BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – This weekend more than 1,000 runners and walkers will “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.”

One young man knows just what it’s like to fight diabetes while making plays on the gridiron. At 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Will Pericak is a force on the football field. The senior defensive lineman has started every game in his four years at the University of Colorado despite having Type 1 diabetes.

“It’s definitely a curveball you are not expecting,” Pericak said.

Pericak was diagnosed at age 15. He’s learned to work closely with the training staff during games.

“I’ll test like every other series coming into a game and the trainers help me with that,” he said.

He gets insulin injections. A pump doesn’t work well with football.

“I did have the insulin pump in high school for my senior year and every game it got ripped out.”

Pericak drinks Gatorade to keep his blood sugar from dropping — something he says never happens during games.

“I had low blood sugar in practice about two weeks ago.”

He says when he is low, sometimes he gets confused.

“Sometimes I’ll get a little grumpy too.”

And sometimes his teammates can tell.

“If I snapped at him, or something, he’s like, ‘Will, are you low?’ ”

But in games, diabetes does not slow will down. In fact, he’s considered an NFL prospect.

“Play hard, play smart, and doing that, that’s is going to create the best opportunity to play at the next level.”

Help in the fight against diabetes and join CBS4 as a proud sponsor of Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes this Saturday at the Downtown Aquarium. For more information, visit Step Out: Walk To Stop Diabetes.


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