Today we lost a great man, an American icon: "This Old Cub". Ronald Edward Santo (February 25, 1940 – December 2, 2010) died of complications today from bladder cancer
This was a man who lost two of his legs from the knee down to diabetes, who sometimes played with a blood sugar level so low that he saw three pitches coming his way when he was at bat. And he still persevered, hoping beyond hope that the Veterans Committee (Hall of Fame) would one day put personal differences aside — Santo was a fierce competitor who never took losing, or winning, in stride — and vote him into Cooperstown.
Knowing what we know about diabetes, keeping it a secret for fear of ruining your career seems unthinkable now. In this regard Mr. Santo was a trailblazer for other athletes with diabetes, including Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, that they didn't have to let the disease stop them from achieving their dreams.
Santo endorsed the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes
in Chicago from 1974 until his death, and raised over $60 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
). In 2002, Santo was named the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's "Person of the Year".
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) is the worldwide leader in funding research to cure type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly and lasts a lifetime. JDRF sets the global agenda for diabetes research and is the largest charitable funder of and advocate for diabetes science worldwide.
JDRF's mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. JDRF is also committed to developing new and better treatments that improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes in the near term and keep them healthy while we advance toward a cure.
In his honor, I donated to this great foundation. "This Old Cub" will certainly be missed... RIP Ronnie.