Sugar Free set out to represent Orange County and earn an automatic invitation to the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, July 23-25 in Orlando by reaching the semifinals of the West Championships.
Though the squad fell short, losing its next four games by an average of two goals each, its players and coaches spread the word about Type 1 Diabetes. For Eisenberg, a welcome, successful stop on his long ride.
Brian Eisenberg remembers the day his life changed. He was 6 years old, as excited as most Baltimore kids at that age are when they hop into the car for a family vacation to Ocean City, Md.
“It should’ve been a two-and-a-half- or three-hour drive. It ended up being four hours, because I couldn’t stop going to the bathroom,” Eisenberg, now 35, said Friday after coaching Sugar Free (Calif.) to a 7-4 win over BearLax 2018 Blue (Calif.) in the U15 girls division at the US Lacrosse West Championships, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited. “When we got back from that trip, my parents took me to the doctor and they diagnosed it. It’s been a long ride.”
The diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes, a disorder that has the body’s immune system attacking beta cells in the pancreas, according to JDRF.org. Those beta cells would normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move glucose from food into other cells in the body, which use glucose for energy. Without insulin, glucose remains in the blood stream, where it can damage the body’s organs.
You wouldn’t know it from the outside, watching Eisenberg draw up plays and give his players tips like any other coach. He wears an insulin pump, exercises as much as he can and lives, most of the time, on a moderated diet.