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T1D Tennis Athletes Awarded Scholarship for Inspirational Sportsmanship

Tandem Diabetes Care was proud to partner with Dexcom and Cecelia Health to sponsor the Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship, which honors 12 tennis athletes with type one diabetes (T1D) annually.

Billie Jean King, a world-renowned tennis champion and equality advocate, founded the scholarship in 1998 to honor sisters in Diane Donnelly Stone and Tracey Donnelly Maltby (pictured above with the scholarship recipients). Diane and Tracey, who both have T1D, were Division I collegiate tennis standouts who inspire other athletes to play through any challenge.

In September, Billie Jean, Diane, and Tracey gathered at the U.S. Open in New York City to award this prestigious scholarship to three tennis players with T1D: Chelsea Bluestein, David “Deuce” Daniel, and Julie Matheson. Like previous scholarship winners, these athletes share a passion for tennis and the desire to inspire others.

Chelsea, a freshman at the University of Iowa, is looking forward to connecting with other T1D students and athletes. She shared her experience in the wake of her diagnosis.

“For the longest time I was so embarrassed of it,” Chelsea said. “And now, it’s a part of who I am, and you just have to own it and be proud of it … We have to live well because we're not waiting. Life goes on.”

David, a 2022 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Youth Ambassador, was diagnosed just as he started playing tennis in high school. He has always considered Billie Jean King a hero and was thrilled to have the chance to meet her at the awards ceremony.

“This is not just about tennis,” David said. “This is about way more than that.”

He is continuing his career at Grinnell College and hopes to build on Billie Jean's inspiration to continue to cultivate an inclusive and positive community for all of his fellow athletes.

Julie Matheson, David

Julie Matheson (left), the first coach to receive the Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship, stands with collegiate student-athlete scholarship recipients David "Deuce" Daniel and Chelsea Bluestein.

Diane mentioned in her opening comments how diabetes technology, like her t:slim X2 insulin pump, has positively changed diabetes care since she was a young athlete with T1D during her run toward an NCAA Doubles Championship with Northwestern University in 1987.

Julie, an assistant high school coach in Colorado, was the first coach to receive the award. She has spent a decade coaching tennis for local schools and community sports associations, modeling what an active lifestyle with T1D can look like.


Recent tech and innovations have changed lives and outcomes, and I am so grateful to have these tools to manage my T1D.

Julie Matheson

Garrett Kurtz won the scholarship in 2018 and shared what winning the award meant to him.

“This award is so special because it connects tennis with type 1 diabetes,” said Garrett, who now works for Tandem and uses his experiences to help and inspire others. “It is a celebration of people who aren’t necessarily highlighted often and seeing the different recipients every year inspires me to keep pushing and keep striving.”

Congratulations to these inspirational scholarship winners!

None of the scholarship recipients were compensated by Tandem Diabetes Care.

Note: From time to time, we may pass along suggestions, tips, or information about other Tandem insulin pump user experiences or approaches to the management of diabetes. Please note, however, individual symptoms, situations, circumstances, and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Please read the Important Safety Information before using a Tandem Diabetes Care product.

Important Safety Information: RX ONLY. The t:slim X2 insulin pump with interoperable technology is an alternate controller enabled (ACE) pump that is intended for the subcutaneous delivery of insulin, at set and variable rates, for the management of diabetes mellitus in people requiring insulin. The pump is able to reliably and securely communicate with compatible, digitally connected devices, including automated insulin dosing software, to receive, execute, and confirm commands from these devices. The pump is indicated for use in individuals 6 years of age and greater. The pump is intended for single patient, home use and requires a prescription. The pump is indicated for use with NovoLog or Humalog U-100 insulin. Users of the pump must: be willing and able to use the insulin pump and all other system components in accordance with their respective instructions for use; test blood glucose levels as recommended by their healthcare provider; demonstrate adequate carb-counting skills; maintain sufficient diabetes self-care skills; see healthcare provider(s) regularly; and have adequate vision and/or hearing to recognize all functions of the pump, including alerts. The t:slim X2 pump must be removed before MRI, CT, or diathermy treatment. Visit tandemdiabetes.com/safetyinfo for additional important safety information.

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