KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is taking his health to the next level.
Monday, Brown enrolled himself in a TrialNet study to help bring awareness and find answers for Type 1 Diabetes, a disease that has impacted him directly.
"This is a cause that hits home for me and I think it's very important to raise awareness," said Brown.
Patients must meet these requirements:
- Have a first-degree relative living with Type 1 diabetes (mom, dad, sibling) and be 2.5 years to 45 years old.
- Have a second-degree relative living with Type 1 diabetes (uncle, aunt, cousin) and be 2.5 years to 20 years old.
Brown's younger brother was diagnosed with T1D at a young age, making Brown eligible for this study. His father also passed away at 40 due to diabetic ketoacidosis, although he never knew he had diabetes.
Taking a proactive approach, Brown said he hopes participating in the trial will help others while helping himself and his family.
"I'm very thankful for the opportunity that people will be able to see this and hopefully feel comfortable moving forward and getting checked and understanding that it's a disease that people deal with, a lot of people deal with and it's nothing to be ashamed of," said Brown.
Doctors say relatives of people with T1D are 15 times more likely to get the disease.
"We know those auto antibodies can be present years and years ahead of the diagnosis," said Dr. Ryan McDonough, a Pediatric Endocrinologist at Children's Mercy. "So identifying people who are at risk but haven't quite developed diabetes yet is what we're able to do with the blood that Orlando gave us today."
Doctors say Brown is expected to receive his results in a few weeks.
For more information about TrialNet, or to sign up for the trial, click here.