Umberto Poli, winning with diabetes.
Today we celebrate World Diabetes Day with the history of Umberto Poli, a 23 years old Italian guy who discovered his Type 1 diabetes 7 years ago. This doesn’t stop him reach his greatest goal: become a professional rider!
“My life and my career changed on October 7th 2012 when, at the age of 16 years old, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
I had been feeling quite bad for over a week. The previous Sunday, in the G.S. Luc Bovolone race I was in the breakaway, like in so many other races but I had to stop. I kept having to go to the bathroom to pee and had trouble sleeping because I had to constantly go to the bathroom. I remember that on the way home I repeatedly asked my trainer Lino to stop because I had to pee. He told me it was not normal that I had to be sick. When I got home I didn’t feel well at all and I immediately told my mother to take me to the hospital. I then went straight to the hospital in my home town where they had to take a blood sample because the classic blood glucose machine gave an error message multiple times. As soon as they received the results of the blood analysis they urgently admitted me to the hospital with a code red. They had found I had over 700mg/dl of glycaemia. The machine only measured up to 500mg/dl so it wasn’t a surprise that gave an error reading. I moved to the hospital in Legnago where I was told I had Type 1 Diabetes. The next day my parents and the doctors explained everything to me and I understood the gravity of the situation. However, to tell you the truth, I was so young that I didn’t I’ve it too much importance. I was only interested in getting back to the saddle as soon as possible because the new season would be soon underway with my new team and I couldn’t wait to leave the hospital.”