Scott Dunton Biography
Claim to Fame: Professional surfer
Diabetes Type: 1
Professional surfer Scott Dunton was hit by a major wave at the age of 16 when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Living the typical teen-age life, he had to learn how to take control of this new disease and in doing so, take control of his health and his life. Scott is now ranked 119 by the Professional World Tour of Surfing. When the Hawaii resident isn't surfing, he's golfing, hunting, or traveling.
In the diabetes community, Scott' s inspirations are numerous – his doctor, Kevin Kaiserman; Ryan Martz from the PADRE Foundation; Chris Jarvis; everyone at Medtronic; and most of all the kids that he gets the chance to talk with. "Kids are inspiration for the world," he says. He wasn't always so inspired by diabetes, as dLife found out. We asked Scott to tell his story:
You were diagnosed at age 16, was it hard coping with this disease as a teenager?
When I was first diagnosed I was 16 and it was really the hardest time in my life. I was just a normal teenager going to school spending every penny I had on one of two things – gas in my truck or candy and junk food. So to find out one day that I couldn't eat candy or anything really that I once lived off was a big step in my life.
What was life like during your first year after being diagnosed? How did your family and friends react?
I didn't take to it good at all, I thought if I didn't tell anyone I was a diabetic and I didn't take my shots and just ate the way I used to, that it would go away. Turns out, life isn't like that but it also turns out diabetes isn't like that either. I just need the right doctor and team behind me to inspire me to do good in life and take care of my diabetes. I found that in my doctor. Kevin Kaiserman is the most inspirational person in my life and continues to help me stay healthy.
What are some of the diabetes organizations with which you are involved?
I try to be involved with as many things as I can with diabetes. I am a professional spokesperson for Medtronic, which has been such a blessing in my life because I have had the chance to travel around the world and talk with diabetics from all areas of the world and I am happy to say I know I personally have changed the way a lot of people look at their diabetes and I know in that I have made their lives a lot better. What that has done for me personally is remarkable. I can't really explain how good it feels to be in a spot to help so many people. Dr. Kaiserman did that for me and its all I could do to try and be half the person he has been for me.
CWD (Children With Diabetes) is a great, great organization that I love to help out with. Everyone is like a big diabetic family and its great.
JDRF – Another great group of people who have such a big impact in what happens in the world of diabetes and they do a great job, So I try to take part in everything for them from fundraisers to golf tournaments.
DESA A lot of people aren't aware of how much being active can help out with your diabetes and DESA is doing such an amazing job of getting the word out that doing something active daily really helps with your blood sugars and just staying fit as a diabetic is important.
The PADRE Foundation is a really cool group of people. One of my first mentors in the diabetes world, Ryan Martz, is a big part of the PADRE foundation and I try to be a part of everything I can with them. I help put on a "Surfing With Diabetes" surf camp every year with them and it has been such a great event. Every year it sells out the first day people are able to sign up for the event and its just great to see a bunch of kids having a great time at the beach in the water and most of all on a surfboard and living with diabetes.
The ADA is a really great thing for all people with diabetes to take part of. I couldn't say enough about everyone that is a part of the ADA. Its like a bunch of people with the same dream of helping people with diabetes and helping raise money to cure diabetes – you couldn't really ask for more.
What's next for Scott Dunton?
Well for me, about two years ago I found the love of my life. I couldn't be happier than I am with her. Its like I don't even have to open my mouth and she knows what I am going to say. We just got our own place together and it's amazing. It's like getting to live with your best friend and soul mate. So what's next for me is getting married. The date for that is about a year away and there's a bunch of things before that, but its by far the biggest one. I have a bunch of talks planned – to continue to talk about my life with diabetes and how you have to take the wheel and control your diabetes and once you do, nothing in life can stop you, especially not diabetes. I am actually sitting in a hotel room right now in Canada getting ready to go talk to about 100 families with children who have diabetes. I show a surf video and talk about life and try to show people that there's a way to get to your goals even with diabetes. You just need good control. Other than that, I was ranked 119 on the Professional World Tour of Surfing, last time I looked, and I am trying to break the top 100.
What words of inspiration do you have for the dLife community?
"Diabetes doesn't have to be the haystack with you as a needle. Be the haystack and let diabetes be the needle."
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...