While I used to love to play touch football (my middle school nickname was The Butcher), I’ve never really enjoyed watching it. So I’ll admit, before Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler started making videos about his struggles with Type 1 diabetes, I didn’t know who he was.
But now articles keep popping up about his work raising awareness for Type 1, and I’ve got to say, I love the guy. His video series, put out by Lilly USA for its “Touchdowns for Diabetes” campaign, gives a very candid look at what it’s like to live with diabetes. And while the videos are meant to be inspirational, they don’t downplay the difficulty of living with the disease — in his latest installment, “Learning to Manage,” he describes his daily testing regimen, the challenges of controlling his sweet tooth, and ends by saying that while there are people out there who seem to have made diabetes a part of them, he’s “not at that point yet.” (Um, I’ve had it for nine years now and I’m not sure I’m at that point either.)
Granted, some of the coverage about Jay Cutler shows how little the general public knows about Type 1 — the article from the Tribune linked to above marvels that he might have to test his blood sugar five times a day, despite the fact that Cutler himself mentions at least 6 in the video alone. (It also says that when Cutler found out that Type 1 diabetes was behind his mysterious 33-pound weight loss, he was relieved that “he wasn’t dying” — to which I wanted to yell, “Actually, you were!”). But those are small complaints — and aren’t Cutler’s fault.
I’m looking forward to his next installment.