Alexander Zverev made public that he has suffered from diabetes since he was four years old.
The German tennis player, currently on sick leave after rupturing ligaments in his right ankle in the Roland Garros semi-final against Rafa Nadalannounced the creation of a foundation to fight the disease.
“When I was little I didn’t think much about it, then more and more,” he said. “I want to show that you can go a long way with this disease.
“Now, many years later and also with the successes behind me, I feel comfortable and confident enough to make this initiative public.
“I want to send a message that you can still avoid getting diabetes with an active lifestyle and proper prevention.”
“I think I am privileged because I always wanted to play tennis, to travel the world and I managed it – I owe it all to my parents and my brother, who have always supported me unconditionally on my path and still do today,” he added.
“It is very important for me to give something back and help other sick people on their way.”
His foundation will fund projects for affected children and young people, to whom he will also provide insulin and medication to cope with diabetes.
What is type 1 diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs because the pancreas does not synthesize the amount of insulin that the human body needs, produces insulin of a lower quality or is unable to use it effectively.
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children, but can also begin in adolescents and adults. It usually presents itself abruptly and often regardless of family history. Insulin is the only treatment for type 1 diabetes.