Pro Snowboarder Sean Busby on Diabetes

Sean Busby was nearly sidelined by diabetes. Today, he is still hitting the slopes—and helping others with diabetes do the same.

Bonnie Siegler
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Count your steps.
While hiking, Sean counts every 50 steps—if he begins to lose count, or notices that it’s taking him much longer to get to 50, he knows he may be experiencing low blood sugar. “It’s important when you have diabetes to stay in tune with your body.” 

Be prepared.
“I always bring extra glucose—always—and some form of carbohydrates [for snacks],” says Sean. “Now that I use a tubeless insulin pump, I bring an extra one of those, too.” And because the cold weather drains batteries faster, Sean packs extras to make sure his testing meter stays functional.

Get others in the know.
“When I first came back into snowboarding after my proper diagnosis, I was still learning about managing my disease, so I would go to the ski patrol and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got type 1 diabetes,’ so they’d be aware of what might have gone wrong in case anything happened to me. Sometimes I’d wear a ribbon around my arm that told people I had diabetes.” Even if you’re not doing extreme sports, it can be a good idea to let others know about your condition so they can keep an eye on you. 

April 2013