Type 1 diabetes is biggest challenge for NC State football kicker: 'Battle the highs and lows'

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Friday, November 17, 2023
NC State kicker talks about playing football with Type 1 diabetes
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Brayden Narveson was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was a junior in high school.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been a football season to remember for NC State kicker Brayden Narveson.

On October 14th, he set a Wolfpack football record for the program's longest-made field goal when he drilled 57-yarder vs. Duke. Plus, he's a perfect 29 for 29 from P.A.T.'s.

Kicking footballs is easy for Narveson.

It's being a Type 1 diabetic that truly challenges him.

"Diabetes makes playing sports a little bit more difficult," he says. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, really does."

During his junior year of high school, Narveson was extremely sick. His mother encouraged his doctors to check his blood sugar.

"They checked my blood sugar and I was like 700," Narveson said. "A normal person, your blood sugar is supposed to be about 80 to 120."

The first years of navigating T1D were extremely tough.

"I battle through quite literally the highs and lows of diabetes," he said.

Having a routine and eating a healthy diet off the field is key to Narveson's success.

"Any moment I teeter off of it, it gets more difficult," Narveson said.

Narveson wears an Omnipod insulin pump every day. NC State football's nutrition staff will track his blood sugar levels using a Dexcom.

This type of support allows No. 44 to step on the field and not worry about what his blood sugar levels might be.

"When I'm between the white line, there's honestly nothing going through my head other than the ball snap, ball through the uprights, celebrate, and get off the field," Narveson says.

Being a Type 1 diabetic has become a part of the college kicker's identity.

"College football in itself gives all of us athletes a really, really cool platform to one, tell our story and two, use that story to help other people."

Living with T1D has made Brayden's life more difficult, but added a new perspective to how he approaches every day of life.

"That little bit more difficult gives me, one an edge to work harder and by me working harder, it gives me an edge on my competition," he says. "It's just something you have to embrace."