Nick Boynton Diabetes Spotlight

Nick Boynton Biography

Claim to Fame: NHL Hockey Player
DOB: January 14, 1979
Diabetes Type: 1

Boynton is a professional hockey player best known for playing on a number of teams within the National Hockey League, particularly the 2009-2010 Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks. A born athlete, Boynton was raised in Nobleton, Ontario, Canada. He grew up on the ice, playing minor hockey for local teams and displaying his athletic prowess. In 1994, at the age of 15, Boynton skated his way into the Metro Junior Hockey League, a branch of the Ontario Hockey League, playing for the Caledon Canadian Jr. A. club.

In 1999, what should have been a banner year for the young player who was drafted by the NHL’s Boston Bruins, turned out to be a period marked by fear and illness. Suffering from extreme fatigue, thirst, and weight-loss, Boynton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while attending a training camp in Boston, after his illness was initially misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

Boynton quickly adapted to his life with diabetes and refused to let it stand in the way of his hockey career. He continued to play for the Boston Bruins until he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006. According to fellow players and coaches, Boynton remained aggressive and unstoppable — knowing what his body needed and how to manage his diabetes allowed him to be dominant on the ice. He played for the Coyotes until 2008 when he was traded to the Florida Panthers, the Anaheim Ducks, and eventually the Chicago Blackhawks.

In 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks, with Boynton at right defenseman, beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4 to 2 in the championship game to win the Stanley Cup. Boynton then became an unrestricted free agent, and he now has the freedom to choose what team he plays for and for how long.

Off the ice, Boynton is an active member of the diabetes community. He enjoys working with the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston to educate and motivate children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

“It surprised me how many kids there are with type 1 diabetes,” Boynton said in a 2004 interview with Diabetes Health, “I knew nothing about the disease until I was diagnosed. It’s amazing — I get so many letters from the kids at Joslin, and I appreciate all the support I get from them, it’s really nice.”

Boynton has recently become an advocate for insulin pump therapy, after adopting the technology to help him manage his own diabetes. “I feel great,” says Boynton, describing his experience with the pump. “The pump really helps my blood glucose control. Before using the pump, once in a while, I’d have a 240 or a 300. But with the pump, I’ve been able to keep it closer in check.” Boynton’s determination to stay in control of his diabetes is a powerful example that living with diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t live a healthy and happy life full of success!

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