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Cardiff native Cade Brown, a lifelong diabetic, recently signed an NIL deal with Dexcom, a glucose monitoring company. Photo via Twitter/RacersBaseball
Cardiff native Cade Brown, a lifelong diabetic, recently signed an NIL deal with Dexcom, a glucose monitoring company. Photo via Twitter/RacersBaseball
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Cardiff native with Type 1 diabetes signs NIL deal close to his heart

ENCINITAS — For as long as he can remember, there have been two indisputable truths in Cade Brown’s life: a love of sports and Type 1 diabetes. 

Brown, a Cardiff native currently playing baseball for Murray State in Kentucky, recently struck a NIL deal close to his heart as one of 14 college athletes to sign with Dexcom, a leading company in real-time glucose monitoring for diabetics.

The 23-year-old Cathedral Catholic High School alum, who grew up loving the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels, can’t remember a time without sports in his life. For years, Brown was active in the Encinitas Little League before helping guide the Dons to a 2016 CIF Open Division Championship.

As a senior at Cathedral Catholic, Brown had a batting average of .382, with 34 hits, 20 runs, 31 RBI and four home runs in 30 games.

“Since I was a young kid, it was always some sort of activity, and sports was the best way,” Brown said. “My parents always tell me I had a baseball, basketball, or football in my hand when I was young, even when I had just started walking. It came naturally to me to love sports. My pops brainwashed me to love some sports over others, leading me to stick towards baseball, basketball, and football in high school. My love for baseball took me into my college years, though.”

Cardiff native Cade Brown, a lifelong diabetic, recently signed an NIL deal with Dexcom, a glucose monitoring company. Courtesy photo
Cade Brown is now a part of Dexcom-U, a program to inspire the diabetes community.  Courtesy photo

The business major has been to a few universities to get to where he is now at Murray State, well on his way to earning his master’s degree in business administration.

“I started at the University of San Diego after high school and then transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where I did my undergraduate work,” Brown said. “Now I am at Murray State for my master’s and playing baseball. It’s been nothing but a lifetime of memories that I’ve been able to keep friendships that I’ve made and the coaches that I’ve been able to build tremendous relationships with.”

Growing up diabetic was not always easy for Brown, often requiring the active young man to simultaneously balance sports and his blood sugar.

“At a young age, some moments having diabetes just irritated me,” Brown said. “A couple of times in high school, it felt like I was juggling a lot with the different sports and going from one sport to the next. I’d have basketball practice in the morning and football practice after school, and then I’d go to a baseball workout or a hitting session after that, and it’d maybe be a day where it felt like my blood sugar was never in range, and I’d just be furious.”

So when college athletes were allowed to start making name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals in 2021, Brown decided he wanted to represent a company that meant something to him. Dexcom recently launched Dexcom-U, the company’s first-ever NIL program “designed to celebrate college athletes with diabetes and inspire people with diabetes who have athletic dreams of their own.”

Caed Brown transferred from USD to the University of Oklahoma to finish his undergraduate work. Courtesy photo/Oklahoma Sooners Athletics
Cardiff native Cade Brown, a lifelong diabetic who recently signed a NIL deal with Dexcom, transferred to the University of Oklahoma to finish his undergraduate work. Brown has since entered Murray State for a master’s degree. Courtesy photo

Brown, who has long benefitted from Dexcom, reached out to the company on social media, thus starting his NIL journey.

“Just being able to represent Dexcom and the whole Type-1 diabetic nation and college athletes that have Type-1 is surreal,” Brown said. “It’s something as a kid you never really think of having the opportunity to do. I’m blessed every day to be able to represent Dexcom and a company like that because it has changed my life. It makes checking my blood sugar quickly and easily on my phone much easier.”

A recent study completed by Dexcom found that nearly half (43%) of adults with Type 1 diabetes felt like quitting sports and physical activities because of their diagnosis. One in five (20%) went on to quit sports altogether, according to the study. 

Brown, who knows the struggle of living with diabetes, hopes that with this deal, he can help show people it is possible to remain active and competitive while living with diabetes. 

“I just hope this shows motivation to everyone,” Brown said. “As a kid, all you can hope for is motivation, and that’s the keyword. When I was first diagnosed, it felt like you’re the only person in the world with it. I’m hoping with this campaign, if you’re able to see a group of people like us, I’d hope that it does nothing but motivates people and shows them that you can do whatever you want.”

As he works towards his MBA at Murray State University, Brown is hoping for a chance to play for Major League Baseball (especially for the Cardinals or Angels. In the meantime, Brown is working as an intern this summer at Enterprise Holdings as he continues down his business major path.