Charlotte Teen Battles Against Type 1 Diabetes
CHARLOTTE --- More than 1.25 million Americans are living with Type 1 Diabetes and that includes 200,000 kids under the age of 20.
It's an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin.
However, a Charlotte teenager has spent most of his life living with the disease and it hasn't stopped him.
Nick Brannan is a freshman at Providence Day School. He's just like any other high schooler with one small difference: He has Type 1 Diabetes.
Nick was just five years old when he first found out about diabetes.
“For a 5 year old, you can't tell what's going on,” said Nick. “I could definitely tell something was changing.”
Now, it’s been 10 years of constantly thinking and living with diabetes.
“There's no days off,” said Nick. “You constantly have to monitor your blood sugar and prick your finger. You wake up, check your blood. You have to check before every meal.”
Nick estimates he’s pricked his finger about 35,000 times in 10 years.
“It's difficult sometimes, especially when you're a teenager in high school, and you don't want to be different,” said Nick. “It's either life or not at all."
Nick remains optimistic.
“If anything can be cured in this lifetime, I'm always certain it's going to be diabetes,” said Nick. “That's why I go to the JDRF walk which raises millions of dollars.”
Nick’s team, Defeatin' Diabetes for Nicholas, is just one of the hundreds that will march Saturday in the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk at Carowinds to help raise more than $750,000 for diabetes research.
For Nick, diabetes didn’t hold him back.
“It did nothing to slow me down or deter me,” he said.