2012 Little League Baseball World Series
Williamsport, Pennsylvania - August 16 - 26

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Baseball, Blood Sugar, and Brotherhood

Three things Southeast player Luke Brown has in his life

Author: Andrew Maksymowich

Source: South Williamsport, Pa.

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

What do you call someone who makes sure you have what you need? A parent.

What do you call someone who makes sure you don't do something stupid alone? A best friend.

What do you call someone who checks up on you and makes sure you keep track of your blood sugar on and off the baseball field? A brother.

That's what Luke Brown has on the Southeast team from Goodlettsville, Tenn., a brother in Johnathan Seals. Not necessarily by blood, but by heart. Seals is the type of person who always will look out for Brown, no matter what.

Brown, who is the third baseman for the Southeast, has had Type 1 diabetes since before he can remember. He has to check his blood sugar after every meal to make sure he has just the right amount. This is where Seals comes in.

"I just go in there not worrying about it. I fight it out and do my best on the field."-- Southeast player Luke Brown

"After every meal I ask him if he's taken his insulin and he usually says yes," said Southeast first baseman Seals, who checks on Brown a lot. Seals makes sure Brown is in tip top condition so no one has to worry about it when they're on the field.

He also knows the signs of blood sugar highs and lows because his mom has it and helps her with it at home. "When my mom is high she's usually angry and when my mom's low she usually doesn't want to go anywhere," Seals said.

When his dad is away he keeps an eye on his mom and helps her out. Seals carries insulin shots with him just in case she needs one.

Brown knows when his blood sugar is low and when it's high. "If I'm low, my hand keeps twitching and wont stop, but if I'm thirsty and have to go to the bathroom a lot I know it's high," Brown said.

Brown has to have things to eat and drink on him at all times to make sure his blood sugar level is just right. The third baseman carries lots of juice and granola bars with him to help adjust his blood sugar when he's playing.

When he was four he had an insulin pump put in, which makes it easier than the insulin shots, but sometimes it can be a hassle. "I worry about it a little bit," Brown said. "I have to take it off if I'm going swimming or getting a shower, but it's not too bad."

Brown doesn't remember what it was like before he had the pump, but he knows that he didn't have to worry whether or not he got wet. He could do what he wanted and just check his blood sugar after he ate.

"Most of the time I wear these sliding shorts that have a pocket in them," Brown said. This way he doesn't have to worry about it that much when he plays baseball or anything else. Instead of worry about if his pump is going to come out, he can focus more on the game at hand. Brown just wants to live a normal life like any other kid and doesn't let it affect his playing.

"I just go in there not worrying about it," Brown said. "I fight it out and do my best on the field."