At 6’4” and 240 pounds, 16-year-old Harry Crider is a high school football coach’s dream. In fact, Bob Gaddis, head coach at Columbus East High School in Columbus, Ind., calls his junior starting center “a great teammate and leader.”
The three-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball) isn’t limited in the least by the insulin pump that helps him to manage his type 1 diabetes. “I try to think about [diabetes] as a positive rather than a negative thing,” Harry says. “In the long run, it forces me to take care of myself.”
Since Harry was diagnosed in 2009 at age 10, Riley Pediatric Endocrinologist Zeina Nabhan, M.D., and Harry’s Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health team have made sure parents Robert and Elizabeth Crider had the knowledge and technology they need. “They’ve been there every step of the way,” says Bob Crider.
The Crider family also has come to appreciate and support research at Riley. Early on, Harry began participating in an NIH-funded research trial for people with new-onset type 1 diabetes. Harry has remained in a long-term follow-up trial, volunteering to have numerous blood draws and spend more than 100 hours hooked up to an IV. “I thought it was a great cause, and there was a lot to be learned from it,” he says.
Harry’s physicians for the clinical trial are Riley Pediatric Endocrinologists Henry Rodriguez, M.D., and Linda Dimeglio, M.D. “By doing this, Harry and his family not only have learned a great deal about Harry’s disease,” Dr. Dimeglio says. “They also contributed greatly to knowledge about the causes, natural history and potential new therapies for this difficult disease.” The Crider family has also supported Riley research through philanthropic gifts, and they serve as advocates in the Columbus community.
Harry displays a champion’s spirit not only in sports, but also in the classroom. He is an honor roll student who participates in many service projects through Key Club, National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. He recently got his driver’s license and is already looking forward to playing college football.
As Harry has grown up, he’s also assumed more responsibility for managing his diabetes. “I’m definitely going to be more independent about it in college,” he says. “But I think I’m prepared.”