German top tennis player Alexander Zverev has suffered from diabetes since childhood. At the age of 4, doctors determined that he had type 1 diabetes, he announced on Saturday. Now the Olympic champion from Tokyo wants to show that you “can also go far as a diabetes patient”. At the same time, Zverev announced the creation of his foundation “Alexander Zverev Foundation – Serving against Diabetes”.
“Now that I am a bit older and have had some successes, I feel comfortable enough to come out with this news,” said 25-year-old Zverev, number 2 in the world. He wants to act as a role model for others who have the disease. He also focuses on children, because he believes an active lifestyle and the right prevention measures can prevent more children from developing diabetes.
With his foundation, Zverev will purchase insulin and other vital medicines to distribute to diabetic patients. He also wants to financially support affected children and young people. “I’m in a privileged situation where I can live the life I’ve always wanted to lead. I have always wanted to play tennis, travel to tournaments all over the world and always wanted to be the best tennis player in the world. The fact that I was able to realize my dreams is mainly due to my parents and my brother. They have always supported me unconditionally and still do.”
The Hamburg-born tennis player, who is currently recovering from an injury to the ligaments of the right ankle, is aware that not all children are so lucky. “That’s why I think it’s very important to give something back and help other patients on their way.”
Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body produces little or no insulin. With type 1, as with Zverev, patients have to inject insulin for life.