Kalamazoo Wings fans are unlike any others!

In just the short 2 years since I've been back home in West Michigan I've been fortunate enough to be able to attend a handful of K-Wings games with many more to come this season, I hope.

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In preparation for this season's home opener at Wings Stadium on Saturday, October 21 K-Wings defenseman and ECHL Community Service Award winner Chaz Reddekopp is doing an extra special ticket giveaway. Writes Chaz,

Hey @KalamazooWings fans! Do I have any fellow Type 1 Diabetics that would like to come to the Home Opener this Saturday? I have 2 tickets to give away and would love to meet up after the game as well! #LivingWithType1

I had no idea that like myself, Chaz is a fellow Type 1 Diabetic! Living with Type 1 is challenging enough, but I can't imagine what it's like dealing with diabetes and playing such a high-energy sport such as hockey.

What's the Difference?

There's a lot of public misinformation and misunderstanding about diabetes-- and with good reason! I don't even fully understand the disease and I live with it daily. I know images of Wilford Brimley come to mind but it's not so simple! The way I like to explain it is as follows:

Type 1 Diabetes- An autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own pancreas, the organ which produces insulin and regulates blood sugar. Although they are not limited by diet, Type 1 diabetics must take insulin every time they eat. Type 1 can be caused by both genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

Type 2 Diabetes- Often a result of dietary choices and age, or a combination of both. The body produces insulin but is often resistant to it, causing elevated blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes can be managed by changes to diet and exercise.

Screenshot @ChazReddekopp via X formerly Twitter
Screenshot @ChazReddekopp via X formerly Twitter
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It doesn't help that people often refer to Type 1 Diabetes as "juvenile diabetes"; anyone can be diagnosed with Type 1 at any age; I was diagnosed at age 30 for what it's worth!

In the 4 years since I've been diagnosed I've come to lean on my community of local Type 1 Diabetics and their caregivers right here in Southwest Michigan, so it's encouraging to see a fellow diabetic using their platform for good.

Wishing Chaz and the rest of the K-Wings team a successful 2023 season! In anticipation of Diabetes Awareness Month in November, find the signs to look for here.

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