Basketball player Kelsey Lachowski not letting Type 1 Diabetes define her

Lachowski raising money for others like her

Sanborn, N.Y. (WKBW) - Kelsey Lachowski practices hard. She yells out plays and leads every drill.

But Kelsey is a little different than her teammates on the Niagara-Wheatfield basketball team.

Underneath her shirt is a patch and it's just a small part of what helps keep Kelsey healthy and alive.

"This allows me to get insulin through my pump so I don't have to take shots," she said.

At the age of three, Kelsey was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It's why she carries instruments to check her blood sugar levels and a water bottle she has to fill roughly 4-5 times a practice.

"Sometimes it's really tough," she said about playing with Type 1 Diabetes. "Sometimes I'm not feeling good at all but you have to push through it, it's something you have to get through."

Kelsey pushes through it every day and it's hard to ignore her passion and love for the game.

"Knowing she's laying it all on the line every single practice and every single game means a lot to us," said head coach Gary Jackson. "It shows her level of commitment and loyalty to the girls and to the team."

Kelsey is as strong a person and player as anyone and knows how diabetes can impact a person's life which is why she's giving back with help from others.

Outside of every home basketball game are small red donation jars.

Inside is money collected from the community that goes right to Kelsey who in turn gives it to others with Type 1 Diabetes.

"It's honestly such a blessing to see people give their time and their money," she said. "That's just something that means so much to me." 

Since Kelsey started fundraising three years ago, she's collected around $6,000.

That money sends kids with Type 1 diabetes to a camp that changed Kelsey's life.

"I learned so much about diabetes and what it means to be diabetic when you're a kid," she said about the camp. "We just really want to send people there so they can have the opportunity like I did."

An opportunity to understand that their diagnosis isn't who they are.

"Type 1 Diabetes doesn't define me," she said. "I went for it. I love basketball and it's my favorite sport. I love being athletic and playing sports. If I hadn't tried and I hadn't given it a chance, I wouldn't be where I am today."

Kelsey is always collecting money to send kids to camp and has set up an online donation form for those who don't attend Niagara-Wheatfield basketball games.

That link is: main.diabetes.org/goto/kelseylachowski

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