HARROD — Kristin Whitley, a 17-year-old junior at Allen East High School, hopes to study endocrinology in college. She wants to help people deal with things like diabetes, something that she was diagnosed with at the age of 5.
She doesn’t let her type 1 diabetes stand in the way of participating in sports. She’s active in volleyball, basketball and softball and does it all despite her diabetes, thyroid problems and a heart condition.
Getting clearance to play sports has been a challenge.
“It’s hard,” Whitley said. “I’ve had trouble a lot this year with the OHSAA with allowing me to play with my pods because I wear Omnipods, so I don’t prick my fingers anymore.”
The Omnipod system allows diabetics to monitor their blood sugar and administer insulin through a pump.
“I just have to watch what I eat, when I’m eating, and to cover my insulin is the hardest part because every day is not the same. I’m practicing playing games that are longer or shorter than others. So I just kind of go with the flow,” Whitley said.
Whitley is hoping to go to college somewhere in Tennessee, and she’s hoping her skills on the volleyball court will pay off with a scholarship.
Whitley is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a member of student council.
She says her experience as an athlete has helped her in other areas.
“I’m very good with time management now because I’m going from school every day to practice and then lifting even after practice,” she said.
Whitley says she enjoys going to school at Allen East.
“I’ve gone here my whole life. I feel so welcomed,” she said. “It’s my family — my community.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.