Join Brandon Roux to fight diabetes

Local 4 meteorologist opens up about his fight with type 1 diabetes

By Sarah Mayberry, M.P.H. - Producer


He's a familiar face forecasting the weather on Local 4, but behind the scenes, meteorologist Brandon Roux has been battling a serious health problem for years.

The symptoms started when Roux was 26 years old.

"I was driving out West looking for my first TV job, and I had all the symptoms. I had the constant thirst and urination," said Roux.

He called his uncle, who's a doctor.

"He said, 'You need to go get your blood sugar checked. I think you've got diabetes,'" said Roux.  "I knew nothing about the disease. I knew nothing about what was happening to me. I just knew something was wrong."

Tests revealed Roux's blood sugar was dangerously high.  He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  The disease used to be called "juvenile diabetes," because it's usually diagnosed in children and young adults.  Only about 5 percent of people with diabetes have type one.

The diagnosis was shocking to Roux.

"Never broke a bone, never had a stitch as a kid. So I was blown away."

In type one diabetes, the body stops producing insulin.  That means people with type one diabetes need to take insulin to survive and need to keep track of everything they eat.  Instead of giving himself shots, Roux wears an insulin pump.

"If I'm out reporting a story, I don't have to worry about not having insulin. I've got it attached to my hip.  I can sleep with it on, no problem.  If I want to go swimming or I take a shower, you just unplug it," said Roux.

Roux says it's not easy, but he's learned to manage his diabetes.

"I check my blood sugar up to eight times a day, so I prick my finger," said Roux.  "It is very difficult. It's eating the same things, checking your blood sugar constantly."

Roux also exercises regularly and plays softball with the Local 4 Fighting Peacocks.

But his unusual job schedule has brought its own challenges.

"Especially on the weekends where I'm doing the mornings, evenings, nights both Saturday and Sunday," said Roux.  "A little bit of sleep off here or there and my blood sugar can go one way or another, so I haven't been able to get it down to a perfect science."

He struggles most to control his blood sugar at night.

To join Brandon Roux's team or make a donation, click here.

To learn more about the Walk To Cure Diabetes in Warren, click here.

To visit the JDRF website, click here.

"I've had the ambulance come a couple of times in the middle of the night because blood sugar has gotten too low," said Roux.  "My wife has probably saved my life a few times."

As a father of two, Roux is most worried about what the future might hold.

"You see your kids playing and you play with your kids, and you want to be there for everything that they're going to go through," said Roux.  "It's a very scary tunnel to look down and see kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, amputations, blindness, these things that I could be facing."

It's a reality that is driving him to help in the fight against diabetes.

"I want to be there for my family," said Roux.  "Without them, I might not be here.  And for them, I want to find a cure."

Roux has decided to join forces with the JDRF for the Walk To Cure Diabetes.

"If we're as close as I think we are, we just need a little more push and walks like this, raising money, raising money for that research," said Roux.  "I feel hopeful that, if not my generation, in generations very soon, we're going to have this all figured out."

Roux said he hopes to inspire others with diabetes to keep chasing their dreams.

"I want to motivate people to keep fighting. Because we can do this. You can live a normal life, and we can find a cure," said Roux.

The Walk To Cure Diabetes is Sunday, September 23rd in Warren.  Roux has organized a team to walk and wants as many viewers as possible to come join him.

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