John Chick was 14 when he received what he calls “the best, worst news of his life.”
© Justin Crann
John Chick discussed the impact Type 1 diabetes has had on his life and career at Temple Gardens Monday evening.
“I was taken into a hospital … (and) I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes,” he said. “It was frustrating and disappointing, and I immediately had all these worries about what it meant for the dreams I had.”
Chick was in Moose Jaw Monday to discuss his experiences with Type 1 diabetes and how managing the disease has influenced his career and life.
He attributed his successes in dealing with the disease at a young age to a good upbringing, good support from the people around him, and the belief he would overcome it through both his faith and his own drive to achieve his goals.
“When I was young, I had diligent parents and people around me who said, ‘If you want to do the things you want to do, you’ve got to have good control,’” he said. “From that point on, in order to accomplish the dreams I had, I had to work 10 times harder than the next guy.”
But that hard work has paid off in both his career and personal life, Chick said.
“It gave me something that others didn’t have, which is my work ethic,” he said. “All through my life in sport, there were guys who were more talented than I was. Whether it was size, pure gift, or whatever, they had better football ability than I did.
“What they didn’t have was my work ethic,” added Chick. “I’d keep coming, and coming, and coming until people were sick and tired of me.”
And the work ethic and drive he has brought to his professional life has, in turn, assisted him in managing his diabetes.
“You do learn that discipline and what it takes to win in sport, and even though you may think you already know how to manage your diabetes, it is better managed because of the sport,” said Chick.
“They kind of play off each other. I’m in better control of it because I’m athletic and work out, and I feel like I’m more disciplined than most because of the diabetes.”
Ultimately, however, “it’s still an ongoing battle — always — against a disease,” he added.
While he may not have seen it as one originally, Chick said, he now looks at his diagnosis “as a sort of blessing.”
“Would I be where I am today if I didn’t have diabetes?”