Introducing Type 1 Diabetes Global Ambassador Scott Crabtree

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It was July 2007 and Scott Crabtree’s mood began to change. He was dehydrated and it seemed like it was just a child throwing a temper tantrum. His mother Breni Crabtree, a registered nurse, thought there was something wrong with her son and took him to a hospital while they traveled to Lake Charles for a baseball tournament. There, he found out awful news. He was diagnosed a Type 1 diabetic. At 10 years old. While on the road.

Fast forward to 2019 and Scott is sitting in our office detailing his love for a sport, life as a Type 1 diabetic and his role as a global ambassador for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

“I want everyone to know that this should not deter your career aspirations,” said Crabtree. “This is for everyone with Type 1 diabetes, especially for young kids. If you take the time and put in the effort to really take care of yourself and be disciplined with what you are eating and drinking. Having this disease doesn’t mean you cannot go on to play collegiately. I’m living proof and hopefully, I can continue to motivate and inspire young kids to live their dreams.”
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10, Crabtree wears an insulin pump to regulate his blood sugar even while playing.

Crabtree, a Jesuit product, took over as a starter late last season and has appeared in four games this season, including a start Saturday at UIW.

The first known MLB player to be approved to play with an insulin pump was Josh Johnson. It is unknown how many NCAA Division I baseball student-athletes have Type 1 diabetes, but Crabtree has taken to the philanthropic side, becoming a global ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Crabtree says it was a learning curve for his family, teammates, coaches, and athletic training staff.

Said Crabtree, “I learned a lot from my parents on portion control and from the doctors at the Children’s Hospital. Moderate your sugar keep hydrated. I like to bring some snacks since we have long bus trips throughout the season. In high school, parents travel so it was an adjustment coming into my freshman year at UNO.

Crabtree couldn’t be more thankful to his coaches and athletic training staff for their support.

“When I first got here, I think it was hard for everyone to understand what I had on my stomach. Prior to every season, I meet with our coaches and athletic trainer, and Tyler Trahan always has extra supplies for me just in case. They’ve been extremely supportive.”

For the first few years after being diagnosed, Crabtree did not yet have an insulin pump and would need to inject himself.

“It started with getting shots every two hours. It forced me to pay attention to what I was putting into my body at an early age. I lost a lot of weight and was afraid of eating. My parents were worried.”

Said Crabtree: “Last season, Rory came to our game at Nicholls wearing UNO gear and I just hope I’m a good example for children living with Type 1 diabetes to continue to play. Rory is a three-sport athlete and to have him look up to me means the world. I love speaking about living with Type 1 diabetes and want to continue spreading awareness as a global ambassador.” Rory is a child with Type 1 diabetes that went to Thibodaux for the series versus Nicholls in Privateers gear.

As I sat there with Crabtree, a faint alarm sounded. It was his insulin pump. For Right when we sat and spoke, an alarm sounded (insulin pump). Right on cue.

The message was clear throughout our conversation. Having juvenile diabetes does not need to be an obstacle to achievement.

The Privateers host Southeastern Louisiana on JDRF Night presented by Ochsner Sports Medicine Institute at Maestri Field Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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