Courtesy Regina Leader Post:
John Chick’s profile received a huge boost during his rookie season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
In his first offseason, Chick is using that status as a CFL player to increase awareness about diabetes. Chick, a 25-year-old defensive end, is a suitable spokesman because he has battled the disease since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 14.
“The first thing I wanted to know when I was diagnosed was who else has diabetes and what they were doing,” said Chick, who was the Riders’ nominee for rookie-of-the-year after recording five sacks and scoring a touchdown on a 70-yard fumble recovery. “It’s good to be on the other end of it and let people know what I’m doing. Hopefully I can give them a few inspirational words.”
Chick has been doing that since registering a sack and a forced fumble in the Roughriders’ 23-19 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Grey Cup game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Nov. 25. Chick, who recently re-signed with the Roughriders for two years plus an option, lives in Regina with his wife, Catherine and two children — Camryn (two) and Robert (six months). Chick is also actively involved in the Roughriders’ community activities.
Chick’s experience with diabetes led to him becoming the honourary spokesman and ambassador for Saskatchewan Walk to Cure Diabetes. Chick is the guest speaker for Thursday’s corporate recruitment luncheon for the 2008 Regina Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes. The walk is June 8 at the Wascana Centre. The luncheon starts at noon at the Hotel Saskatchewan Radisson Plaza.
“I have family that also had juvenile diabetes as well, so it has always been around,” Chick said. “I have never really been involved other than just walking. It has been a real privilege to be involved.”
Diabetes is a disease in which the body doesn’t produce or properly use insulin, which is a hormone that converts sugar, starches and other food into energy that is needed for daily life. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnonsed in children or young adults. Approximately, 50,000 people in Saskatchewan have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Randy Durovick, an organizer of Thursday’s luncheon and the walk for diabetes, welcomed having a high-profile athlete like Chick involved in the fund-raising venture.
“John brings so much credibility to our cause,” Durovick said. “He brings a lot of attention and he’s a great role model. A lot of people with Type 1 diabetes are younger children so they can relate to John being a professional football player and a success story in being able to battle diabetes.”