Leading record breaking relays is just one of the obstacles that freshman Lauren Spranger has overcome.
Spranger was diagnosed with diabetes the summer before her freshman year of high school. She was at her grandma’s house when she started to experience her first symptoms of diabetes.
“I woke up one morning and I was super thirsty,” Spranger said. “I went home and as the week went on I was like, ‘This is not okay.’”
Spranger continued to experience diabetic symptoms throughout the next several days. The symptoms escalated when Spranger was running with her mom and she became lethargic.
“My mom is a runner, and I just couldn’t keep up,” Spranger said. “I was like ‘mom I’m dying’, and she said, ‘You just have to work through it.’”
After that she went in for a checkup. When the doctors checked her blood sugar Spranger saw there was a big ‘H’, meaning high, on the monitor.
“They took my blood sugar and said I was a type one diabetic,” Spranger said. “ I was just sitting there like ‘I don’t want to be a diabetic’”.
Despite the diagnosis of diabetes, Spranger has pushed herself as an athlete and is currently running track for Northwestern. While some athletes worry about the basics, Spranger always has one more thing on her mind.
“It’s just another thing to be conscious of,” Spranger said. “I not only have to worry about shoes or if I’m warmed up, but I also have to keep my blood sugar in mind. One way that having diabetes has been good is that it’s taught me to be disciplined.”
Spranger hasn’t let diabetes get her down, and she certainly hasn’t left her running success at her hometown track. One of the relay teams Spranger runs on has qualified for nationals.
“We’re ranked 10th in the nation in our 4-by-800 right now and have a chance to do well at nationals if we all work our tail off,” Spranger said.
While Spranger has learned to deal with being a diabetic, she has realized that diabetes has taught her more than she realized.
“I get frustrated with diabetes, but God has taught me through it,” Spranger said. “It’s taught me what my passion is. I want to help people with nutrition and exercise, and I wouldn’t have figured that out if I wasn’t a diabetic. God has shown me what I want to do with my life through a situation I didn’t want.”
Spranger had a tough time deciding if she was supposed to come to NW, but when she realized she had received the Hebrews 12:1 track scholarship that was related to track, she was in.
“I couldn’t decide if I was going to NW or not, but then I got the Hebrews 12:1 scholarship, and that’s my verse,” Spranger said. “It’s also the track verse; I like that.”
Spranger agrees that diabetes has affected her running career, but for the better.
“Both running and diabetes are the biggest things God has used to teach me perseverance,” Spranger said