Fourteen athletes from several different universities gain NIL deals with diabetes advocate Adam Schefter and Dexcom, a company offering real-time continuous glucose monitoring for people with diabetes. In announcing the partnerships, Dexcom launches Dexcom U, the first-ever NIL (name, image, likeness) program designed to celebrate college athletes with diabetes and inspire people with diabetes who have athletic dreams of their own.
The following athletes make up Dexcom U’s inaugural roster:
- Ali Watson, Diving, Duke University
- Ava DeStefon, Cheerleading, Clemson University
- Bri Carrasquillo, Lacrosse, Yale University
- Bryce Frederick, Baseball, Towson University
- Cade Brown, Baseball, University of Oklahoma
- Caleb Fauria, Football, University of Colorado
- Carly Graham, Volleyball, Rice University
- Grant Waszak, Swimming, University of Nebraska Omaha
- Isaac Traudt, Basketball, University of Virginia
- Jarod Verkleeren, Wrestling, University of Virginia
- Leo Giannoni, Baseball, Columbus State University
- Marlee Fray, Soccer, University of Texas at San Antonio
- Paris Husic, Track & Field, Wake Forest University
- Zyian Welcher, Cheerleading, Jackson State University
A recent survey shows the toll of diabetes can potentially halt budding athletic talent and prevent newly diagnosed people from pursuing their dreams. The survey found that nearly half (43%) of adults with Type 1 diabetes felt like quitting sports and physical activities because of their diagnosis, and one in five (20%) followed through with quitting sports.1
The new NIL program, led by Dexcom in partnership with ESPN Senior NFL Insider and diabetes advocate Adam Schefter, whose wife Sharri lives with Type 1 diabetes, will offer the college student-athletes a platform to share their story, act as role models to other aspiring athletes, and receive mentorship and support from their Dexcom U teammates, professional athletes, and figures who understand the challenges facing athletes with diabetes.
In a released statement from Dexcom, Schefter says, “For many, having diabetes used to mean giving up on your hopes and dreams. I’ve had a front-row seat to diabetes since my wife Sharri was diagnosed in 2002, and I see the hurdles that people with diabetes overcome daily, but also how the advances in diabetes care, like Dexcom CGM, have unlocked a world of possibilities for her and many others.”
The athletes rely on their Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems to track their glucose levels* in real-time without the need for painful fingerpicks†, empowering them to better manage their diabetes while breaking new barriers in their respective sports.
Additional key findings from the survey include:
- A diabetes diagnosis can be harrowing and lonesome:
- Two-thirds (66%) of adults with Type 1 diabetes surveyed felt alone because of the disease shortly after diagnosis and almost half (48%) felt the need to hide their diabetes from others during this time.1
- 50% of adults with Type 1 diabetes felt that their coaches, trainers and teachers treated them differently after learning about their diagnosis.1
- Modern diabetes technology is empowering people with diabetes to pursue their goals:
- 82% of CGM users say the technology is very beneficial in helping them achieve their aspirations.1
- Representation for people with diabetes can help inspire the next generation of college and professional athletes:
- Nearly half (48%) of adults with Type 1 diabetes and parents to children with diabetes believe that being aware of a professional or top, amateur athlete or celebrity with Type 1 diabetes would be very beneficial for a newly diagnosed individual.1
“My Dexcom CGM is a total game-changer, allowing me to compete at the highest level knowing my diabetes is under control, and giving me, my coaches and teammates peace of mind,” said Zyian Welcher, cheerleader at Jackson State University. “I know first-hand that having role models who know exactly what it’s like to live with diabetes can be a tremendous asset, so it’s a great privilege to be part of Dexcom U and hopefully be that role model for someone else.”
In addition to welcoming new athletes each year, Dexcom will share free educational resources designed for parents, teachers, coaches and fellow athletes to break down misconceptions about diabetes and reinforce that diabetes doesn’t need to get in the way of achieving one’s athletic dreams and aspirations.
To learn more about Dexcom U and access the free educational resources, visit Dexcom.com/DexcomU.
DexCom, Inc. empowers people to take real-time control of diabetes through innovative continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. Headquartered in San Diego, California, and with operations across Europe and select parts of Asia/Oceania, Dexcom has emerged as a leader of diabetes care technology. Company website: www.dexcom.com.
* For a list of compatible devices, visit www.dexcom.com/compatibility.
† If your glucose alerts and readings from the G6 do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions.
1 Dexcom, U.S. data on file, September 2022