Name: Ryan James Morris
From: Hartford, Connecticut
Grade: Sophomore in College
School: Trinity College
ride to the game was much different through the window of the car.
The greenness of the leaves seemed dimmed. The cars driving past were
slower. The sky changed from its normal blue to a clouded grey. My
normal anxious pregame demeanor turned to a saddened state. The fact
settled in that I cannot play and the car rolled into the parking
I got to the game and walked onto the sideline most of my teammates
were still warming up. Yet, one by one they came up and asked why I
wasn’t playing. What I feared most was to be misunderstood; for
people to think that I was lesser than who I truly am. I wasn’t
dying and I didn’t break my leg. I just had a high blood sugar that
wouldn’t come down.
too high, and I couldn’t bring it down,” I tried to tell everyone
who asked. Most of them just responded with “oh” or tried to
console me. Most of them didn’t really understand. That has no
reflection on who they are. It wasn’t their fault that they didn’t
understand. I just wanted to make it known that it wasn’t in my
control. I didn’t want to be misunderstood. I didn’t want to be
thought of as less. However, I cannot control what people think. I
cannot change their perceptions. Whatever they believe, they believe.
All I want is to be seen as the person I am, not the disease I have.
was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was ten. It’s a
manageable disease but it does affect every aspect of your everyday
life. My mom has had diabetes for half her life and she saw the
warning signs. I wasn’t hospitalized and I didn’t go into a coma.
It wasn’t that dramatic; just blood work and a diagnosis.
people believe that when you have a disease, they should feel badly
and when they inquire about it and a serious explanation is given,
they almost always regret they asked. Yet, I have never felt like
that was the case with me. I just see myself as me. Diabetes has
become part of my everyday routine. I view it as part of my life, but
I am constantly reminded that I am different.
on the sidelines for that game, many of my teammates were unaware I
even had diabetes. I manage it well and as I had said I didn’t act
differently about it; it was just a part of my routine. So when I
answered their questions with, “I’m too high,” some of them
responded with, “Wait. Really? You’re high right now?” They
didn’t know my blood sugar was high. With them asking that question
I’ve already been thought as of something I’m not. I’ve already
been misunderstood. They didn’t know I sat in the nurse’s office
all day trying to lower my blood sugar. They didn’t know how badly
I wanted to play. All they knew now was that Ryan Morris cannot play
because he has diabetes. The obstacle for me today and in that game
was not the physical effects of the disease, but how people saw me
for the disease I had. Yet, these hindrances never stopped from me
from being the best version of myself. They never stopped me from
starting every game since that day. They’ve never stopped me in
leading my team in points, and never stopped me from getting A’s on
my report card. They’ve never stopped me from doing anything I’ve
ever put my mind to. These obstacles have only pushed me further and
harder than ever before. So now, I never give them a chance to ask
why I’m not doing something, because I’m always on the field, I’m
always working hard in the classroom, and I’m always being the best
person I can be.