Footballers often have to overcome setbacks on their journey to the top, but very few have to battle a genetic opponent from birth.
Seattle Sounders star Jordan Morris was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. The condition means that the young forward’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin – which results in high blood sugar levels.
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“Glucose provides us with the energy to do things,” the club’s head athletic trainer, Chris Cornish, tells FFT. “When glucose is too high you produce insulin to lower those glucose levels. Jordan has to manually monitor his levels.”
The 22-year-old eats set meals and follows nutritional rules to control the diabetes. “If you eat a lot of sugar or carbohydrates before the game your blood sugar can get out of whack,” he says.
“I make sure I don’t skip meals, and I take insulin 15 minutes before I eat. That way it has time to kick in.”
Morris also keeps a bag of sweets and a monitor with him at all times to prevent his blood sugar levels from dropping too low, while the Sounders’ coaches now have a clever way of ensuring he does not fall ill on the pitch.
“We’ve developed a special sign that Jordan can signal to the bench if he feels his blood sugar is dropping,” Cornish adds. “That way we can get him what he needs on the field.”
Morris 1-0 diabetes.