by TRACEY NEITHERCOTT
snowboarder SEAN BUSBY
carves a new line
Something was wrong. Sean Busby was used to the snow-coveredslopes, thefrigid temperatures, and the buzz of the crowd—he’d been snowboarding since he was 12 and
had competed professionally since he was 16. But at the U.S.
National Snowboarding Championships in March 2004, the then
19-year-old was off his game. Months of frequent vomiting, weight
loss, and exhaustion were diagnosed as type 2 diabetes shortly after,
but the medications didn’t make a difference. By July, Busby’s outlook was bleak. He’d lost sponsors, all but quit his training for the
2010 Olympics, and dropped from 153 to 119 pounds. After nearly
a year of glacially wasting away, Busby finally got the correct diagnosis: type 1 diabetes.
“That first shot of insulin was a miracle,” says Busby, now 26.
“Having that life put back into my body by that little syringe, I felt
normal again. I knew that I could get back into [snowboarding].”
He spent the rest of the summer doing two things: working with
his medical team to understand diabetes management and working out at the gym to build muscles on his skeleton of a body. He
resumed training in Colorado for the 2010 Olympics. And an idea
to help others soon would snowball.