If this Champ With Diabetes can do it, I can too.

Time to introduce you to another one of our medal winners. Trust me: You’re going to want to read this story through to the end. Just reading about this athlete’s accomplishments makes me want to get out and conquer the world. Though I’ll settle for a metric century ride, a triathlon, and a 5K run (not all at the same time).

Bob Parant has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 41 years now. The Long Island resident was diagnosed back in the 70s while getting a physical prior to competing in college (this is the second of our athletes diagnosed during sport physicals). As Bob says, it was the Dark Ages of diabetes:

“No computers, no glucose meters, no pumps, no support groups, no chat rooms and very little education on the disease and how to live with it.

Coach told me diabetes was dangerous and to take care of myself. That burned me up. What I did know at that time was exercise was good for diabetics. There was not much out there regarding handling your highs and lows while exercising. So from that point on I have always played a sport and worked out while finding the proper balance of carbs and low blood sugars.

Right after that diagnosis I played rugby for 7 years, then played softball and over age 30 hardball baseball league. After the team sports I relied on running on a regular basis and did many races varying distances. I then moved to biking as it was easier on my feet.”

Pretty great, right? But wait… there’s more. Brace yourself.

Three years ago, Bob lost part of his right leg due to infection secondary to diabetes. Think he was going to let that get him down? Think again. Bob unequivocally states:

“The diabetes never stopped me and the leg was NOT going to stop me either.

July 2013 I rode in my second JDRF Ride for the Cure. I was able to ride 65 miles in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in hilly Vermont and raised $7000. The previous year I won the ‘Spirit Award’ for the ride and the ‘Crankees Intrepid Award’ for most inspirational rider for the year and also raised $7000 that year as well. I cannot explain the feeling of accomplishment and pride after my battle to come back from the leg and diabetes. My family and JDRF family were all there cheering me on. As you can imagine, crossing that finish line both years was quite emotional. The first year I literally broke down at the finish line. Athletics have always given me goals and pushed me to stay positive in every situation and never give up or say ‘I can’t’ in sports or life. I hope by telling my story that this can encourage diabetics to get moving, stay active and that will keep you positive, eating better and more consistent A1c’s.”


Even though all of that sounds like Bob is already busy 24 hours a day, he still finds time to serve as Research Information Volunteer for his local JDRF chapter, and he helps with the Kids Walk program at local schools. In addition to that, he was asked to speak at New York’s big Promise Ball this past year, where 2.1 million dollars were raised for JDRF.

Bob Parant, for your dedication, your perseverance, your triumph over adversity, and the inspiration you give all of us, we are proud to recognize you as a Champion Athlete With Diabetes. I promise you I’ll be thinking about you while I train and compete this year.


You don’t have to be a beast of an athlete like Bob. Just get out and get going! If you’re living with diabetes, and you’re active; or if someone close to you is living with D and is active, we’ve got an honest-to-goodness medal we’d like to award you. It looks like this:


There are only four simple things to do to get yours:

1. The athlete receiving the award must be living with diabetes.

2. The athletic event must have taken place in the last six months. For now, we’re going with a pretty loose interpretation of the word “event”. If you feel you’ve accomplished something important to you, that’s an event. ‘Nuf said. And yes, we’re flexible on the six month thing.

3. Send me an e-mail at champswithdiabetes@gmail.com. Tell me your name, name of the athlete (it’s okay if it’s you), and your address (gotta know where to send the medal). Most important, tell me what athletic goal was accomplished, and when. Extra points if you tell me how you felt accomplishing the goal. Full disclosure: I reserve the right to use your testimonial here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. I will not use your name if you don’t want me to. As always, I will never share private information.

4. When you receive your medal, it would be great if you post a photo of it around the athlete’s neck. You can send a Tweet to @ChampsWithD (hashtag: #champdathletes) or post it on the Champion Athletes With Diabetes Facebook Page.

I think D-Athletes are amazing. It takes a tremendous amount of planning, effort, and bravery to compete, or maintain an exercise routine. Heck, sometimes, it’s everything we can do just to walk around the block. Getting out of your comfort zone and taking that brave step is something that should be recognized and rewarded.

If it’s a big deal to you, it’s a big deal to me too. I want to support you, or support the Athlete With Diabetes in your life. Send an e-mail for your award today.

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  • Diabetic Mainer  On February 5, 2014 at 11:16 am

    This man is incredible! Although I’d like to say that I’d show the same strength if I found myself in his situation, I have my doubts. I’ve, historically, allowed my diabetes to hold me back far too often.


    • StephenS  On February 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Just like Bob says, it’s all about being positive and doing your best. Thanks for commenting!


  • Karen  On February 6, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this story. Bob is a true inspiration and I will keep him in mind as I work toward earning my own medal.


  • scully  On February 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    MAN OH MAN! wow. That is pretty amazing!


    • StephenS  On February 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      That’s what I said when I read his story the first time. But don’t kid yourself Scully… with that new exercise room, you’re a beast of an athlete too.


  • Bob P  On February 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for the kinds words. Steve great idea. For me staying active is so key to my sugars being consistent as well as my mental health. A positive attitude is also key to reaching our goals. So stay active, stay positive and you can deal with living with this disease.


    • StephenS  On February 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Bob, your story is an inspiration for all of us. Thanks for writing!


  • Bill Fondano  On April 5, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Bob is truly an inspiration to all of us Type 1 Juvenile Diabetics. I, like Bob have had T1D for the past 43 years and have also had a issue with the loss of my right kidney when I was 16. I got to meet Bob at a our local JDRF and he is truly a POSITIVE role model even though he might not think so. Hope to see in Burlington, VT Bob!

    Liked by 1 person

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