WEST Coast Fever vice captain Verity Charles is on a mission to encourage young people with diabetes to pursue their dreams.
The athlete was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 17, and has been named a Diabetes WA HBF Run for a Reason Ambassador.
Ms Charles said she had been looking to do something more with the platform netball has given her.
“I’m in the fortunate position of being in a prestige sport and being able to add diabetes in,” she said.
“I tell every kid nothing is impossible; it’s a tricky disease, but nothing has to hold you back.”
Ms Charles said her diagnosis came about after her weight had been fluctuating and people around her were noticing how much water she was drinking.
“I was living at a friend’s grandparents’ place, and I kept filling up my water bottle,” she said.
“I had a check up with the doctor, then got a phone call to come back.”
She said the diagnosis came as a surprise, as none of her family had diabetes and she did not know anyone with diabetes.
The 26-year-old said she tried to relax as much as possible before games, and ensured she was careful with her diet and blood glucose levels in training.
“I’ve had a lot of times where I’m on court and I’ve had to come off, and I’ve learned to deal with that,” she said.
“I’m controlling it, it’s not controlling me.”
Ms Charles will be over in Queensland playing the Firebirds at Brisbane Entertainment Centre the night before the Run for a Reason, but said she wished she could take part as well as taking on the ambassador role.
“Anything that raises awareness is a plus, and helps with diabetes research,” she said.
The Run for a Reason takes place on Sunday, May 27.
The Diabetes WA runners have raised over $11,000 so far; for more information, visit https://diabeteswa-hbfrun.everydayhero.do.