Minnechaug High School Senior football captain fights Type 1 Diabetes

He tells us sports have been his saving grace.
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
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WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - “The biggest thing for me was still having the ability to play sports because that’s just something where I feel completely normal, I feel like I’m just one of the guys, I’m the same person,” said Sean Murphy.

Murphy, a senior captain of the Minnechaug football team, tells Western Mass News he went to the doctor in March of this year when he received the news that would change his life forever.

“He noticed my weight was down 10-15 pounds and how I had told him I was actively trying to gain weight. That was really a red flag for them. They ran some tests and they were just as surprised as I was, it was a really surprising, big moment,” said Murphy.

The diagnosis: Type-1 diabetes.

“It was really difficult because it’s a chronic condition so I’m going to have to deal with it for the rest of my life. Going from living completely normal to having to deal with such a big change is really difficult,” said Murphy.

He tells us sports have been his saving grace.

“When I’m at home or I’m at school like I’m going through certain aspects of it, I just feel more isolated, but when i’m on the field I just feel much more connected, I feel like i’m normal again. Feel like the game is going through a progression. and I don’t have to think at all.”

Sean’s coach, William Nickerson, tells us it is a team effort between their trainer, coaching staff, teammates, and family to ensure his levels are stable.

“We have the phone out at practice to monitor it. He has a little bag with all his snacks and his glucose. He has the pump on too just to ensure everything is in place,” said Nickerson.

Coach Nickerson says he is well-prepared to help Sean.

“My dad is a Type-1 diabetic as well. So seeing that growing up, insulin levels and all of that. I talk to him all the time to see how he is doing. How many snacks have you had, more glucose, etc.,” explained Nickerson.

Sean says his support system has made a world of difference in battling diabetes.

“I can tell they have a genuine care for me, they want to make sure they can help any way they can,” said Murphy.

His plan for next year is to play lacrosse at Bentley University. Until then, the Minnechaug Falcons have unfinished business.

“We feel like the coaching staff, everyone is buying in at the right time and we are ready to make a run. It’s our year,” said Murphy.

Regardless of what happens, Coach Nickerson tells us he is proud of Sean and his ability to overcome.

“The major steps he has been able to take and overcoming the adversity, and like you said going to Bentley is freakin awesome!” said Nickerson.