In the vibrant city of Riverside, California, a young athlete is redefining what it means to be a champion, both on the sports field and in the face of personal challenges. Gracie Sevilla, a dynamic member of the Under Armour – Under the Lights K-2 Flag Football Team, the Steelers, is not only a standout player but also a source of inspiration to many. This is her story, a tale of resilience, determination, and the power of sports to transcend life’s hurdles.

A Rising Star in Riverside’s Flag Football League

On a crisp Friday evening, April 12, 2019, the Riverside community gathered to cheer on their local flag football teams. Among them, the Steelers, boasting a flawless 3-0 record, prepared for a crucial double-header against the formidable Raiders and the tenacious Rams. Amidst the anticipation and excitement, one player, in particular, stood out for her remarkable courage and exceptional talent—Gracie Sevilla.

Gracie, the team’s versatile wide receiver, running back, and defensive end, is a force to be reckoned with on the field. What makes her participation even more extraordinary is that Gracie is not only the sole girl and the youngest athlete in the league but also courageously battling Type 1 Diabetes.

The Challenge of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is a relentless auto-immune disease predominantly affecting children and rarely adults. Triggered by common viruses, it leads to the pancreas’s failure to produce the vital insulin needed for survival. For Gracie, this diagnosis meant adapting to a new reality, one that involves up to ten insulin injections daily to regulate her blood glucose levels, which can fluctuate dramatically.

Despite these daunting challenges, Gracie’s spirit remains unbroken. Equipped with a continuous glucose monitoring device, she takes to the field with the same zeal and passion as her peers, monitored closely by her dedicated father and coach, Tommy Sevilla, and a supportive team of family and educators.

Gracie’s Athletic Prowess

Gracie’s athletic talents extend far beyond the flag football field. In baseball, she shines as an infielder and power hitter for the Jurupa Valley Single A – Angels Baseball Team. Her prowess on the soccer field led her to become the leading scorer for her Riverside Parks & Recreation team. Moreover, her basketball skills were on full display when she made an impressive long shot in a Parks & Recreation game, showcasing her versatile athletic abilities.

A Community’s Embrace and Support

Gracie’s journey has captured the hearts of many, leading to features in Insulin Nation and local news channels, highlighting not just her athletic accomplishments but her brave battle with Type 1 Diabetes. The outpouring of support from the Riverside community and beyond has been overwhelming, with initiatives like the “Grace for the Cure Campaign” aimed at raising awareness and support for Type 1 Diabetes.

To further aid in managing her condition, Gracie’s family embarked on a mission to acquire a Diabetic Alert Dog, a specially trained companion capable of detecting and alerting to blood glucose highs and lows before they become critical. Through a GoFundMe page and the generous support of friends and the community, the dream of welcoming “Kaj”—named for “brave” in Armenian in honor of a supportive family friend—into their lives is becoming a reality.

Gracie Sevilla: A Symbol of Hope and Determination

Gracie Sevilla embodies the true essence of a champion—facing life’s adversities with grace, courage, and an unwavering will to succeed. Her story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the profound impact of community support. As Gracie continues to excel in sports and advocate for awareness of Type 1 Diabetes, she serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for countless others facing similar battles.

As the Riverside community and sports enthusiasts across the region rally behind Gracie and the Sevilla family, the message is clear: challenges, no matter how daunting, can be faced head-on with the support of loved ones and the unifying power of sports. Gracie Sevilla’s journey is far from over, but her legacy as a fighter, athlete, and advocate is already leaving an indelible mark on the world.

In the world of high school sports in California, where talent abounds and the spirit of competition thrives, Gracie’s story stands as a powerful reminder of what truly defines a champion. It’s not just the victories or the accolades but the courage to persevere, the strength to overcome, and the heart to inspire others to believe that anything is possible. Gracie Sevilla, the remarkable young athlete from Riverside, is indeed living proof of that enduring truth.