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Brett Stewart opens up on battle with diabetes

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by smirny, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. smirny

    smirny Active Member

    +60 /6
    HE’S thrown himself at opposition defences on 2410 occasions and made 1068 tackles. But that pales in comparison to the 30,000 times Brett Stewart has injected himself in the stomach with a needle to combat diabetes.

    The Manly fullback opened up about his intense regimen of five insulin injections a day he’s had to endure over the past 17 years.

    It makes the NSW and Australian representative’s remarkable rugby league achievements even more meritorious.

    Now the Sea Eagles star — nicknamed Snake — wants to help kids facing the same illness.

    Stewart has helped produce a snake pendant with proceedings being directed into the Sea Eagles Foundation, which will then channel funds into camps for kids with Type 1 diabetes.

    “I have lived with diabetes for 17 years and I still have my challenging days,” Stewart said yesterday.

    “I still inject four to five times a day. I do it in my stomach.

    “I have always done it myself. It’s a routine, it’s important to have a routine. When I wake up and eat breakfast I inject. Then lunch, dinner time and sometimes a few more times, maybe before bed.

    “It depends how many times I have eaten but it usually averages out to four or five times a day.”

    Being a professional sportsman works in Stewart’s favour, but he isn’t holding out for a cure just yet.

    “The training helps,” he said. “On a usual training day, my insulin is nearly halved just because of the energy I have exerted through sweating.

    “The insulin basically lowers your sugar whereas your food intake puts your sugar up. Long story short, the insular basically counteracts the food.

    “There are always people saying they will find a cure but I have my head around the fact I will have it the rest of my life. At the moment it hasn’t stopped me doing anything. I keep looking at it that way.”

    Brett Stewart with 14 year old twin brothers Ryan and Jacob Lincoln. Source: News Corp Australia

    Manly and Stewart run the camps twice a year, the next being set for January at the Royal Far West Children’s Hospital, Manly.

    There have only been 240 pendants made, which were designed by Quorra Jewellery’s Justin Schwarz, with each selling for $190. Stewart’s name is engraved on the back and they can be bought on the Sea Eagles website.

    “I don’t think there are too many people around with diabetes in high profile sports so if I can use my name to the advantage of the illness then I am doing the right thing,” Stewart said.

    “I have a little bum bag I take around (with the needles). The boys have a bit of a laugh when I take it away on overseas trips but I need to do it. That’s what I teach the kids — if you need to do it, you just do it,” Stewart said.

    “We sat down and came up with the piece of jewellery — I think it has turned out pretty good actually.”

    Stewart was joined on Monday by two young diabetes sufferers from the south coast, near where the Sea Eagles number one was raised. Twins Ryan and Jacob Lincoln, aged 14, spoke to Stewart about how NRL players cope with diabetes.

    “I try not to let it affect me — I try and live the life I want,” Jacob said.

    • Like Like x 7
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Rex

      Rex Well-Known Member

      +2,376 /60
      Champion player. Champion bloke.
      • Agree Agree x 7
      • SeaEagle9413

        SeaEagle9413 Forward Pass

        +482 /63
        Good on ya Snake! Top stuff!
      • JenEagle

        JenEagle Well-Known Member

        +1,891 /57
        What an absolute legend this guy is and what a player he has been for us.

        I have loved the bloke since he made his debut against the eels in 2003 when he broke his collar bone trying to tackle killer.

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