Sean’s Story

Born in Mission Viejo, California in 1984, Sean was introduced to snow sports at the age of 3. In 2000, when Sean’s older brother, Jamie, passed away from a Brown Recluse spider bite, he dedicated his snowboarding talents to his brother's memory. It was the driving push for Sean to focus more on his career as a snowboarder.

At 17, Sean was recommended as a coach for Team Mountain High after receiving his certification from the United States Snowboard Association (USSA) as a certified professional snowboard coach. He moved to Whistler, British Columbia, to train at the elite BC Development Centre.

In 2004, Sean began to experience disease symptoms and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Sean says, “Diabetes has tried very hard to stop me from being an athlete and it will continue to do that – but it will never win.” He became persistent in overcoming the limitations diabetes may have on snowboarding.

To help control his diabetes, Sean uses Medtronic’s insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system. The combination of continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pump therapy allows Sean to set his basal rate, or background insulin, for automatic delivery throughout the day and night, letting him maintain his active and healthy lifestyle.

Months after Sean’s diagnosis, he created a series of Riding on Insulin Snowboard Camps to help children with diabetes lead a healthy and active lifestyle in a fun winter environment. The camps help children living with a chronic medical condition build self-confidence. With medical staff on hand, campers can interact with one another in a constructive and supportive environment. Since its inception, a dozen Riding on Insulin Snowboard Camps have been set up across the country. In July 2008, Riding on Insulin hosted its first international event in association with HypoActive in Australia.

Sean attends the University of Utah. In addition to supervising the Riding on Insulin snowboard camps, Sean is training and competing in snowboarding this winter season.

This story reflects one person's experience. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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