The St. Thomas native had to prepare for his third season in the OHL and his first training camp with the Owen Sound Attack. It also happens to be the first year he is eligible for the NHL Entry Draft.
It would be more than understandable if he spent his summer focusing on hockey and only hockey.
But that’s not Mark Woolley. Knowing his platform as an OHLer, he thought there must be a way he could help others just like him.
That’s why he launched Woolley’s Warriors. The nonprofit aims to conquer diabetes and provide support and awareness for young athletes living every day with Type 1, and to raise funds to send kids to Diabetes Canada D-Camps
Mark Woolley woke up in an ambulance “shell shocked”.
Nearly two weeks after the hulking defender packed his bags for Owen Sound the centrepiece of the Attack’s franchise-changing blockbuster was home in St. Thomas for his dad’s 50th birthday.
“It was the scariest moment of my life,” he recalls. “I learned my lesson. I went to bed without testing my blood. I’ll tell you I’ll never do that again.”
Woolley is a Type 1 diabetic. That night in St. Thomas his blood sugar was so low he became unresponsive. His parents checked on him “luckily,” Woolley recalls, and at 4 a.m. the paramedics arrived to take him to the hospital.
He slipped up. The 17-year-old had been checking his sugar levels multiple times a day – often by pricking his finger and drawing blood to test – since he was diagnosed at age 12. He checked it before games and after each period. He was managing the disease, but it caught up with him.
“I was the one who went through it, and obviously it was the scariest moment in my life, but putting my parents through that too was . . . it’s unimaginable, I can’t imagine what they were going through,” he said.
On Saturday, September 14th, when the Owen Sound Attack play host to the North Bay Battalion at 2pm, Mark Woolley will be sharing a look into his game day routine, including the preparations and elements that come with living with Type 1 diabetes.
As Woolley’s Warriors hopes to continue to create more awareness and education surrounding life with diabetes, you can follow along on Instagram @ WOOLLEYSWARRIORS as Mark will be updating the WW28 story throughout the day.
For over 30 years, Diabetes Canada has been collecting clothing and small household donations to fund important research in the fight to end diabetes and send kids to D-Camp. $5,000,000 invested annually in diabetes research.
100 million pounds of donated items are collected, diverted from landfill and used to help fund research each year.
Follow along with Woolley’s Warriors for more information on WW28 Night with the Owen Sound Attack.
We’re proud to announce the launch of Woolley’s Warriors, a campaign created by Owen Sound Attack defenceman Mark Woolley, looking to conquer diabetes with support and awareness for young athletes living every day with Type 1.
Woolley’s Warriors maintains the goal of raising enough funds to send kids to Diabetes Canada D-Camps in hopes of providing them the opportunity to learn how to manage their diabetes, living the life they love.