By Thomas Hewitt
Notts County Football Club player Peter Dearle is teaming up with Diabetes UK to help raise awareness and inspire others living with the condition.
A rising star in the club’s youth team, The Castle Donington teenager had to adjust quickly to what living with Type 1 diabetes would mean for his health so that he could push forward with his footballing dream.
The 17-year-old, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in December last year, is
using the situation to his advantage, and his focus on nutrition and exercise, combined with his medication and support from the club and his family, have ensured he is in the best shape of his young career.
He said: “I was stunned when I received my diagnosis. Whilst all my friends were out celebrating – I was learning my life was about to change forever.
“I didn’t know anyone else who had diabetes, apart from my granddad who has Type 2, so it was really daunting and I worried about what it meant for my health and footballing career.
“I had a lost a lot of weight, was thirsty all the time and suffering from headaches. I just didn’t feel well, but was also recovering from a football injury so wasn’t sure if they were related.”
Peter has slowly been getting himself back to peak physical fitness, working closely with his diabetes team at the Derby Royal and Notts County FC’s Matt Lawson.
Matt said: “Football is a very competitive world and this could have had a negative impact, but Peter has a very mature head on young shoulders and his can-do attitude is key to his success.
“He has the respect of the dressing room which is a testament to his positive attitude and the way the condition is not impacting on him as a person or a player.
“We are working on carb counting and keeping Peter’s blood glucose levels under control. He has put weight back on and he is getting fitter and healthier all the time.”
Now Peter has the condition under control and feels confident for his future, he plans to work closely with the charity Diabetes UK to share his story and show others that despite Type 1 diabetes being a complex condition to live with it, it doesn’t need to stop you doing anything.
Central defender Peter said: “Everything happens for a reason, I’m a firm believer in that and you just have to get on with what life throws at you.
“It is sometimes hard to have lost the freedom to eat what I want, when I want. I do have a few treats, but the flipside is it’s making my diet first class!!”
Diabetes UK Midlands Regional Head Peter Shorrick, said: “Peter is a real inspiration, especially to other young people who have just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
“This week is Diabetes Week and we want to raise awareness of the seriousness of the condition, but also showcase what people living with diabetes can achieve.”