May 15, 2014
Kendall Simmons is a former NFL player who played nearly ten years after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 30th overall pick in 2002. Following his first season, Simmons was selected as the team’s rookie of the year.
Shortly before his second season began in 2003, Simmons was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and was not sure if he would be able to continue his football career. With the help of team doctors and a strong support network, Simmons returned to the field that same year.
As he learned to manage his diabetes, he regained his strength and flourished on the football field. In 2005, he started all 16 regular season games and all four playoff games with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning Super Bowl XL over the Seattle Seahawks.
Today, he has partnered with Novo Nordisk, a global health care company dedicated to diabetes care, to raise awareness of the importance of properly managing blood glucose levels, and to demonstrate that diabetes can be successfully integrated into your life and ambitions. Kendall is currently working with Novo Nordisk to recognize people with diabetes who give back to their communities.
Now retired from the NFL, Simmons is still very active in the diabetes community. He has spoken to children and adults with diabetes across the country, to let them know that the disease can be managed. Simmons hopes that his story can be an inspiration to children and others with diabetes.
Over the course of his career, Simmons spent most of his time on the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing seven NFL seasons with the team and spanning 80 regular season and seven post-season games. He also played on the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills.