Derek Duman—Eugene, OR Step Out to Fight Diabetes
As a three sport athlete and dedicated student at North Eugene High School, Derek Duman works hard to balance sports, academics and managing his diabetes. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during his freshman year, but the complications only recently became a reality when he had cataract surgery at age 15. This procedure prevented him from performing at his peak ability for about a year, and it was a frightening experience for both him and his family. Now, with his blood sugar under control, this high school junior is back to playing varsity football and baseball—and he's stepping out to fight diabetes.
In the past, Derek knew about the ADA's walk event, but he didn't think much about it until he was diagnosed and faced the complications of diabetes. He now participates at the event in Eugene, Ore., as part of his father's corporate team, and serves as a youth ambassador. He is heavily involved in fund raising and promotes the event through his area news station.
Derek is also a member of the North Eugene Wind & Jazz Ensemble, played on the bowling team last winter and maintains a 3.9 grade point average. How does he find time for the ADA in the midst of his busy life? Derek says he's always enjoyed playing sports and music, but now the fight against diabetes is his priority.
Derek wants to encourage others to get involved with the ADA, too. "It's hard to do everything, but this is something that should be at top of the list. It's extremely important—in this day and age, we could have a cure [for diabetes] in my lifetime," he said.
At 16 years old, Derek is a real life example of why raising funds for diabetes is so important.
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