Bison thrower Stroh thriving while dealing with diabetes

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- It’s hard to miss when Steffan Stroh steps up to make his attempt during track and field meets.

The Senior from Underwood, Minnesota is helping the Bison live up to the billing as one of the best groups of throwers in the country.

His love for the sport started at a young age.

“I just kind of grew up around track,” Stroh said.

“When I was in elementary school always going to track meets to watch my brother. My sister was a thrower as well and just watching her compete in college it was always just something that I was interested in.

“As I went through high school it seemed like something I was good at and I really just enjoyed the sport in general and it just fit really well.”

Stroh seems like any other competitor out on the track, putting everything in to his throws, but Stroh is one of many around the world that suffers from Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes means Stroh’s pancreas has stopped producing insulin and he wears a pump to keep his blood sugar levels in check.

He was diagnosed with the condition when he was in seventh grade.

“For someone that knows what to look for it’s pretty obvious. My mom being a nurse knew almost immediately.”

Stroh’s brother was also diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

“Really having my brother having already kind of gone through the early stages of everything that kind of really gave me a lot of confidence that really a lot doesn’t have to change for me. I knew there would be struggles but nothing that would be impossible.”

Nothing has been impossible for Stroh during his collegiate career at North Dakota State.

He ended his junior season ranked first in NDSU school history in the hammer throw, second in the discus and third in the shot put.

“One thing I can never do is become a commercial airplane pilot. That’s just the law. Pretty much that’s like the one thing.”

He deals with enough flying objects to make up for it.

Stroh wants other kids who, like him, might be dealing with a diagnosis of diabetes to know this: “It’s really scary being young and not knowing what the future holds. Just take every day as a gift and pursue what you love.”