August. September 9, 2022 – Managing type 1 diabetes is no easy task. But if you ask 16-year-old rock climbing star Katie Bone, she’ll tell you she’ll never let the disease get in the way of her goals.
“My motto is the same as Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost his arm in a shark attack: “I don’t need ease, I just need Possibly,” said Bone, who lives in Albuquerque, NM, and has been 8 since she became a competitive rock climber. “It really stuck with me. “
Just watching her play on NBC’s hit reality show American Ninja Warrior in June is proof of that. Not only did the nation’s No. 1 climber fly over obstacles with grace and perseverance, but she also proudly displayed two of her monitoring devices: a blood glucose monitor on one arm and a tubeless insulin pump on the other. .
“I made a particular decision to keep my equipment visible during performances,” she said. “It’s a part of my life and I want to show that I’m not ashamed of wearing medical equipment. ”
However, Bone 2017 It has come a long way since she was diagnosed in 2010. She was 11 at the time and had recently participated in a climbing competition when she started to feel sick.
“I’m not doing well,” “I go to the bathroom a lot and I feel sick,” she said. Three days later, we were taken to the emergency room. “
When her doctor first told her she had diabetes, she started crying.
“My grandma has type 1 , was very sick and died of complications,” she said. “That’s all I know about diabetes, and it’s terrifying to think that my life is going to turn out like that. “
But her future brightened when her doctor assured her she could keep climbing.
“When I was told When I could keep playing, my switch suddenly changed and I made a decision and nothing could stop me,” she said.
But every day is not easy.
“Sometimes it’s hard to control my diabetes during races,” she said. “For example, when we’re climbing, we’re not allowed to bring cell phones, and I manage my [blood sugar] from my cell phone. monitor]. This meant that accommodation had to be arranged for me. “
Her diabetes management can be unpredictable at times.
“If my blood sugar is low or high, I might end up at the bottom of the race,” she said. “It would upset me. warm-up and mental game. It’s a never-ending battle. “
Ultimately, Bone’s goal is to inspire others and advocate for awareness of diabetes. She said she was overwhelmed by the audience’s reaction to her appearance on the show.
“I’ve heard from a lot of parents and kids,” she said. “I want the world to know that wearing a pump on your arm just makes you more amazing.” “
She also draws inspiration from other people with diabetes.
“Everyone with this disease is a role model for me because Everyone is fighting their own battle,” she said. “Diabetes is different for everyone, and it’s incredibly inspiring to see how people are doing what they do when they are diagnosed with the disease. . “
Currently, rising high school students plan to continue training and competing.
“My goal is to be a climbing team for the 2024 Paris Olympics,” “I’ve always wanted to compete in the Olympics since I was a kid,” she said. Be fearless. “