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Oct 2, 2017

This episode is a powerful one on so many different levels. The podcast was launched with a mission to help all of us live the healthiest version of ourselves possible despite the obstacles that may be associated with diabetes. While hearing inspirational stories and learning from those within the diabetes community is priceless, it’s important to not isolate or ignore the tremendous value that those on the periphery of the diabetes world can offer.

This is our first conversation with someone who, while she may not be directly touched by diabetes, she has an amazing story that will make you think, and help us all look at our own personal challenges and lives more closely.

Growing up in a town just north of NYC, Ann Marie Saccurato was raised in a violent environment. Her father was a part of organized crime and ultimately he abandoned Ann Marie, her brother, and their mom. Although life was tough, a mindset of self-motivation and inner drive guided Ann Marie to focus her energy and compete in basketball, softball and volleyball all the way through high school.

Life is filled with defining moments. And in this case, it was a car accident after a state volleyball championship that left Ann Marie at the doorstep of death. Despite massive physical trauma, she recounts that the accident not only served to strengthen her, but it really solidified her resolve to come back stronger. 

Her physicians told her that she would never walk normally again, and definitely not play sports again, but she knew they were wrong. Just few short months later, after tireless dedication to physical therapy, Ann Marie was a dual sport athlete playing volleyball and basketball at a Division 1 university. 

Ann Marie then took her natural spirit as a fighter into the boxing ring. And within two weeks of starting her formal training, she was toe to toe with the national champion in her weight class. That particular fight led to an invitation (the next day) for Ann Marie to be a member of the USA Boxing Team in the US Nationals. That chance invitation lead her down a path to fight in larger venues, and eventually to become a 3x WBC Lightweight World Champion. And, get this, just last year, Ann Marie was inducted into the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

This is a conversation of being humble, inner strength, perseverance, and grassroots effort to help others identify and head down their own path to overcoming challenges.