In his first season on the Puget Sound swimming team, Brett Kolb ’23 qualified for nationals. Then his health took an ominous turn.

Brett Kolb’s breakout freshman swim season came with an odd aftermath: He couldn’t keep hydrated.

Kolb ’23 would go to the Diner on campus and drink a 64-ounce cup of water. Then another. And another. He didn’t think much of it, or of the numerous nightly bathroom trips, figuring he was recovering from a hard season. Weeks later, he mentioned it to his roommate’s mother—a nurse—who urged him to get checked for diabetes.

Busy with school, Kolb didn’t see a doctor right away. By the time he did, on a Tuesday, the doctor said he probably wouldn’t have made it to the end of the week. Kolb was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, his condition serious enough that he needed to be hospitalized for two days.