Meet Jon. M—Jon dialyzes at our Smokey Point Kidney Center and has been coaching basketball, football and baseball since he was 16 years old. At age 4, Jon was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He credits his love of sports and his participation in sports for making such a difference in his health.
“I know I am still alive because I ran so much playing basketball,” he says.
Jon has lived his entire life in the Tulalip area and still has a hand in coaching the Tulalip Men’s baseball team, even travelling with them recently for a tournament. Players on the team range in age from 17 to 55 and while his son is “officially” their coach, Jon provides input whenever and wherever needed.
He also stays active by attending local games whenever he gets a chance—he recently went to see the Seattle Storm and the Seattle Mariners, and has also gone to see the Everett Silvertips and Aquasox, despite his busy dialysis schedule.
Jon’s coaching experience started when he was the assistant to the Parks and Recreation Department of the Tulalip Tribes—he had a knack for getting kids into sports, even if they were hesitant at first.
“At one point I had 50 kids show up, and I got every one of them involved in some way.”
Jon stopped actively playing when he was in his late thirties and made coaching his focus—he’s since coached basketball, football and baseball teams, proud that they’ve played some of the best teams in the area and even if they did not win, they always kept it close and competitive.
Jon’s impressed with the Tulalip Tribe’s focus in recent years on building new venues for sports, like baseball and football fields with Astroturf, a step up from the muddy fields where Jon played growing up. Jon also has another interest; his 10-year-old grandson has just started playing basketball. The legacy continues!