NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Teacher Becky Weems and Nacogdoches Police Lt. Tim Goerner first met while sharing a panel discussion on living with diabetes for Nacogdoches Memorial Health. There's no cure, but they know to manage the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2010 in order to survive.
"I have Type 2 Diabetes and I was diagnosed with it about seven years ago," Goerner said.
The patrol division supervisor has always been active, since childhood.
"I was on Nacogdoches All Star team and we won the Dixie pre-major World Series," he said.
So years later, the diabetes diagnosis came as a shock.
"And it was actually pretty scary at one point," Goerner said. "It was cholesterol and blood pressure and my blood sugar was up real high and those combinations weren't going in the right direction."
Fortunately, diet and exercise keep this public servant, husband and father healthy.
"It's something I have to manage, you know, if I want to live a long, healthy life and be around for my grandkids and my children," he said.
Children are also the motivation for Becky Weems to stay healthy.
"I was in high school when ever I found out I was Type 1 Diabetic," she said.
Type one is the more serious form of diabetes. Today Weems can stay up with her four active children. When she was their age, activity took its toil.
"I played softball," Weems said. "I was in band. I was in theater. Pretty active,but when I finally stopped I would just fall asleep."
Weems suddenly required daily life-saving, but overwhelming insulin shots.
"All of a sudden I was taking no medication and now I had shots and injections and needles and insulin that I didn't understand," she said.
The knowledge has progressed to wearing an insulin pump.
"We have a ministry called 'One Foot Raised', and we take teams to partner with villages in Haiti," she said.
And Goerner completed a strenuous course required to graduate from the FBI National Academy.
They manage a disease in order to live a productive life. Even so, neither survivor thinks of themselves as survivors.
"I don't consider myself a survivor," Goerner said. "I just happen to be dealt with it and I can't change it. From what I understand, it's forever."
"I feel like for me sometimes the word survivor means that it's over, you know, like I survived something," Weems said. "I think for me I almost think it's a daily walk. It's a process that never ends."
It's their daily reminder to continue the challenges of diabetes, so they'll have a lifetime of serving others.