STRUGGLE: Verity Simmons is encouraging anyone with diabetes to seek help. PHOTO: Contributed
STRUGGLE: Verity Simmons is encouraging anyone with diabetes to seek help. PHOTO: Contributed

Diabetes battle just another for Simmons to fight

VERITY Simmons has never let her struggle with type one diabetes get the better of her.

Diagnosed when she was 17 and playing in Newcastle, Simmons has learned to deal with the disease as a professional athlete in the years since.

Simmons credits her Nan with being the influence to get herself tested.

"I was drinking crazy amounts of water - like 9-10 bottles a day and smashing it," Simmons said.

"I was thinking it was just due to training because I was training hard. Nan said to me 'just get it checked out'. She must've had a funny feeling about it.

"I had no idea what it was. I think the first questions I had were 'can I still play netball and can I still eat chocolate?' and they said yes to both and I was like 'okay, cool, all good'."

She readily admits it is not an easy thing to do, but paying close attention to dietary needs and managing her schedule have helped her get it under control.

"Diet is something that majorly affects it and affects me as well," Simmons said.

"Just trying to get into an eating pattern, whether it's before or after training, trying to have a time when I need to eat or take the insulin. You just figure it out more as you get older."

She also credits her club with helping her control it more than she has ever before, with the supportive nature of the club and its members helping cope with the disease.

"The Firebirds have been absolutely amazing with my diabetes," Simmons said.

"They've been so supportive and have just really wanted to be involved in it. All the girls as well.

"It's always going to be tricky and different things throw it off but this year has been probably the best I've ever handled it."

Simmons offered her own thoughts on the disease, suggesting her sport-filled lifestyle could actually be helping her in her fight with diabetes.

"I think sport is probably the key to diabetes," Simmons said.

"Being active and having that healthy lifestyle is going to make it a heck of a lot easier for you.

"I think not being afraid to ask the question and ask for help if you need it. The more info you have and the more you know your body, the easier it gets each time."



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