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Highlander Softball Standout Sid McElroy is an Inspiration to Her Teammates

By Mike Dyer,

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Umpires and coaches occasionally halt a softball game to ask about the device Sid McElroy is wearing on her hip.

Some umpires think it's an iPod or MP3 player. An opposing coach once thought it was a radio. McElroy giggles at the suggestions.

If Oak Hills softball coach Jackie Cornelius-Bedel didn't inform the umpires or opposing team before the game about McElroy's insulin pump, then she may be called into duty in the fourth inning or so.

McElroy, 17, is used to the questions from those who aren't part of the team.

The senior shortstop has Type 1 diabetes, a condition that requires her to be cognizant of her blood sugar levels before, during and after a game.

McElroy, a four-year starter and one of Oak Hills' top players, has a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that connects to her iPhone. By using a Dexcom app, she will see an arrow pointing up or down to signal her blood sugar levels. She's been using the app for nine months.

"I was nervous when Sid first came on the team," Cornelius-Bedel said. "I was worried we'd miss something with her diabetes. We assigned her a partner and someone to go get her insulin bag if needed. However, Sid proved early on she had it all under control.

"Modern technologies have taken the 'scare' out of it as her low counts are monitored electronically. I find myself telling her to check her sugar more than she does on her own. After four years, we've got our system down."

Diagnosed at 8 years old, McElroy started playing softball before her diagnosis. She had injections the first year and received the insulin pump a year later.

"When I first got diagnosed we didn't really know what to do with it and how to manage it," McElroy said. "We were really cautious about softball and all that. But, it's gotten a lot easier and all my coaches have been really helpful and supportive."