Brydie isn’t your average 14-year-old – she eats, breathes and sleeps Taekwondo! And it all started at a ‘Bring a Friend Day’ at a local Taekwondo studio. Since then, Brydie’s passion for Taekwondo has not slowed down!
Training 5-6 days a week, Brydie has now achieved black belt rank, competes at a national level and is looking onward and upward for future challenges. We spoke to Barbara, Brydie’s mother, to gain further insight into Brydie’s perspective on managing her type 1 diabetes (T1D). Barbara states that Brydie ‘just does what she needs to do’ – whether that be to manage her T1D or achieve her goals.
Q: Can you tell us about Brydie’s journey with T1D?
Brydie was diagnosed with T1D when she was just seven years old. She accepted it from day one and as a family, we decided it wasn’t just Brydie’s diabetes, it was a diabetes diagnosis for the family.
At school, Brydie has received lots of support – with some of the office staff coming to the hospital with Brydie to learn about her diabetes! As a teenager living with T1D, there have been hard times but Brydie now has a great group of friends who don’t care that sometimes she has to put time aside to manage her diabetes.
Brydie has never let her diabetes stop her from doing what she wants, she just does what she needs to do.
Q: It’s no secret that Brydie is quite talented at Taekwondo! Has she always loved competing?
Ever since her first class in 2014, Brydie has loved Taekwondo – it’s her passion. She loves her Taekwondo club, as everyone has always been very friendly and welcoming. It’s now like her second family. It also keeps her fit and grounded and has made her more confident. She loves going to competitions and cheering on her friends at the club too.
Brydie has competed in many local and interstate competitions. Last year, she won her state competition and qualified for the National Championships which were held in Bendigo. Here, she won her division (12-14 years, red belt, 59kgs) and became the highest ranked in Australia. Brydie was so shocked and happy when she won – as this was her first time competing in the National Championships – and it all happened so quickly! She was very excited and proud of her achievement.
Q: So it seems Brydie is going from strength to strength?
Absolutely – she’s advanced to a black belt now! But Brydie has worked hard at it – training up to 5 to 6 days a week and also strengthening and conditioning training once a week. She was training for the 2019 National Championships which were held on September 7th in Queensland. On the day, Brydie competed in her first national black belt competition and won the bronze medal. We’re so proud of her!
Brydie will be having a huge year next year as she will be competing interstate and hopefully internationally. Her goal is to go to the Olympics.
Q: And how does Brydie manage her diabetes during training and competitions?
Brydie uses an insulin pump, having only recently received her new t:slim X2™ insulin pump in June. Her favourite features are the pump’s large touchscreen and its ease of use. The t:slim X2 has also helped in many ways due to the flexibility of this pump – it’s multiple profiles are so useful and also the ease of setting a temp basal which Brydie uses everyday when she trains.
Editor note: Brydie doesn’t let her diabetes stop her from accomplishing great goals – whether that be achieving black belt or competing and winning her division at the National Championships! She has accepted her diabetes from day one, and knows that just like her Taekwondo, she just does what she needs to do. With the help of the t:slim X2 insulin pump, Brydie can make good use of the profiles and temp basal features to ensure she can train, and compete, at her very best!
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“The t:slim X2 has also helped in many ways due to the flexibility of this pump – it’s multiple profiles are so useful and also the ease of setting a temp basal which Brydie uses everyday when she trains.”
Sam believes that T1D doesn’t need to hold you back from accomplishing your dreams. In 2007, Sam debuted in professional AFL for the Western Bulldogs, and since then has gone from competing on the field to fatherhood. In 2020, Sam upgraded from Dexcom G5 Mobile to Dexcom G6 to monitor and manage his diabetes.
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