WHEATFIELD, NY- 11-year-old Mason Gfroerer's life revolves around soccer. The St. Christopher student plays in Northtown's travel league and is always out in his backyard practicing.
"I've been playing for 2 years now. I really enjoy it," said Mason.
But often he has to give himself a timeout in order to check his blood sugar, because Mason has type-1 diabetes.
"Sometimes I'll feel shaky, I get sweaty, my eye vision is a little blurry," said Mason. "I have to sit out until my blood sugar comes back up and then I can play again."
He was first diagnosed when he was 8-years-old, after his parents took him to the doctor for frequent and sudden urination. It turned out to be a diagnosis that affected the whole family. From the changing of his glucose monitor and insulin pump, to the constant worry and uncertainty.
"Every day is difficult," said Lauren Gfroerer, Mason's mother. "When his blood sugar is low, I give him what he needs. But sometimes I give him too much. And then his blood sugar is high, and he doesn't feel good either."
But this disease has given Mason a purpose - to be a voice for other kids just like him. He was recently selected from 1500 applicants to be part of the JDRF Children's Congress. Only 10 children from New York State were selected.
Last week, Mason went to Washington, DC, and met with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Tom Reed and our other elected officials to help secure continued funding for important type 1 diabetes research.
"I was nervous because I didn't want to mess up and I want funding to keep going," said Mason.
His mother couldn't be more proud.
"What he does with diabetes, his strength, what he has to endure. He perseveres. He doesn't let it hold him back," she said.
Mason imagines a day when there's better treatment or even a cure, so diabetes won't keep him on the soccer sidelines.
"Someday I won't have to live with type-1 diabetes anymore," he said.
If you know of a boy or girl or group of kids who should be featured on Daybreak's "WNY's Great Kids," call 716-849-2216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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