Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

May 8, 2008

No stopping Morander Senior overcomes diabetes to excel in baseball, football

No matter how focused Mike Morander is on the field, there are times that he simply needs to take a break.

"Sometimes my whole team will be practicing and I'll be on the sidelines eating fruit snacks or drinking Gatorade," he said. "It doesn't make me angry, but it gives me passion."

It has nothing to do with a lack of mental or physical toughness. In fact, the senior has plenty of both. It is, instead, a reality he has dealt with for nearly his entire life.

A standout in both football and baseball, many have no idea Morander has lived with Type 1 diabetes for the last 14 years.

...

It was Morander's father, Ron, who first noticed something was wrong.

"I was 4," Mike Morander remembered. "My mother was at work, so I was hanging out with my dad. I was going to the bathroom a lot, about 20 times in an hour, and my father asked me if there was something wrong. I said I didn't know, but that I was always really thirsty."

His father brought him to the hospital, where doctors delivered the news.

"They came in and told me I had diabetes," he remembered. "I was really too young to understand. All I really remember is that I was afraid of the shot I needed."

More specifically, Morander was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Often referred to as juvenile diabetes, those with the disease are dependent on insulin because the pancreas does not produce enough to regulate blood sugar. Type 1 accounts for about 10 percent of diabetes cases, but is actually the more common form in children.

"It was very jarring," said mother Sandy. "As a family, we knew that life would really change. But we had to understand that you can live a full and complete life if you handle it right."

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