Shanley Senior Overcomes Diabetes, Serves as Role Model on Gridiron
Cade Busek has played quarterback for Shanley while battling Type I Diabetes
FARGO, N.D. — On his eighteenth birthday, there was no place Cade Busek would rather be than on the practice field, playing football with his teammates.
“It’s the best feeling in the world. I mean you only get so many of these games, we’ve got eight or nine games left hopefully, and you’ve got to treasure every one, and that’s what I do every day,” said Busek, a senior at Shanley High School.
Often seen with a pigskin in his hands since he was seven, Busek is used to squaring off against some of the best teams in North Dakota.
But six years ago, while he was on a family vacation in Antigua, he began his battle with his biggest opponent yet: Type One Diabetes.
“Where I was diagnosed, the medicine is closer to 1960’s medicine, so they said ‘you’re never going to eat sugar or have any sweets again’, and then I came back here, and I realized that I was able to just have a normal life, I would just have to learn to take my shots now,” said Busek.
When he first found out about his condition, Cade was worried about his future in football.
“That’s something I was afraid I was going to lose because of it, so this was so amazing that I was able to keep playing and then eventually play at a higher level,” said Busek.
New advances in diabetic treatment technology make it easier for Cade to suit up for the Deacons.
Whenever Cade gets on the field, he monitors his blood sugar levels a couple of times per game and sometimes has a teammate hold his meter.
“There have been games I’ve been really high with my blood sugar, but it does work itself out, and I’ve never missed a play because of my blood sugar,” said Busek.
Even his coaches marvel at how Cade handles his situation.
“Ironically we didn’t even know he was diabetic until midway through the season last year because he does such a great job of taking care of himself. It has never been an issue, but sometimes as coaches, we do want to make sure he’s monitoring because he gets so competitive,” said Troy Mattern, the Head Coach of Shanley’s football team.
In addition to his role as a leader on the field, Cade also does his part to help others as an Ambassador for JDRF.
“It’s really cool. I get to meet some new people and help some younger kids with diabetes and that’s something that’s really rewarding that I enjoy doing,” said Busek.
Many people, including his coach, are inspired by how Cade leads by example for his team and for those with diabetes.
“He’s got a work ethic second–to–none, and a lot of kids feed off what he does on a daily basis, and to do that in addition to his condition of being a diabetic is truly remarkable,” said Mattern.
For kids who are beginning their fight with diabetes, Cade has some simple advice.
“You will be able to do anything you’ve done before. Your life will have little change,” said Busek.
Busek will participate in the JDRF One Walk this Sunday at Scheels Arena.