When he talks about diabetes, how it is caused and how is managed, you could forget for a moment and think you are talking to a specialist in managing the illness.
Instead, this is Jacob Pokocky. Ten years old, plays AAA Rep baseball and AAA Rep hockey. He also suffers from Type 1 Diabetes.
“I play a lot of rep sports and I work really hard at it and I manage my diabetes really well when I play my sports,” said Pokocky.
“I like speaking about my life and about diabetes and that’s fun.”
~ Jacob Pokocky
It is for that reason that he feels he was chosen to be one of four Junior Diabetes Research Foundation ambassadors for the year.
This youngster feels proud to help promote awareness for his illness which he was diagnosed with when he was a little over three years old.
“It’s an honour because out of all the people they could have chosen from they chose me,” said Pokocky, who has already spoken four times so far about his illness. “I don’t have a lot of stage fright and I like speaking about my life and about diabetes and that’s fun.”
Diabetes never gets in the way of fun for this positive youngster. He describes very simply how it affects his baseball game.
“It’s just this pack that I have to wear,” he said, referring to a pump he wears which puts insulin in his system should his blood sugar level go too high. “If it goes low, [my dad] will just give me Rockets.”
Rockets is a candy distributed in abundance during Halloween. His mother, Karen Pokocky, points out that his friends would collect them for him.
He feels fortunate to have many supportive people in his life, including his coaches and especially his 13-year-old sister Alexandra.
“She is a big part of this when she walks me home,” said Jacob Pokocky.
When he was younger, Alexandra Pokocky held his hands when he received insulin shots. Now, she picks him up from his class after school and helps him monitors his blood sugar levels.
“With him running around you have to watch out. If he runs around too much, he gets low [blood sugar] sometimes,” said Alexandra Pokocky.
He also receives support from his baseball team.
“He’s a really fun person. He’s energetic, he’s got good sportsmanship, help people when they are not feeling great,” said teammate Griffin Conroy.
Thomas Harbour, another teammate, said he supported Jacob Pokocky by “[being] there when he’s down and when he’s in the hospital.” Jacob Pokocky was quick to point out that he had never been in the hospital.
This weekend his Oakville A’s baseball team is joining him at the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes at Streetsville Memorial Park in Mississauga this Sunday.
“You feel happy when people come to support to you and your family,” said Jacob Pokocky, who will be speaking at the walk as part of his ambassador duties. “You donated a lot of money and you are changing one child’s life.”
“I tell people that diabetes should not get in the way of your dreams,” said Pokocky. “Diabetes should never get in the way of anything you want to do.”
Anyone wishing to donate can visit the website http://jdrf.ca/walk