Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - September 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Catcher Heath Pugh Featured in Magazine
Houston County Courier - September 2008
By Sharron Randall
Crockett High School graduate and college baseball catcher Heath Pugh is featured in September's issue of Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association.
Pugh is the son of Shorty and Cindy Pugh of Crockett. The Sam Houston State University starting catcher, now 21 was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when he was 14.
The promising athlete experienced vision problems while practicing in his backyard for a tournament. A quick trip to the hospital confirmed the diagnosis that is usually identified in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.
Because the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life, Pugh's battle with the disease began with daily injections of insulin to wearing a "pump," a system of diabetic therapy that programs personalized insulin delivery, calculates suggested doses, and meters blood glucose.
The teenager was "very concerned" when he first got on a pump because of the fear that he might destroy the device while playing sports. He said that the pump was like wearing a pager with a tube attached to him.
It's reported that some spectators thought the device was a beeper or a small radio used to correspond with the dugout. Soon though, Pugh's positive attitude and desire to prove that Type 1 kids can be active in sports, even while "pumping" during a game, is understood and recognized by most people who observe the small plastic box that sits o his hip.
Pugh is reluctant to adopt the title of role model; however, he has become a guiding figure with younger athletes he's encountered who have had problems, worries or have unanswered questions about pump usage while playing sports.
With Pugh's encouragement to "Go for it!" these middle school and high school students, wearing insulin pumps, participate in sports with confidence
Heath Pugh has Type 1 Diabetes, but he says, "It's not a setback at all. It's become a part of my life. It's just who I am."