View Full Version : Cutler Diagnosed With Diabetes

05-02-2008, 04:44 PM

By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
May 2, 2008

Life as Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler once knew it has changed.

Cutler recently was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The story was first reported Thursday night by The Denver Post on its website.

While this is the most serious type of diabetes, making Cutler insulin dependent, the Broncos are confident it will not negatively affect his career performance. Cutler, who declined to comment, has been taking his insulin shots since he was diagnosed and has been participating in the Broncos' offseason workout program.

"People need to understand this is very treatable," said a Broncos source. "Jay's going to be fine."

Cutler is tentatively set to address the situation today.

Several athletes have enjoyed long professional careers while playing with Type 1 diabetes, including former big-league baseball stars Ron Santo and Jackie Robinson and hockey's Bobby Clarke. Among the former NFL players who played despite Type 1 diabetes were center Jay Leeuwenburg, who starred at the University of Colorado; quarterback Wade Wilson; tight end Jonathan Hayes; and defensive back Mike Echols.

"Unfortunately, in the position Jay's in, people will wonder in their back of their minds: Did he throw that interception because his blood sugars weren't in control?" said Leeuwenburg, who is now a third-grade teacher at Colorado Academy. "And that is 100 percent not fair. I never in my nine years in the NFL, in my five years of college and four years of high school missed a down of football because of diabetes. It is doable. There are some life-changing things Jay will have to come to grips with. But he has world-class doctors that will help him. And he will have all the resources available to him."

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin, which is needed to convert food into energy. Cutler will have to monitor his diet, particularly carbohydrates, and continually monitor his blood sugar levels — Leeuwenburg said he takes four insulin shots a day — but Type 1 diabetics live long and healthy lives with the disease.

Cutler was tested after he suffered significant weight loss, among other symptoms common with diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes also is known as juvenile diabetes because it is more commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. However, there have been cases of people not contracting the disease until they reach middle age. Leeuwenburg was diagnosed at age 12, but he has recently been counseling a 38-year-old teacher at Colorado Academy who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last week. Cutler turned 25 on Monday.

Actress Mary Tyler Moore, 71, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nearly 35 years ago. She is the national spokeswoman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Leeuwenburg's wife serves on the board for the local juvenile diabetes chapter, which will hold its fundraising gala Saturday night at the Denver Marriott City Center.

"Jay has to understand there is absolutely nothing he could have done to have prevented this," Leeuwenburg said. "The first thing you get asked is: 'Goodness, was he eating too many sweets? Is there something he was doing that caused this?' Absolutely not. This is a predetermined genetic condition."

Type 1 diabetics are made aware of the possible long-term effects on the kidneys, heart and vision.

The Broncos' No. 1 draft pick in 2006, Cutler started the final five games of his rookie season and all 16 games last year in his second season. The Broncos knew of Cutler's disease before last month's NFL draft but didn't select a quarterback, a sign the team is confident their quarterback has his condition under control.

"This does not have to be a football-ending disease," Leeuwenburg said.

Cutler Diagnosed With Diabetes (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_9126975)

Galax Steeler
05-02-2008, 04:58 PM
Get well jay.

05-02-2008, 05:08 PM
That sucks and I'll pray for him. The good news is that as an athlete he should already be used to keeping a good diet. Hopefully that translates into little change for him. That said, if/when the Steelers and Broncos meet, my prayers will change a bit....to say the least. :chuckle: :tt02:

05-02-2008, 05:32 PM
As the article so correctly states, Type 1 Diabetes is very treatable, thank goodness. I hope Jay is able to get everything unde control, regain his weight and strength and lead a normal life.

Even though I consider him "the enemy" when he plays the Steelers, he's a human being first and foremost and I will be sending prayers his way.

05-02-2008, 06:29 PM
thats really sad. i hope he will be ok.

05-02-2008, 07:09 PM
Yea, that bites my dad had diabetes

05-02-2008, 08:56 PM
I think we as Steeler fans personally know how serious diabetes is and how it hampers play and livelihoods. Kendall Simmons anyone?

Godspeed, Jay.

05-02-2008, 09:57 PM
I've got Type I Diabetes, I've had it since I was 6 years old and I'm about to turn 22 in 16 days, he'll be fine with daily injections and monitoring what he eats.

Rhee Rhee
05-03-2008, 03:56 AM
doesn't kendall simmons have some sort of diabeties?

is he type 1 also?