by Greg Starks
Ricky Amorim, a recent graduate of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH), is heading to Providence College. Amorim will play lacrosse at Providence as he was the captain of SCH’s lacrosse team and a star player. People may know Amorim for his athletic ability, but many do not know that he is also a type 1 diabetic. He was first diagnosed with this in 2008 and has been dealing with the disease ever since.
“Living with diabetes is both a challenge and a blessing in disguise,” said Ricky. “The challenging part about living with diabetes is that the experiences that come with it and the management itself can be frustrating.
“Pricking your finger every day and experiencing high and low blood sugars can make it seem like living with diabetes is hard. Though I don’t let diabetes define who I am and what I can do, and because of that, diabetes has also been a blessing in disguise. Diabetes introduced me to the sport of lacrosse and got me more involved in my community. I can confidently say that diabetes has led to the successes in my life because it gave me motivation to be better in all aspects of life,” said Amorim.
Even with having diabetes, Amorim doesn’t let that stop him on the field.
“I always make sure I prepare well, in terms of maintaining good blood sugars before games so I can play at the high level I usually play,” said Amorim. “I also make sure I make the correct diabetic adjustments during the game so I can maintain my high-level play.”
During this pandemic, Covid-19 has proven to be highly contagious and the virus has a high mortality rate for diabetics. Amorim decided to create his own non-profit to help those in need. He realized that someone had to do something as the virus began to get worse and worse.
“Since COVID-19 started becoming a threat in the US,” said Amorim, “I continued to see reports of diabetics being linked to the high rates of COVID hospitalizations and deaths, I felt that it was time for me to help the diabetic community.”
Amorim wants his nonprofit, We Are Better Than This - America, to help diabetics who are in the middle and lower classes be able to afford the copayments to be able to buy all the supplies they need. It wasn’t an easy process to get his nonprofit up off the ground, but for Amorim, all the troubles are worth it.
“The creation process was a lot of work but overall it was a great experience,” said Amorim. “Yes, I did have to spend a good amount of money, spend hours on the phone, and spend hours creating my website and business structure but it felt good that I was doing all that to help people and start a great cause. At the end of the day, if I’m helping people, I’m happy. There was also a lot of fun in building my organization, especially the website, because at the time it was something new and unique to me”
While he is going to college next year, it may be difficult for him to continue working with his nonprofit. Being a student-athlete in college can leave you with a hefty amount of work to do, but Amorim is determined to continue his nonprofit throughout college.
“Absolutely, the fight and mission doesn’t stop after a few months. Diabetics are continuing to die at high rates from COVID-19 and with cases and deaths starting to spike up, more Diabetics are expected to die and I can’t sit back and watch that happen. We must continue to provide Diabetics with their resources and educate them so we can save Diabetics’ lives. We need more donations NOW and I’m going to continue to fight for the struggling and underprivileged Diabetics out there no matter where I’m at.
“I have great confidence in the people who help out with my organization to continue our mission and help continue to grow our organization so we can save diabetics’ lives. In order to solve the issue that diabetics are going through, we must continue to fight, and that is something I will do throughout my college career and years later. I will never give up, no matter what is in my way.”
If you want to contribute to Amorim’s nonprofit, just click the link below: