SPORTS

Utah State Student Athlete Couple Battles Diabetes Together

Sep 26, 2019, 4:02 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm
(Credit: Utah State Aggie Athletics)...
(Credit: Utah State Aggie Athletics)
(Credit: Utah State Aggie Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dalton Baker is a defensive end at Utah State University. Lindsey Baker, his wife, is on the Aggies’ women’s basketball team. Not only are they both student-athletes, they both battle type 1 diabetes.

Dalton stands out on the field, not only because of his defensive prowess but because of the tattoos on his arms that signify to the world that he is a type 1 diabetic.

(Photo courtesy of Utah State University)

He designed the tattoos himself as an 18-year-old at Payson High School.

“I designed it,” Dalton said. “As with all my tats, I think of them and design them free-hand. It was something I did not want to hide from, but be proud that I am Type 1, and set the standard for others to see everything is still possible.”

Dalton was diagnosed in 2010, but committed then that he would not let the disease hinder him from being recruited and playing Division One football.

(Photo courtesy of Utah State University)

Lindsey was diagnosed later her in her life, in 2015, while she was a freshman at Utah State. She credits her husband for being the best support system she could have asked for.

“The day I found out I was diabetic was a real eye-opener,” Lindsey said. “That was the last thing I thought I would have been diagnosed with my freshman year. I had no idea what I was doing, and nobody in my family has it, but Dalton was such a huge help and changed my life for sure.”

Getting diagnosed with a life-altering disease would be a challenge for any college freshman, but it presented an even bigger challenge to a student-athlete. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which bodies do not produce insulin, requiring patients to monitor blood sugar and administer insulin as needed. It requires diligent tracking, Dalton wears a monitor that gives him a reading every five minutes.

“I would be on the road with my basketball team and would send him a picture of my plate of food and ask how much insulin I needed to take. He was always so positive and kept me from thinking of diabetes as a negative, but a positive thing both of us could share. It brought us so close and it was just another way that we were able to take care of each other. It really was a blessing.”

While it hasn’t been an easy road Lindsey said Dalton has helped her turn away from negative thoughts about the disease and transform their challenge into something more positive.

“Lindsey and I are battling Type 1 diabetes together and are showing the world, and kids around the valley, not to take things for granted, but to take the cards you’ve been dealt and move forward,” Dalton said.

Athletic Performance

Dalton has played on both offense and defense in multiple positions for the Aggies, but he has finally found his home at defensive end.

“I have played many positions here,” Dalton said. “I have been all over the place with whatever coaching staff we’ve had, or wherever we’ve been short and whatever we’ve needed. I have played both sides of the ball my whole life.”

After the Aggies’ first three games Dalton has racked up 4 tackles, .5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup.

“I want Aggie fans to know that even though Dalton looks really big and scary, deep down he is the biggest sweetheart and looks out for the people around him,” Lindsey said.

Linsdey is beginning her senior as a guard for the Aggie Women’s Basketball team. She has played 48 games for the team with 86 career points and 6 steals.

The basketball team begins their season on November 2 with an exhibition game against Arizona Christian.

Dalton will be in action with the football team this Saturday against Colorado State University in Logan.

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