Dexcom U Soccer Star Connects Dexcom G7 
CGM with Insulin Pump, Scores Big

The content in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider regarding your individual health needs.
For Dexcom U Warrior Marlee Fray, soccer was always her destiny, and she refused to let her unexpected diabetes diagnosis derail her dreams of playing at the highest levels on the pitch. 
The 23-year-old striker for Oral Roberts University comes from a family of soccer players. Her parents both played collegiately, one brother played through high school, and another brother is currently a member of MLS’ Inter Miami CF squad alongside international star Lionel Messi. The Frays have all struck individual paths in their athletic careers, but Marlee might just be the most unique soccer star in the family. 
At age 2, the Coconut Creek, Florida, native was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a family first that stunned all. Her mom noticed the signs – frequent urination, dehydration and rapid significant weight loss – but didn’t seek immediate medical attention believing it had to be something else. When Marlee didn’t improve, her parents brought her to the ER. Doctors revealed her blood glucose was above 500 mg/dL, and they scolded her parents for waiting so long to get a medical opinion. 

The ball in her hands

When she got older, her parents turned the responsibility T1D management over to Marlee. That’s when challenges began to arise.
“Honestly, I was lucky to get diabetes at 2 years old because it became something I learned as I grew up, rather than it being 15 or 16 years old where I've had this ‘normal’ life, and then I get hit with a life-altering change,” Marlee said. “I didn't realize I was different until I got into middle school or high school, and that's when I really struggled with accepting that I have diabetes. When it kind of shifted into my hands and not my parents doing everything, I struggled.”
She then became an expert at hiding her T1D.
“A lot of my friends in high school didn't know I had diabetes besides my close circle,” she said. “I was very good at tucking my pump and hiding the wire or going to the bathroom to check my blood sugar, because this was before I was on Dexcom CGM. I wasn't really exposed to a lot of other people with diabetes. There was no figure that I ever looked up to who had diabetes to show me a way to live with it. So, I was figuring it out on my own, always saying I was fine.”
Like most teens, she didn’t want to be different than everyone else, and she didn’t want to check her blood glucose or give herself a bolus of insulin in front of others. For a burgeoning athlete who always felt in control on the pitch, she struggled to accept and embrace her diabetes journey.
“My A1C and blood glucose were often high,” Marlee said.
A visit with her endocrinologist in 2017 changed everything.
Dexcom joins the team
Already on an insulin pump, the endocrinologist recommended she also use Dexcom CGM to gain better control and better manage her T1D. At first, she put up a fight.  
“Nope, there's no way,” Marlee protested. “I'm not putting another patch on my body. I don't want to do it, and I don't care if it makes my life easier. I was very stubborn at this point. Nothing they could tell me was going to make anything better for me.”  
After several tough conversations about it, she finally relented and tried Dexcom G5.   
“I ended up loving it,” she said. “I loved not having to do all the fingerpricks. But what really blew my mind was that I didn’t need to pull out this contraption and test my blood in front of everybody.”  
As the years went on, she eventually upgraded to Dexcom G7 and paired the CGM with the Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pump, which has been life-changing. She said the automated insulin delivery (AID) system integration with her insulin pump makes her feel like she can live a more normal life, free to eat and do what she wants with fewer restrictions. The Control IQ Technology uses Dexcom G7 glucose values to predict and help protect from highs and lows - making it easier for Marlee to manage her T1D.  
“I love how small the G7 is – that's a big bonus,” she said. “Pairing the insulin pump with my Dexcom CGM, it’s a huge upgrade just to be able to look at it on my phone. And now there's also a t:connect app where I can bolus from my phone. It has the CGM numbers in my phone, takes that, calculates corrections, and I don't even have to take my pump out and manually type it in. I can do it all from my phone now, which makes it super easy, super convenient. And it's nice that it just works together so I can use the Control IQ to stop bolusing, slow it down a little bit or even give a little correction when needed.”  
As a college athlete always on the move from practice, workouts, classrooms and social life, Marlee also appreciates Dexcom G7’s faster, 30-minute warm-up time. Now she can fit in a sensor change whenever it’s convenient. “For example, I can come home, put on a new sensor, make dinner, and by the time I’m done making dinner it’s all warmed up. It’s so quick and works so fast.” 
With the pairing, and a more proactive and disciplined approach to her diabetes management, Marlee’s A1C has gone from the high 9% range down to 6.5%* at her last checkup. And her glucose levels have gone from hovering in the range of 250-400 mg/dL down to 130-160 mg/dL.   
“I used to casually cruise and play a match with my glucose around 300 mg/dL,” she said. “When I went down to 130 mg/dL, I’d actually feel like I was low, as if I was like 30 mg/dL. I had been living with my glucose levels so high that when they were normal, I didn't feel normal, which told me I needed to make that change and add the Dexcom CGM.”  
In fact, studies show on a Tandem t:slim X2 AID system, Dexcom users can experience 11% more time in range (more than 2.6 hours per day).1 Marlee has noticed that difference.  
“I've had fewer lows and highs, so that claim is very accurate in my experience,” she said.   
Success on and off the field
The rigors of collegiate athletics haven’t slowed her down or interfered with her diabetes management. Whether on the pitch, in class or in daily life, the pairing of Dexcom G7 with her pump gives her the confidence to enjoy the competition and camaraderie of being a student athlete, allows her to better focus on her master’s degree program in sports management, and frees her to spend care-free time on long walks with her young dog Koda.
As a Dexcom Warrior and Dexcom U athlete, she has found her community where she can learn from others just like her, who are also on their own diabetes journeys.
“I honestly love Dexcom U,” Marlee said. “I think the biggest thing I get from it is how many collegiate athletes with Type 1 diabetes there are. I know there's more out there, but just seeing faces and names, and we all follow each other on Instagram now. They're going through the same things I'm going through. They have the same hard days that I have.”
And with her diabetes confidently managed, she’s able to live up to her goal of serving as an example beyond the diabetes community, summed up in the words of Marlee’s personal role model Mia Hamm: “Somewhere behind the athlete you've become in the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back. Play for her."

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*Individual results may vary.

1 Brown SA, et al. N Engl J Med. 2019;381(18):1707-1717.
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