Scoring a goal in game against diabetes

By Matt Porter

September 19, 2013 Updated Sep 19, 2013 at 7:10 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) 14-year-old Joe Pirc grew up learning to make saves on the soccer field.

Three years ago when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he learned how to save his life off the field.

He said the diagnosis hasn't changed the way he looks at life.

"Type 1 diabetes really just makes it so some parts of your body don't work, all the other parts still function," Joe Pirc said.

Three million people in the United States have type 1.

The freshmen at Vestal High School has to constantly monitor his blood sugar.

"So I always have to think about what number am I," he said. "How will that affect how much I run."

For his mother Carol Pirc, the diagnosis was a surprise.

"When he was first diagnosed and they told us as he was laying in the hospital, I just looked at them and said he can't have diabetes, he's so skinny," Carol Pirc said.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body doesn't produce insulin.

It has nothing to do with weight or lifestyle.

Carol Pirc said her son checks his blood sugar at least four or five times a day, more if he's playing in a game

"He checks at halftime. We check in the middle tournaments. We check at practice. We check at night before he goes to bed," she said. "Sometimes I get up in the morning, at two in the morning to make sure he doesn't go low."

Carol Pirc said she has a lot to learn by how her son has handled his disease since being diagnosed three years ago.

"Every day he impresses me by how much strength he has," she said.

For Joe Pirc, he doesn't plan on abandoning his net.

"It's not going to restrict me physically," he said.

This Sunday, advocates for type 1 diabetes including Joe Pirc and his mom will be walking to raise money for a cure at Highland Park in Endwell, NY.

If you are interested in donating or being a walker, you can find all the information at their website.