or herself that this condition was not going to decide for her what she would, and would not be able to do. Even though she is our daughter, which makes it easy to be super proud of her – there are few people who have watched her play that wouldn’t agree. Although she  be but little, but she is fierce. And humble. And quiet and dangerous with a glove and a bat. And that is something that Type 1 Diabetes has not changed for her.

Since her diagnosis, we have been blessed to meet other girls her age, other athletes on the softball field who are Type 1 Diabetics. And knowing Type 1 diabetes as an insider, we can say for sure that these girls are ALL little warriors. Things are not always easy for them, their lives are tethered with responsibilities and worries that most kids wouldn’t understand and that no kid deserves. Our hearts go out to all of them.

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The truth is that there are ton of girls out there playing with what would be considered, less than ideal circumstances. Against the odds. And most of the time, these athletes show something in spirit and heart and talent and motivation – that sets them far apart from the rest. You don’t normally find these girls complaining about a jammed finger, or crying, or making excuses. You usually find them fighting. Constantly fighting. And so often succeeding. 

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