Type 1 Diabetes: Mark's Story

It’s not every day that a junior in high school gets a full scholarship to not just one college — but four. Yet, that is exactly what Mark Kollock, a 17-year-old at Oakcrest High School in New Jersey, did.

Mark has committed to playing football at Villanova University in September 2012. As a cornerback and wide receiver, he was also offered full scholarships to the University of New Hampshire, James Madison University and Fordham University.

markMark has been playing football regularly since 8th grade. He gives a lot of credit to his head football coach, Coach Smith, who “really puts us out there.” (Somehow we think Mark had something to do with it too!)

Did we mention Mark has type 1 diabetes?

Diagnosis and management

Mark was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12. He is currently on an NPH and Novolog® insulin regimen. His last A1C was 8.1 percent. His control has not always been as good as it is now. When he was 14 and going into high school, Mark remembers, “I wasn’t controlling it; eating whatever I wanted. I wasn’t doing the things I needed to do.”

When asked what brought him around to change he said, “I wanted to get bigger (he had lost weight due to poor control). You want to wake up feeling healthy. You don’t want to wake up feeling nasty, drowsy and sluggish. I started to do what I needed to do to take care of myself. ”

Taking control of diabetes

So Mark goes into his senior year of high school knowing he will play football at Villanova next year, feeling healthy, being serious about school and absolutely taking care of his diabetes.

His words of wisdom to others, “Just take care of yourself. Diabetes can kill. It’s bad, but you gotta live with it. You can live with it.

"You can control it — it doesn’t have to control you.”

Originally posted: January 2012