If you watch Ashley Vensel run up and down the soccer field for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, you would witness an extraordinary athlete.
What you wouldn’t be able to tell is that Vessel has Type 1 Diabetes, but she clearly doesn’t let that slow her down.
It all started when Vensel was rushed to the hospital nearly ten years ago, where she was first diagnosed. At just ten years old, Vensel was on her way to a soccer tournament when she felt extremely dehydrated, yet she had to keep going to the bathroom.
For weeks leading up to the tournament, Vensel had been losing weight and felt very fatigued all the time. After suffering all of these symptoms, Vensel went to get checked out. Her blood sugar was 700, over six times more than the normal range.
Vensel was young and didn’t understand what was going on as she sat in the hospital. She became discouraged that someone who was so physically in shape could have a disease like this.
But Vensel didn’t let diabetes define her or control her life. She went on to become a star player on her high school’s soccer team, and then her college team.
While she has succeeded in soccer, her diabetes has taken a toll on her, both physically and mentally. She is constantly checking her blood sugar to make sure it’s in the correct range, especially throughout her soccer season when she’s constantly putting her body to work.
She was also faced with the stigma around diabetes, that people believe just because you have diabetes, it means you are unhealthy, which is not the case.
Vensel now uses social media to raise awareness for diabetes, and to encourage other young athletes like herself who are also struggling.
She is currently studying to become a nurse so she can help children like the nurses who helped her when she was young.Whizzco