Jaden’s W15HNovember 21st, 2015
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The first word out of Jaden’s mouth when he was a baby was “ball.” Since then, his love for sports has grown and developed into shaping the man he is today. When Jaden reached high school, he dreamed of playing college sports, but soon a diagnosis threatened to change his path, but not his purpose…
On the last day of his high school freshman year, Jaden was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The only thought that ran through his head was whether he would be able to continue pursuing athletics. While doctors assured him that he should strive to be physically active, they also advised that his routines would have to change. Jaden would have to monitor his diet very closely, count carbohydrates for everything he ate and drank and also maintain appropriate blood sugar levels… a lot to ask of a 14-year-old.
However, these obstacles were never a hurdle to Jaden’s growing faith or positive attitude, as he continued as a three-sport athlete in high school. “I was told that diabetes takes self-discipline and an attitude of responsibility; like everything else in my life, I viewed this as a competition and wasn’t going to lose this battle,” said Jaden. “Despite the inconvenience and struggle that this illness presents, I truly believe that God has work to do through me because of it.”
Since his diagnosis, Jaden has been blessed with numerous awards in athletics, graduated with a 4.0 GPA, was a leader in his church youth group, and is now playing football at the collegiate level! Jaden’s continued pursuit of God’s plans and his dreams has led him to a clear vision: “I believe that everything happens for a reason and that we are all a part of a Divine plan, so I know that I have this illness for a purpose, and I am going to use it to share with others, hoping they will be motivated or inspired by my victory,” said Jaden. “I have shared my success story with other young adults recently diagnosed in order to show them that it is possible to excel not only in sports, but also in life, as a Type 1 diabetic.”
Jaden’s wish to meet Tim has become a reality this weekend, and he told us why this meeting is so special to him. “We both share passion for three things: faith, family, and football. He has been an inspiration for me as I strive to become a better Christian, athlete, and student,” said Jaden. “I have read Through My Eyes twice, and it motivates me to work as hard as I can in all that I do to bring God glory through the gifts He has blessed me with.”
Jaden’s W15H Experience
Jaden’s W15H will be the sixth official W15H experience of 2015. Jaden and his family arrived in Columbia, SC, Friday morning and upon arrival, he was welcomed with lunch at the California Dreaming Restaurant and Bar. Later that evening, he spent one-on-one time with Tim as they worked out at the state-of-the-art USC training facilities, while also exploring Williams-Brice Stadium, home of the Gamecocks. From there, Jaden and his family were treated to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where they were able to spend more time with Tim.
This morning, Jaden is heading to the set of SEC Nation for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the show. He will then attend the USC vs. The Citadel football game this afternoon, which kicks off at 12pm. Jaden’s wish will conclude with a family dinner Saturday night and flight home on Sunday. Please join us in prayer for Jaden, his family, and that his W15H weekend provides an even greater foundation for him to continue boldly pursuing God’s plan!