Hayden's Vausbinder overcomes diagnosis to excel on course

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Hayden senior golfer Katye Vausbinder found her love for the course in third grade.

But in sixth grade, her game changed.

Katye was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes--so on top of counting strokes, she also has to count her blood sugar.

"I just remember when I hit the driver, I hit the ball really far, and I just liked that feeling," Katye said. "I knew it was going to be more of a challenge and thinking that everybody else out there doesn't have to worry about that.

"It makes the mental side of it a little harder, but I just try to work through it."

After her diagnosis, Katye's mother Kim said there was never any doubt Katye would overcome.

"The biggest disappointment probably is she can't get out there and just simply play like every other player," Kim said. "She's got to be mindful of where her blood sugar is all the time.

"But she's never complained once. She just picked it up and took it, and takes charge."

Katye has "taken charge" pretty well.

A City Tournament champion, a 3-time state medalist and an All-State selection to go with helping the Wildcats repeat as 4A champions

"It's kind of a battle because if you get below like 150 or 200, you're kind of going, 'Whoa, I need to get something quick.'" Katye said. "Right as I start, it's not that I'm nervous, but it spikes without me eating anything."

According to Mary Alice Scheer, a clinical dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Diabetes Learning Center, that's completely normal with diabetic athletes.

"Anyone with diabetes, especially Type 1 diabetes, has many variables they have to think about when they are getting ready for any type of sports competition," Scheer said. "When we are active in any kind of physical activity, we have a risk of our blood sugar going low.

"But also, the competition, itself: you're adrenaline goes up and sometimes it can affect you the opposite way where it can actually raise your blood sugar."

According to Scheer, frequent blood sugar monitoring before the event, every hour of it and then several hours after works best.

Luckily for Katye, she has a monitor--and two caring parents--to help keep her levels steady.

"I've got everything in my bag," Kim said. "Water, sugar, protein snacks, everything."

And next year when Katye golfs collegiately at William Jewell College, her parents won't be too far away.

"As I'm starting to hear, they're going to try to make almost all of them," Katye laughed.

According to Kim, "the mom bag is definitely coming to the college tournaments."