Super Bowl Champion Visits Bismarck to Talk Diabetes

With two Super Bowl wins in his career, former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kendall Simmons is like a superhero to young fans’ eyes. But even he has a weakness.

(Kendal Simmons, Former NFL Player/Diabetic):  "King size Snickers is like my kryptonite.”

(Van Tieu):  Simmons has lived with diabetes for the past 11 years, manually shooting insulin even while playing professional football.

(Simmons):  "My pancreas completely shut down, and I’m insulin dependent now.”

(Van Tieu):  He’s visiting families of diabetics at St. Alexius to share his experiences with the disease. Simmons is here to tell them that they can still do great things while living with diabetes, with the help of friends and family.

(Simmons):  "Don’t try to do it by yourself.  I hate to say the words, `you can’t, but you really need people to help you through this. It’s easy to kind of go into your own shell and deal with it on your own. But with something like this, like I said, it wears on you mentally and you feel like you’re doing it by yourself."

(Van Tieu):  After listening to Simmons, Logen Himmelspach,14, realized the football pro was just like him: an athlete dealing with diabetes.

(Logen Himmelspach, Teenage Diabetic):  "Having diabetes is] hard.  It’s not like the normal person. You have to take extra steps to be normal."

(Van Tieu):  Similar to how Simmons had his coach, teammates and family, Logen realized he has his parents, brother, and buddies to help him manage his blood and sugar levels. The personal Q&A time with the NFL player inspired Logan.

(Simmons):  "With diabetes, it can’t stop you from life. You can still go on with diabetes."

Van Tieu, Reporting