Georgia McCarron speaks with the quiet authority of someone who
is a natural leader.
The 1.83cm athlete and university student was diagnosed with
type 1 diabetes after contracting chicken pox just before her
Now 22, Georgia and her Northside Wizards women's basketball
team have just won the South Brisbane League Grand Final, and this
captain of her team is proud of it.
"Mum, Dad and my two brothers played basketball. I've always
looked up to them so that was the sport I wanted to play too," she
"This was my second year competing with the Northside Wizards.
We fell short by a few points in the Grand Final last year. This
fuelled my motivation to finish with the gold this season.
"My team worked extremely hard, facing a lot of adversity and
injuries, so I was very grateful to finish on such a positive
result and remain in good health myself."
Georgia is a forward with the Wizards, and her Dad, Don, is the
coach. One of her brothers, Mitchell, plays professional basketball
for Melbourne United and Curtis plays socially in the Northside
Wizards senior men's competition.
Her schedule is disciplined: Monday night is a club game,
Tuesday and Thursday nights are training, Saturday or Sunday is a
competition round game, and Georgia goes to the gym or practises
shooting on her rest days.
She works as a team leader at Grill'd burger chain, and studies
full time for her secondary school teaching degree. She hopes to
teach Health/Physical Education and Science.
Application is one of Georgia's strong points.
"Georgia is a great girl, a lovely person," Northside Wizards'
spokesperson, Michael Pitman, said. "She's not just an outstanding
player in her own right, she coaches juniors and always has time
for younger players.
"I admire her and the whole McCarron family."
Georgia said her determination to play basketball to the best of
her ability has been helped by Continuous Glucose Monitoring
"I got Dexcom when I was 20 years old," Georgia said. It was
soon after the government announced it would subsidise CGM for
Australians under 21.
"It's phenomenal, especially for playing sport.
"I always know what level I am and how I'm trending. It gives me
peace of mind on the court."
Georgia said her manager keeps an eye on her phone to monitor
her blood glucose levels (BGLs) while she's playing, and she looks
at the information as soon as she's off the court.
She aims to inject her insulin three hours before a game, and
routinely has a ham and salad sandwich and a banana before playing
to ward off hypoglycaemia (dangerously low BGLs). She likes to be
around 8mmol/L before she plays a game.
"When I'm tired, especially if my legs are tired, I'll trend
downwards. I know when I'm going too low. I feel shaky, have a
slight vision loss, and feel lethargic."
Georgia is grateful her Mum and Dad has picked up the cost of
her CGM, about $5,000 or so a year, since she turned 21 when the
government subsidy stopped.
"I know it's a lot of money and I'll take over the cost when I
graduate from Uni," Georgia said. "The difference it makes means
it's not negotiable. I want to live an active lifestyle and get all
the health benefits that brings. CGM makes it easier to do
Georgia doesn't remember meeting other basketball players with
type 1 despite competing for 15 years or so. Her opponents
sometimes ask about the CGM sensor she has taped to her arm during
games and she explains about her diabetes and that it reads her
glucose levels and sends the info to her phone.
"I'm always upfront about my diabetes. I've always told my
managers, team mates and whoever is coaching me. I think because of
me being open about it, I've had a lot of support."
Georgia says she wants young players to develop the same passion
she has for basketball, and enjoys being a coach and mentor.
"Sometimes I wish I didn't have to eat anything before I go to
the gym, or that I could just wake up and work out like everyone
else, but usually I just do what has to be done," Georgia said.
"Diabetes doesn't have to be something that stops you doing
anything you want to do.
"Sometimes it's so much harder to achieve daily goals, but
accomplishing them knowing that you have battled through the ups
and downs of diabetes every minute of the day is such a rewarding
"I'll always find a way."