PARKER, Colo. (KDVR) — Chaparral High School’s volleyball teams dedicated their games Tuesday night to their classmates, teachers and family members living with Type 1 diabetes. 

The program hosts a “Chap Strong” game once per year in which they pick a cause to support through donations, education and recognition of those it affects.

“Last year we did pancreatic cancer for my dad, who was battling that,” head coach Amanda West said. “This is not just people somewhere out there, but it’s people in our community, people that we know well, and it’s impacting people that they know.”

This year, the team is supporting the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. The organization funds research at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, which is on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

“Supporting that cause is really exciting because we’re seeing that the continued research is really improving the quality of life. That’s incredible,” West said. 

“They’re a wonderful place. A lot of their doctors actually have diabetes themselves and it’s pretty neat,” Megan McCready said. 

‘They can make a difference in their communities’

McCready is a senior at Chaparral and is passionate about dancing. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 8 years old. She said that immediately following her diagnosis, her family got support at the Barbara Davis Center. 

“Diabetes is kind of one of those diseases that’s like invisible. You can’t really see it from the front, for the most part,” she said. 

She has medical devices on the backs of her arms to help monitor her blood sugar and provide her with insulin.

“It’s hard. I mean, especially being a girl, like the insecurities with everything and just figuring out being confident in yourself, and then also having these foreign things on the back of your arms,” McCready said. 

McCready was one of several people honored during Tuesday’s varsity game.

“It means everything. There’s plenty of kids at Chap with diabetes and there’s more and more every year,” she said.

About a dozen students at the school have Type 1 diabetes. The sophomore team’s coach is also living with the disease and so are several of the athletes’ siblings and family members.

“I know we are doing this for a week and are kind of just a drop in the bucket, if you will. But our hope is that these kids learn so much from sports. They learn how to be on a team, they learn all these amazing things, but this week in particular, we want them to realize and empower them to realize they can make a difference in their communities,” West said.