FOOTBALL

The Blue Wave continued its two-year football winning streak by rising above the competition at this year’s lift.

The friendly competition included benching, squatting, and cleaning weights and is judged by weightlifting trainers.

One student, Charlie Zuro, lifted a cumulative total of about one thousand pounds this year.

Not only did the team lift weights, they also lifted up support for their teammate and his condition.

Kevin Grune, a junior and defensive linebacker for the Blue Wave, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes  (T1D) at four years old.

His teachers noticed he was tired, sluggish, thirsty, and losing weight, which are among the most common symptoms before diagnosis.

Type 1 diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes, is typically an autoimmune disease that destroys the part of the pancreas that produces insulin.

T1D has no cure and is associated with myriad complications which stem from unstable blood sugar.

Grune's mother, Nancy, was surprised by the diagnosis as she and her husband have no family history of diabetes. Despite his condition Kevin has been an active athlete participating in swimming and football for many years.

"It is comforting to know that everyone from the players, coaches and trainers have learned about the warning signs of type 1 diabetes and helped Kevin to stay safe and healthy while playing,” said Nancy Grune. “The DHS Blue Wave football family has been incredible.”

This is the eighth year the Blue Wave held their annual lifting competition against rivals Brien McMahon High School. But it’s the first year the charity event benefited the JDRF, which raises awareness and money to find a cure.

Previously the football teams’ feats of strength collected money for The RE Children’s Project in honor of former Blue Wave team captain Mike Wohlberg’s sister Grace. Grace suffered from a terrible brain disease called Rasmussen’s Encephalitis that required removing the left side of her brain.

Grace has graduated from Darien and successfully entered college, therefore the team decided to select a new charity to support.

Coach Rob Trifone decided on JDRF to honor Grune and help find a cure for the disease that affects his player’s life every day.

The team has supported Kevin and JDRF efforts since before he was in high school by attending the charity’s fundraising walks.

Darien continues this support by not only raising money for JDRF but also by looking out for Kevin’s health during practices and games. Trifone carries a test kit for him in case his blood sugar gets too low.

For more information about the Blue Wave and more pictures and videos of Lift for the Cure please visit https://www.facebook.com/bluewavefootball/. And for more information on JDRF and how you can help find a cure please visit www.jdrf.org.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. It's stated mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception, it says.

"We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy," its flyer said.

"We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF"