On and Off the Field: Kayley Gibb’s Winning Streak Against Type 1 Diabetes

| News and Stories

Michelle Ramos, Communications Coordinator

For 16-year-old Kayley Gibb, playing softball and participating in track and field are big parts of her life.

Although she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes five years ago, the Burnaby, BC native has not let it slow her down from following her passion for sports. In fact, Kayley competes at the highest level of softball in Canada.

“The year I was diagnosed, I was losing weight at a very rapid pace, and I’d be drinking lots and lots of water,” says Kayley. “I went to the doctor for something else, but after checking my blood sugar, he said, ‘I think you might have type 1 diabetes.’”

According to the Mayo Clinic, type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin, a hormone the body uses to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. Main symptoms include increased thirst, lethargy, and weight loss.

A softball team posing outside in uniform
Kayley’s Softball Team, the Tri-City Titans finished 7th at this year’s BC softball provincials. Kayley is on the first right, bottom row.

When she was diagnosed with diabetes, one of her first questions was whether she could still play softball. Her family reassured her that she could, and that managing diabetes would just become another part of her life.

“I mean it’s overwhelming at first when you don’t know too much about it. There’s just so much you need to learn,” says Rhys Gibb, Kayley’s father. “The bottom line is she can do anything any kid her age can do, and it’s just so exciting to see. She’s incredibly active and she’s always on the go.”

Thanks to support from Diabetes Express and Bayshore Specialty Rx pharmacy, managing type 1 diabetes has become easier for Kayley. She always sets a temp basal minus 50% an hour and a half before playing softball and has her Dexcom constantly checking her blood sugar.

“Kayley has access to everything she needs, whether it be the ketone strips, syringes, and insulin, at all times,” says Rhys. “It’s great having a partner like Diabetes Express and the Bayshore Specialty Rx pharmacy team to help Kayley manage her diabetes on a regular basis.”

Diabetes Express, (a BSRx business), partners with the national pharmacy locations of Bayshore Specialty Rx to help dispense, deliver diabetes supplies and medications to their clients. “The ethos of Diabetes Express is to make managing diabetes easier for all of our clients and their families. It is rewarding when we see people like Kayley excel and not let a diagnosis define them. We are also honored to work with the National Specialty Pharmacies who help us ensure a consistent client journey and amazing local support,” says Aleksandra Filipovic, National Director of Diabetes Express.

“We are proud to provide access to life changing medications and clinical support from our knowledgeable and experience pharmacy teams.  At Bayshore, our vision is to imagine being the difference for our patients and Kayley’s success is a great reminder to all of us at Bayshore the impact we have on the everyday lives of our patients.  We thank her for sharing her story.”  says Erin Smith, Director, National Specialty Pharmacy, Bayshore Specialty Rx.

The most recent chapter in Kayley’s story includes finishing 7th in the softball provincials this past summer. She also finished fifth in her age group for discus and placed 9th for shotput in the BC provincial track and field competition last year. As she turns the page to her future, the shortstop offers up some advice to others staring down a type 1 diabetes diagnoses.

“Never let having type 1 diabetes stop you and keep doing the things you’re doing until you’re told that you can’t,” says Kayley. “And when you’re told that you can’t, find ways so you can.”

To learn more about Diabetes Express click here.