Giovenco embraces the challenges of living with diabetes

RyanGiovencoRyan Giovenco (2017, RHP) has an amazing perspective on living with Type 1 Diabetes. “In many ways, it has made me stronger”, said Giovenco. It’s a mature and admirable perspective on a disease that can have a devastating effect on the body. “I know what can happen when this disease is underestimated. It’s a very serious disease. I learned at an early age to pay attention to every detail and to take responsibility for myself. That has made me a stronger person”.

Giovenco was 3 years old when his mom noticed the tell tale signs of Type 1 diabetes. “I was urinating more than normal. I was thirsty all the time and I was constantly hungry. My mom is a nurse, so she was familiar with the symptoms. She took me to the doctor and after a few days in the hospital they confirmed I had diabetes”.

Giovenco is quick to point out that he has never used the disease as an excuse, “Type 1 diabetes is hereditary. My parents and I did not do anything wrong. It’s just something that happened. I can’t change or control that. But I can control my attitude. The truth is, I can do anything that other people without diabetes can do. I may have to take more steps along the way, but I refuse to allow diabetes to control my life or my destiny”. Giovenco has an insulin pump strapped around his waist at all times. Attached to the pump is a small tube that feeds into his leg. “The pump is amazing. It monitors my glucose levels and it beeps when my blood sugar levels are too high, or too low. I can adjust it with a couple quick pumps”.

US Elite Director, Mark Helsel, is impressed with how Giovenco handles the challenges with diabetes. “This game is hard enough, but to have to deal with diabetes on top of it is an amazing challenge. I actually did not even know Ryan had diabetes until recently. He never said anything about it and he’s been in our program for 3 years. There are times when Ryan is pitching and he has to adjust his pump while he’s on the mound. That’s crazy”. Giovenco has excelled on the mound and is drawing D1 looks as a right handed pitcher. He is also excelling in the classroom.

Giovenco scored 2040 on his SAT’s and carries a 4.3 GPA. “I enjoy school and I enjoy learning. My goal is to play baseball in college, but my most important goal is to get a great education”. With outstanding academic credentials Giovenco has many options. “Being the kind of student that he is, Ryan has many doors open to him, said Helsel. College coaches are looking for kids like Ryan, but they are very hard to find. He is a very impressive young man in many ways. He has a bright future in baseball, and certainly beyond baseball. He is a great role model and a leader in our program”.

Giovenco would like to be a Physician’s Assistant someday. “I want to help people. I want to make a difference with my career”.