Tight End Noah Gray Makes T1D Dream Come True


In the year 2000, at the age of 13, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Like many diagnosed at that age, one of my biggest concerns would be if I could continue playing sports.

I was assured that I could, and for the next four years I played high school football—often checking my blood sugar and treating highs and lows on the sidelines during practice and games.

To this day—some 20 years later—trying to navigate playing a team sport with T1D remains one of the biggest challenges of my diabetes life.

Courtney Wilmoth—One T1D Mom’s Vision

Throughout my life living as a person with T1D, I’ve been honored to meet so many incredible people affected by T1D.

I’m consistently impressed not only by those living with T1D, but by their caregivers as well.

Last fall, I was contacted by one the most impressive diabetes moms I know—Courtney Wilmoth.

Courtney shared the story of her son Shiloh, who is a 14-year old living with T1D who — although a football player himself — had never been to a professional game.

Courtney had a big goal to bring Shiloh to his first ever pro football game. Not just as a spectator, but to actually meet one of his T1D heroes—Kansas City Chiefs tight end Noah Gray.

Gray’s team was playing in Las Vegas on the same day as Shiloh’s tenth diaversary—making it the perfect opportunity to put the plan into action.

Let’s Talk Lows

Since 2020, Beyond Type 1’s has run its hypoglycemia awareness campaign #LetsTalkLows every spring, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar for people living with diabetes, and just as importantly, their loved ones and caregivers.

This year we are proud to have Gvoke HypoPen®  (glucagon injection) as the presenting sponsor of #LetsTalkLows, as another important aspect of the campaign is education on emergency treatment options, including ready-to-use glucagon.

As part of the campaign kickoff, and with Gvoke HypoPen® (glucagon injection) team support, Beyond Type 1 helped facilitate the meeting between Shiloh and Noah Gray on November 26, 2023, ten years to the day since Shiloh was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Shiloh meets Noah Gray

When Noah Gray walked into the room, Shiloh’s eyes lit up. After the initial shock of meeting his idol wore off, Shiloh began peppering the tight end with questions. Questions about his diagnosis, about his teammates, about different football sizes, and about his game day preparations.

One of the things Gray stressed was the importance of being open and honest about your diabetes. He told Shiloh to “never give up. Always keep working hard in everything that you do, including your diabetes management. Understand that there are going to be times when your blood sugar goes low, or too high, and you need to step back and get some help for it. And there’s nothing to be ashamed of in that.”

He continued, “Never be embarrassed about having diabetes. In the end, there’s a lot of great people out there who truly believe in your success and helping you achieve your dream.”

It would be impossible to overstate the impact that professional athletes living with type 1 diabetes have had on young people everywhere living with T1D. With athletes like Noah Gray, Mark Andrews, Chad Muma and DeAndre Carter being vocal about their experiences as professional football players with type 1 diabetes, there are more role models than ever for kids like Shiloh, proving that with a lot of dedication and perseverance, dreams do come true.

#LetsTalkLows is made possible by presenting sponsor, Gvoke HypoPen®(glucagon injection), an active partner of Beyond Type 1 at the time of publication. Editorial control rests solely on Beyond Type 1.

What is GVOKE? GVOKE is a prescription medicine used to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in people with diabetes ages 2 years and above. It is not known if GVOKE is safe and effective in children under 2 years of age.

Do not use GVOKE if: you have a tumor in the gland on top of your kidneys (adrenal gland) called a pheochromocytoma, as it may cause a substantial increase in blood pressure; you have a tumor in your pancreas called an insulinoma, as it may cause low blood sugar; or if you are allergic to glucagon or any inactive ingredient in GVOKE.

GVOKE may cause other serious side effects, such as Serious skin rash — in certain people with a tumor in their pancreas called a glucagonoma; Serious allergic reactions — Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have a serious allergic reaction including rash, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure. 

See Important Safety Information: https://www.gvokeglucagon.com/#important-safety-information 

See Full Prescribing Information: https://bit.ly/3baHqAO 

WRITTEN BY Todd Boudreaux, POSTED 01/29/24, UPDATED 02/14/24

Todd was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been unofficially advocating for T1D ever since. Before joining the team at Beyond Type 1, Todd wrote and produced television shows for Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and Animal Planet. When he’s not in the office, you can usually find him at a football game, traveling or drawing on his Etch A Sketch.