Overcoming illness | SummitDaily.com

Overcoming illness

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Brad King was born nine weeks premature and struggling for life.

“Doctors didn’t know if I was going to make it,” said Brad, who defeated the odds when he was just a baby.

Then, at age 3, he was diagnosed with diabetes type 1. But despite the health challenges he has faced, today he is graduating from Summit High School and plans to study music or medicine in the future.

His mom Patty King, who couldn’t be more proud of her son, said, “He has done a remarkable job keeping his health issues intact. … He is a compassionate soul who will really do some great things.”

She and Brad, 18, opened the door for other students with diabetes, educating teachers, counselors and those around them about the disease after they came to Frisco when Brad was 5. The King family, which also includes dad, John, and sister, Stacy, moved to Summit County from La Jolla, Calif. when Patty was offered a job in the county.

“(Diabetes) is just a part of my life,” Brad said. “I try not to let it control me. It’s something I’m aware of, but it is still my life.”

And as Brad graduates into the next segment of his life, he plans to attend Colorado Mountain College, possibly studying to be an EMT, for a year before transferring to a four-year school.

It was while Brad was taking an anatomy and physiology class in high school that he was inspired to go into medicine. Part of the experience included a trip to a Denver lab where the students made incisions on cadavers.

“It was very intense … quite the learning experience,” he said.

With music, another area of study he is passionate about, he took up drumming shortly before his freshman year. While at SHS, he played in the jazz band sophomore year and the concert snare drum in band each year. On his own, he plays with his friends, the Crimson Sky Pilots. They enjoy a variety of music and some of the bands they cover include Sublime and Queens of the Stone Age.

So, whether or not Brad goes on to study music, it will always be a part of his life.

From academics to social life, he enjoyed the high school experience, particularly the challenges such as ACTs and focusing on college. “This is the time you’re growing up and becoming independent,” he said.

Also, “there’s no way I could have done it without my parents,” he continued, adding that they helped teachers understand how diabetes could affect him in school and that most teachers handled it amazingly. “I’m so thankful to my parents for everything.”

This year, the King family celebrated another graduation as well. Brad recently attended his sister Stacy’s graduation from the University of Colorado at Boulder ” an event that made him excited about his own graduation.

“I’m looking forward to it,” smiled Brad who is ready to take on new challenges.

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