“Can I still play hockey?,” Max Domi asked the doctors after they told him he had Type 1 diabetes.
He was 12 years old, the son of professional hockey star Tie Domi, the ice was was all he dreamed of, and despite being told he would live the rest of his life with a chronic illness, he just wanted to know if he could live with that illness and still play hockey.
The doc looked at Max, laughed and said: “Don’t you know who Bobby Clarke is?” He shook his head, he didn’t. The doc explained Clarke was the Captain of the Flyers and had won the Stanley Cup. “And just like you,” he told Max, “he had Type 1 diabetes. If he could do it before all this technology, so can you.”
11 years later Max is a professional hockey player and reaching back to kids who were in the same place he was a decade ago. DSkate is the only hockey came for kids with Type 1 diabetes in the world. It helps them to learn how to play hockey better while living with diabetes. This summer, Max dropped in for a visit and some inspiration
Playing hockey is hard enough, playing it hard enough and well enough to make it as a professional hockey player? Well that takes some extra level of commitment.
“My blood sugar is affected by many other things other than my food intake, including exercise, stress, an illness and hormones,” Max explained in a 2016 essay for The Players’ Tribune. “So in addition to carefully monitoring my food intake, I have to monitor my blood sugar constantly throughout the day to stay level.”
This years marks the fourth year Domi has partnered with Ascensia Diabetes Care Canada to empower people with diabetes with smarter tools for better self-management.
“I don’t know if I would be [a professional hockey player] if it wasn’t for having to deal with this disease,” Max says on his website. “It goes to dealing with adversity, to have to manage something that’s thrown at you and you’re not really ready for it, but you figure it out. It forces you to mature. It teaches you how to manage yourself, whether it’s nutrition, sleep, time management.”
The new My Patterns feature of the Contour Diabetes app is an essential tool for people with diabetes to understand how their lifestyle of activities affect their diabetes and how they can make adjustments.
“It’s a game changer,” says Domi. “it’s like having a personal coach in my pocket – notifying me when I’m not on track and giving actionable advice on how to improve my blood glucose levels.”
Self-management is critical in diabetes. My Patterns is an innovative tool that can help suport and empower people with diabetes to improve how they self-manage the disease.
Max Domi is a passionate leader in the diabetes community and is dedicated to showing people living with diabetes that it is not a barrier to success.
Can I still play hockey? is exactly the type of question a kid diagnosed with diabetes could be expected to ask right along with Can I still eat cake? What if I’m afraid of needles? and Will it hurt?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been asking people to submit questions to #AskMax.
The kids submitted questions like “How can I keep up, and do what my friends can do?” and “What gets you out of bed in the morning?” and “Do you have a favourite finger or place to test?” and “Where should I keep my pump when I play hockey?”
Stay tuned for his answers, Max is exactly the kind of mentor T1D kids (and all of us, really) need.
“I’m living proof you can do whatever you want, type 1 will not get in the way. I can guarantee that.”
This post is sponsored by Ascensia Diabetes