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The Student News Site of Prospect High School

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The Student News Site of Prospect High School

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Student lives active life despite Diabetes

By Keelan Murphy
Executive In-Depth Editor

 

Senior Tyler Bengsten as Taylor Swift
Senior Tyler Bengsten as Taylor Swift

The annual back-to-school physical. The most dreaded day for kids across America. Will they have to get a shot? Will they have to get more than one?

 

 

 Senior Tyler Bengsten, however, is no longer scared of one measly shot. After 16 years of “pricking” his finger five times a day, needles no longer faze him.Because insulin is crucial to the human body’s survival, Tyler must regulate it himself through either shots or, in his case, a pump.

As a toddler, Tyler was diagnosed with type one diabetes, meaning his pancreas produces little or no insulin, which, according to livestrong.com, is the hormone that allows sugar to enter his body.

 

His pump is attached to the outside of his stomach and injects insulin on the hour, depending on how much Tyler’s body needs to keep his blood sugar down.

“[Diabetes] is always in the back of my mind,” Tyler said. “I’m always making sure I’m feeling okay.”

Originally designed to provide athletes with carbohydrates and electrolytes to avoid dehydration, Gatorade also provides diabetics with enough sugar to keep their blood sugar at a normal level.
 And as his blood sugar level decreases, Tyler feels “dizzy and shaky, like I just want to lay down and pass out.”

However, if he’s not participating in physical activity, his blood sugar level will increase, leaving him feeling “really tingly.”

According to Tyler, the human body tries to get the excess sugar out through urine, so if his blood sugar is high he feels as though he has to go to the bathroom.

As long as Tyler injects insulin to regulate his blood sugar level, he is able to lead the life of any other healthy 18-year-old teenager.

“Diabetes isn’t that bad, it’s just a really big annoyance,” Tyler said.

Tyler’s friends and family admire his ability to balance diabetes and athletics.

Senior Scott Plaza has been friends with Tyler since Pre-School, and has seen him grow up first-hand.

“He’s handled [diabetes] really well,” Plaza said.  “It can be rough on some people, but I haven’t really noticed him having difficulties. He does what he’s supposed to be doing.”

“Diabetes may be an inconvenience, but Tyler doesn’t let it prevent him from accomplishing his goals,” Andrew Bengsten, Tyler’s older brother said.

 “He’s a great example of how one can succeed with a chronic disease.”

“The walk is a good reminder that Tyler is not alone, and that there a lot of people out there willing to do their part to make the lives of diabetics better,” Andrew said.

“It helps me know I am giving and helping to hopefully, one day, find a cure for the disease,” Tyler said.
Currently, there is no known cure for diabetes.

 “So right now, I have it forever,” Tyler said. “But they’re hoping to find a cure.”

 All over the country, events take place to raise funds for Diabetes research. Tyler’s family and friends have participated in the October charity event A Walk To Cure Diabetes for the last 13 years.

  6 Fun Facts about Tyler Bengsten:

1. His favorite restaurant is Garibaldi’s, where he orders a one topping pizza for $10.50 ever since they took away the $8.99 pizza deal.

 2.  He thinks dolphins are “pretty cool” and enjoys watching them perform during water shows at the Shedd Aquarium.

3.  Tyler really likes the look of the 60s and 80s and the fashion that was associated with old times. “I often shop at Goodwill for old treasures.”

4. His style icon is singer Elvis Costello from the 70s and 80s.

Elvis Costello 

 5. Tyler loves Jermaine Stewart’s 1986 hit entitled, “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” because it is so “catchy.” 

6. Tyler is a huge Taylor Swift fan and even dressed up as her this past Halloween.

The actual Taylor Swift in her “You Belong With Me” music videoTyler Bengsten as Taylor Swift

 

 

 

 

 
Tyler Bengsten swimming
Tyler Bengsten swimming
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