ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Lightning players BJ Crombeen and Cory Conacher, and Rays outfielder Sam Fuld, have something in common: all three Bay area sports stars found out as kids that they had Type 1 diabetes.
The disease, which over 25 million Americans suffer from, is characterized by the body not producing enough insulin on its own. Insulin is the necessary hormone needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life.
"There are a lot of variables that can make it go up or down," said Crombeen. "I probably check it once or twice during each intermission and before and after (games)."
Fuld decided to reach out to kids in Tampa Bay. He's hosting a sports camp this weekend for kids battling the disease, to teach them to have fun but still be safe with their body.
"I think it's helped me as an athlete," said Fuld, who was forced into eating healthier because of his diabetes. "It teaches you about work ethic and discipline, and I think that carries over into not just baseball, but all aspects of life."
Fuld doesn't wear his insulin meter out in the outfield during games, but he does check his blood-sugar levels in the dugout between innings. Crombeen says he checks his levels between 8-10 times per day and during every intermission during Lightning games.