Jay Leeuwenburg Biography

Jay Leeuwenburg Biography Claim to Fame: NFL, Indianapolis Colts
DOB: June 18, 1969
Diabetes Type: 1

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Jay Leeuwenburg was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12. Driven by his love for sports, Leeuwenburg learned to manage his diabetes despite his strenuous lifestyle and pursued football in high school and college, winning spots on the all-state and All-American teams respectively. Playing center at the University of Colorado, Leeuwenburg won the attention of the NFL and was drafted in 1992. Between 1992 and 2000, Leeuwenburg played for teams such as the Chicago Bears, the Indianapolis Colts, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Washington Redskins; in 1996, he was one of the most highly paid centers in the NFL.

Since ending his career in professional football, Leeuwenburg stays in contact with the game by working as a Football Analyst for the Mountain West Sports Network. As a former athlete with diabetes, Leeuwenburg openly talks about his condition; in 2005, he co-authored the book Yes I Can! Yes You Can! Tackles Diabetes and Win!, which details his lifelong effort to overcome diabetes as an athlete. In 2002, Leeuwenburg began teaching third grade at Colorado Academy in Denver. He loves working with children and continues to inspire young members of the diabetes community with his active lifestyle.

Find more athletes with diabetes.

Last Modified Date: November 28, 2012

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by Brenda Bell
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...
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