Jordan Morris and His Professional Soccer Career with Type 1 Diabetes

4/29/15
WRITTEN BY: Alexi Melvin
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There are certain people who refuse to let adversity stop them from living out their dreams – people who, in their own ways, beat the odds.

Having lived with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 9, professional soccer player, Jordan Morris, is certainly one of those people.

Although he now plays as a forward for the Seattle Sounders FC Major League team, as well as the United States national team, Jordan wondered when he was a child whether his Type 1 diagnosis would get in the way of his athletic aspirations.

“There weren’t a lot of athletes with diabetes back then,” Jordan said, “And my dad, who is a doctor, told me he didn’t think I’d be able to play college soccer, let alone professionally.”

Jordan, however, values the continued love and support that he receives daily from his family.

“As soon as I was diagnosed they’ve always been extremely supportive. My mom and dad especially have been great with helping to manage all the things I need to remember as someone living with T1D, such as ordering new supplies, etc.”

Playing sports as a kid, Jordan admitted to often feeling insecure telling his teammates about his T1D, but luckily things have changed for him over the years.

“Kids aren’t as understanding as adults,” Jordan said, “But today it’s fine. I’m confident about it and I know it’s just a part of who I am. Also, all my teammates completely understand and are supportive.”

As he got older, Jordan became more and more inspired by athletes such as Jay Cutler and Adam Morrison who both play sports at the highest professional level. Jordan also switched from Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) to an insulin pump as a teenager.

“Until about age 14 was the most difficult time due to the fact I wasn’t yet using an insulin pump,” he said. “Instead I would give myself a shot at the start of each day, and so there were times when I had to eat when I wasn’t hungry, and also times when I was very hungry but couldn’t eat. It could be very frustrating.”

Along with his pump, Jordan now also utilizes his Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor both on and off the field.

“The Dexcom technology makes managing diabetes so much less stressful,” Jordan said, “because of how easy it allows me to monitor my blood sugar. The way it so seamlessly works empowers me to live a normal life and focus on being a better soccer player.”

Jordan played for Stanford Cardinal men’s soccer from 2013 – 2015 and also participated in the Seattle Sounders FC U-23 Premier Development League. As a sophomore, he played a major role in leading Stanford to their first Pac-12 championship since 2001, and as a junior, Jordan again played in the Pac-12 championship as well as the NCAA Championships. He was awarded the Hermann Trophy as the best player in NCAA Division I soccer.

On January 21, 2016, Jordan signed his first professional contract with the Seattle Sounders FC, which he considers to be his favorite T1D victory to date.

Although there are bound to be some tough days in the life of a T1D, especially one whose career is so physically demanding, Jordan refuses to let it deter him from continuing down his path as an athlete.

“At halftime of the MLS Cup final in December my blood sugar was pretty high,” Jordan recalled, “and I wasn’t feeling very well. It was frustrating for that to happen in such an important moment, but I was able to stay on the field and the team ended up winning which was an amazing achievement.”

Jordan is passionate about letting young aspiring athletes know that it is possible to reach their goals even with T1D.

“T1D will not hold you back if you don’t let it,” Jordan said. “There are great tools out there for you to manage T1D and achieve whatever goals you may have as an athlete.”

Check out Dexcom’s newest G6 and Mobile CGM System.

This article was published as part of a partnership between Beyond Type 1 and Dexcom.


Read about the FDA Approval of the Dexcom G6 CGM and The Power of the CGM.



Alexi Melvin

Alexi was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2003 at the age of 14. Since then, she and her family (along with dad, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin) have been consistently active in raising money and awareness wherever their travels lead them. Alexi studied writing at The New School in Manhattan, and is now a freelance journalist, fiction writer and screenwriter based in the Bay Area. Her other passions include film, travel, animals and spiritual healing.