Type 1 diabetes will not stop me in reaching my life ambitions
Graham was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001, the year after he achieved national colours in Karate and participated in the World Championships in Spain. The diagnosis came as a shock to him, but he wanted to show the world that, notwithstanding the diagnosis, he could still be successful and achieve his goals.
3 years later, Graham achieved national colours again and participated in the JSKA World Cup and the following year he represented South Africa in Brazil at the WKC World Championships. Within that same year, he was awarded his 2nd Dan in karate. In 2006, Graham won a gold medal at the SASKA National Championships and in 2007 he was awarded National colours yet again and competed at the WUKO World Championships in Spain.
Unfortunately, type 1 diabetes started affecting his health, and he started feeling the physical and mental impact of the condition. “I started falling into a depression and got really depressed about having to live with diabetes. I was getting frustrated and didn’t feel ‘normal.’” Graham started feeling tired, weak, drowsy and without energy. “When I feel normal I feel so good, happy and motivated and then all of a sudden, when my blood glucose rises or falls, my motivation falls with it and then fear steps into play.”
“I finally received my MiniMed™ 640G pump with SmartGuard™ technology this year and it has made a huge difference. My glucose control has improved tremendously. This has not only had an impact on his physical health but also on his mental health. MiniMed™ 640G gives me peace of mind because I know the alarms will alert me before a low or high glucose level. I can respond to trends and that makes a huge difference.”
Graham is ready to represent South Africa yet again and was selected to compete as part of SASKA’s Elite Team at the World Union of Karate-do Federations World Championships in Bratislava next year. We are excited with Graham and wish him all the best!