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BERLIN, Aug. 6 (dpa/EP) –

German tennis player Alexander Zverev made public this Saturday that he has suffered from diabetes since he was four years old and announced the creation of a foundation to fight the disease.

The tennis player explained that he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four. “When I was little I didn’t think much about it, then more and more. I want to show that you can go very far with this disease. Now, many years later and also With the successes behind me, I feel comfortable and confident enough to go public with this initiative,” said Zverev.

Zverev wants to be a role model for people with the disease, but also a support for children “who can still avoid getting diabetes with active living and proper prevention.”

In addition to providing insulin and other vital medications, his foundation funds projects for affected children and youth. “I am in the privileged position of living a life that I always wanted to live. I always wanted to play tennis, travel to tournaments all over the world and be one of the best tennis players in the world. That I have achieved it is mainly thanks to my parents and my brother, who always supported me unconditionally and continue to do so,” he said.

Zverev, 25, is currently undergoing rehabilitation after his serious ligament injury. The tennis player said he is aware that not all children are so lucky and “that is why it is very important for me to give something back and help other sick people on their way”.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes the body to produce little or no insulin. Type 1, as in the case of Zverev, is not yet curable, so those affected have to inject insulin for the rest of their lives.