GLENDALE – Coyotes rookie Max Domi spent a portion of Monday afternoon at Western Sky Middle School in Goodyear speaking to and visiting with students as part of an American Diabetes Association’s School Walk for Diabetes kick-off event. View photos from the event here.
“I love being able to help people out and hopefully get across a strong message to the kids,” Domi said.
His message to the students on Monday was that being diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic did not prevent him from reaching his dream of becoming an NHL player.
“Life is full of ups and downs and it can be tough when things go wrong,” Domi said. “The message to the kids is all about getting through that and becoming a better person as you’re getting through that. For me, it was getting diagnosed with diabetes. Getting through that has made me the person I am today. That’s what I try to express to the kids.”
Domi and Coyotes Radio Analyst Nick Boynton, who also knows what it’s like to play in the NHL as a diabetic, posed for photos with some of the middle schoolers, and both told their stories to a gymnasium packed with kids. They also answered questions from the students during the program.
“Public speaking doesn’t faze me at all,” Domi said. “I actually enjoy it. I like people. I like talking to people. Sometimes I talk too much, but it’s just fun. And I like trying to make a difference and getting through to people. If you can deliver a strong message to kids at a young age sometimes you can make difference in their lives.”
Domi was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12 and he wears an insulin pump during games so he and the team trainers can monitor his blood sugar levels.
Domi wears sweater No. 16 because that’s the number former Philadelphia Flyers captain Bobby Clarke – also a diabetic – wore during his Hall-of-Fame career. Domi considers Clarke an inspiration, especially when Domi was a young hockey player learning how to cope with his condition.
Now, Domi is hoping to inspire other diabetics.
NOTE: School Walk for Diabetes is an educational school fundraising program that promotes healthy living, school spirit and community involvement. It educates students, families, staff and teachers about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Funds raised through School Walk helps to support the research, education and advocacy programs of the American Diabetes Association, and to support our mission to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people living with diabetes. For more info, visit their website.