Diabetics Doing Track & Field and Stanford Medical School with Jonathan Tijerina

Let’s welcome Jonathan Tijerina (jonathan_david_tijerina on Instagram) to the show! Growing pains or diabetes? At age 13, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. After 6-8 months of living with symptoms, passing out at football practice too many times, and having to hold his bladder through the Guatemalan jungle, Jonathan was eventually diagnosed with T1D. Fear not, for he went on to run track and field for Baylor and is currently doing research for Stanford University while in Medical School.

Training staff at almost any level of sport can make a big difference for anyone, but especially a person living with T1D. Jonathan and I discuss this importance of education as a patient athlete, as well as being open with your teammates about your disease. As he explains, once his teammates knew about his diabetes, they helped carry gel-packs or other low blood sugar defenders, just in case! By breaking through the fear of being vulnerable and sharing our struggles and being willing to ask for help, you may be surprised at how giving others can be, especially in a time of need.

Not to give away the whole story, but Jonathan also shares a project/course he is working on for medical students called Diabetes 101 for Healthcare Providers, which aims at giving doctors a  real-life understanding of the differences we as Type 1 Diabetics all go through, including insulin sensitivity, carb counting/ratios, and knowing when and how properly to handle highs and lows.

Take a listen and give Jonathan some love on Instagram! You can also email him at jdt2015@stanford.edu