Thanksgiving IS IN Diabetes Awareness Month……Remember THAT On the Day!

Turkey for circleI love Thanksgiving.  Since I was a little kid, the Parade meant everything to me.  It was a time we would all sit and watch, we would see my mom’s beloved Rockettes and Santa would end the parade to begin the Christmas season.  Much food, fun, and football.  Always loved Thanksgiving.

It was a dream come true when I became one of the ‘Chief Balloonists’ for the Macy’s Day Parade.  I was called a ‘Pilot’ and, for years, I was in a dream volunteer position.  Guiding one of those huge landmarks down Broadway in NYC each and every year.  Millions of kids along the parade route with eyes as round as Pumpkin Pie Plates.  It was wonderful.

Thanksgiving is in November.  Do not let slip by the fact that IT IS STILL Diabetes Awareness Month.  I like that.  When much of the world will mistake all there needs to be mistaken about eating, diabetes, and the holiday…… allows me to take pause.

I have heard people say, “There is nothing good about diabetes.”  I do not disagree.  But during this Holiday of giving thanks, stop and realize how much you do have to be thankful for…….and when you are done, realize how much you have to be thankful for in this diabetes world.

The people who have come across your path, the medical professionals who care so much; the school nurses, the relatives who DO GET IT, the Diabetes Community, the scientists and researchers, the sales reps, the professionals from the organizations of which you are involved, and so many other people…..all involved because they care.

And. They. Do. Care.

So when you bow your head to give thanks this year, and as you sit with those you love, remember the so many people who are involved in your life because diabetes bought you together.  No there is nothing good about diabetes but certainly good can come out of a situation if you look for it.  Look for it.   And also give thanks for them because they are all there for you.

……….now, how to make a blue turkey……….hmmmmmmmm?

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.


The Fundraising Tradition Continues…..a Santa Claus Personal Letter to Your Child

Jolly holiday 5th Annual fundraiser benefits Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
NOTE: Your child does not have to have diabetes to receive a letter from Santa

Yes, Virginia (and Emma, and Maria, and Max, and Willie…), there is a Santa Claus. To prove it, Ol’ Saint Nick himself will send a personalized letter – complete with a North Pole stamp – to any child, in any part of the world for a minimum $20.00 donation to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. This jolly holiday fundraiser is up and running and you can click this SANTA CLAUS to learn how to send a letter and make a donation. Your child receiving a personal letter from Santa is certain to light up faces brighter than the star on the tree.  And of course if you do not know of anyone who would want a letter from Santa….you can make a donation to just help the DRI continue their collaborative efforts to end diabetes once and for all.

Click here to learn more about the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

The personalized letters, which can be requested by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or any other family member or friend, can include all sorts of information; like a reference to any toy, game, iPad or techno-gadget on the child’s wish list or even mention something about their pet. Santa can even encourage them and that he knows how well they have been trying to manage their diabetes as well. The fundraising campaign is open to all families everywhere, not just those affected by diabetes.

To get the hundreds, even thousands of letters out to children by Christmas day, a legion of Santa’s “elves” are standing by around the country, according to volunteer chairwoman Marie Jarcho.

“We had a tremendous response the last four years. This is a wonderful and easy way to brighten a child’s Christmas and they loved it. The more information that parents or others supply, the more personal Santa’s letter will be,” she said. “…… it is my sincere hope that people will give what they can to help the Diabetes Research Institute find a cure.”

After the debut event, one mother wrote that her child was so thrilled with the personalized letter that she slept with it every night until Christmas. The DRI Foundation is hoping for an even greater response this year.

To send a child a letter from Santa Claus, JUST CLICK HERE. The deadline for participation is midnight on December 15th in the USA and December 11th for any area outside the USA.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.


Diabetes Awareness Month…..Is the Outside World Learning Anything?

Blue squareNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month and the 14th is designated as Word Diabetes Day.  It’s my understanding that the American Diabetes Association designated one and the International Diabetes Federation designated the other…..and it was so declared.

I think.

Now I love ‘branding’.  I love that I know what Nike means, what Polo means, and what the golden arches of McDonalds mean.  One brand means one thing.  As a diabetes community, have we missed the mark in this regard?  I mean what is the one message we want to get out in November.  In branding, you establish something that is instantly recognizable to the general public and you work hard (and sometimes billions of dollars) to ‘make that brand work’.

Remember the ice bucket challenge.  After that, everyone ran around searching for, and trying to be, ‘the next’ ice bucket challenge.  Never quite understood that because the major organizations ALL HAVE MARQUEE fundraising events that raise hundreds of millions dollars each and every year…..they already are ‘the next thing’.  A ‘next’ anything, for them, does not need to be created…….they have one already in walks and rides.  Build upon what you have.

Now I’m surely for the notion that everyone wants to ‘get involved’ and do their own thing.  But I also know that we, as a community, are constantly reflecting upon the fact that there are so many identity problems in the world of diabetes.  And during this month so many people are trying, and/or, doing their own thing that I ask, “Is the world at-large hearing or seeing one concise messaging?”  In the attempt for so many to ‘improve’ upon a blue color, or get a message out, or be the ‘cute’ new thing about diabetes that there is SO MUCH going on, the public is not hearing any message at all?

If you try to be everything to everyone, you usually end up nothing to anyone.  I have been thinking about this for a while and I have an idea.

The IDF conference, next month, is in Vancouver.  November, as diabetes month, is a full 30 days in length.  Why is there not a meeting among the tri-powerful JDRF, ADA, and the IDF; but every other organization is invited also.   In actuality, would it be wrong to have/create a diabetes council?  One representative of every organization and everyone meets at the IDF Conference and the ADA conference—twice a year.  And at this meeting, every organization is equal.

Actually this can be good for a lot of reasons but one focus could be……what is the single message needed to get out the following November?  The first half of the meeting a discussion is held and ideas are thrown about what the message would be for diabetes Awareness Month.  The list is whittled down to a few single messages, and a vote is taken and the one single message is decided.  After November, everyone can go back to doing their own thing but for one month, one message.

And that’s it.

Because the resources of the JDRF, ADA, and IDF are bigger than, well probably everyone else, they accept the challenge (on a rotation basis) to come up with that year’s creative (the design) but there are also some pretty creative people in our community and perhaps they can be asked to be part of the design team because after all, it will belong to all of us in the community.  The  message is generic, but here is the thing, there is a space for ALL ORGANIZATIONS to brand it themselves.  No matter how big or how small the organization, you can add your logo, your website, and/or your phone number to the art design with the generic message.

Now for thirty days straight, the message is the same.  The exact same. Unified. Everyone has been part of the process.  But the world-at-large is now seeing the ONE MESSAGE about diabetes that has been agreed upon by the entire diabetes community for that year.

Why try it?

Well, we all have been doing our own thing for so long, and I’m unsure what impact there really has been over the years for THE OUTSIDE WORLD to understand this disease; perhaps trying something else and working toward a unified message……well maybe that time has come……what do you think?

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Diabetes????……Do I Keep My Child Home from School?

No SchoolThis is a really tough question to address but I feel it important enough to discuss.  My goal here is not to open up Pandora’s Box but rather, to create an important dialogue.  I understand each family is different and each parent must make the call on a case-by-case basis.  Let’s respect what others do, and accept it may different from what anyone else does.

When it comes to diabetes, when do you keep your child home for school?

What can you share with us that can help others make THAT call?

I can share with you what we did, and we certainly did not know more than anyone else but perhaps it can begin the dialogue.  We always went back to our goal when Kaitlyn was diagnosed; to make sure her life was as normal as other children and to try to get her life to be as close as possible if she did not have T1D.  This was our goal.  Now of course we would never put her in harm’s way but we found her to be A. Certainly more resilient than we could ever be; and B. She would have had to be up almost all night for us to keep her home and this happened, maybe a small handful of times throughout her entire schooling.

It may be that if your child is missing 20-30 days a school year, you may want to check if that needs to be the case?  Ask around.  Bring it up in support groups.  It may be completely justified; I do not have the answer.  But we should always have a check and balance to our own actions.  We always lived by the rule; we do not know what we do not know……but we can surely find out.

You could almost imagine that I would bring in the name of my dear, great, late Richard Rubin.  Richard, who coined the phrase Diabetes Overwhelmus, always made these type decisions about being a choice.  What is the choice?  It is a good choice?  What would happen if you did A vs. B?  Ask yourself.

We were always taught that it should be a very rare occasion to keep Kaitlyn home from school.  It’s important to also remember, that they are kids.  They can learn to use something if they know it will work.  It was going to be our call if Kaitlyn stayed home from school, not hers.  She was diagnosed so young that it was an easy call when to do and not to do.  When Rob was diagnosed, it was more of a discussion because he was a teen-ager already upon diagnosis.

Look, there are times that you need to do what you need to do.  But if your child is missing two or three days every week or two; the attempt should be to change that trend.  Also make sure IT IS DIABETES when you keep your child home.  Make sure there is not something else going on.

Ask a lot of questions.  Ask if they are missing a test that day, and make sure that the test and the missed homework is made up right away.  They will learn that it is better to get it over with at the due time instead of putting it off and taking up their personal time to make up lost work, if this is a cause they try to stay out of school to avoid.

Kids spend more time at school than anywhere else outside the home.  Much can happen at school that we have no idea; and it can ‘come out’ in many different ways.  From the subject matter that can not be grasped, to being bullied for a list of reasons, to getting changed to go to gym class…….we just have no idea.  So know that a change in personality a trait, may not even have anything to do with diabetes.

Almost all parents have a similar goal in making sure our kids can take part in every aspect of life as they could if they did not have diabetes.  Figure out what is right and always ask yourself, “Do others with diabetes go through this and what do they do?”  When you ask a lot of questions, you will see many trends starting to occur.  Bring your concerns to others and to your health professionals.  When you have enough information before you; you will be able to figure out what is best for your child, and soon these type of decisions will become second-nature to you.

But ask.
We really do not know………what we do not know.

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

A MOM: I Will Never Get This RIGHT!!!!!!!

Pulling hair outI have often found myself reflecting back to the days when Kaitlyn was very, very young and we began this journey.  Do you ever reflect back?

If you are fairly new at this ‘diabetes thing’, it may seem like such a long haul ahead of you but let me share that you should look back constantly on how far you have come because you will proceed very quickly……..because you must.  I often hear parents say how much of a failure they feel at ‘doing this diabetes thing’.

No one woke up one day and said, “Okay, not only do I want to be an Olympic Runner, but I will run a race today.”  Absurd, right?

But on one day life was normal and the next, BANG….Olympic Marathon…….now GO!  You were not trained for this; you did not plan this; you could never be ready for a life after diagnosis.  And yet, here you are.

So before you beat yourself up, remember how far you have come since…..well….just yesterday.  Or since last week.  Or since last year.  At that time, the time your child was diagnosed, you KNEW NOTHING about diabetes.  And in a short time you have become an expert on so many things.

Remember this about experts, there is not a medical professional alive that does not need to do something every year to gain continuing education credits to keep their license renewed for their practice.  So every year medical professionals attend lectures, meetings, and conferences continuing their knowledge base in a field that they spent years to learn……and yet each year or two, they need to do more.

There is no continuing education credit when you have a child……it’s called being a parent.  It is a process we must work out continually.  And having a child diagnosed with diabetes…..the education never stops, nor should it.  So do not be so hard on yourself.  Remember that you are involved in something that you would never have signed up for, you had no choice and neither did your child.

Remember when you thought, I could never prick their finger to check their blood…..that could hurt them?   You have come a long way baby…….hang in there.  You know more than you think you do!  Your child is lucky to have you.

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Every One of these Magical Dancers has T1D…….and that Was Not The Only Magic. WOW!!!!!!!

Dancing girlsEveryone of these young ladies, dancing their hearts out, have type 1 diabetes.  Dancing for Diabetes has that kind of magic that made this entire evening one of the most memorable of all my World Diabetes Days in all my 22 years on this journey……understanding the nature of it, it was a hugely memorable evening all around.  The unsung heroes are both the behind- the-scenes people who orchestrated the night; and all those who arranged the choreography–brilliantly executed and thoroughly entertaining all.

To say this was ‘just’ an evening of dance would be like saying the Super Bowl is just another football game.  From hip-hop, to modern dance, to ballet to even a trip to Starbucks to see a hugely original dance to Kristen Chenoweth’s Taylor the Latte Boy; yes, this night had it all.  Even an incredible diabetes education segment at the top of Act II…..absolutely flawless.

Dancing for DIabetes LogoFifteen years ago a young tween-ager (at the time), but no less determined,  began Dancing for Diabetes in her driveway in her Florida home.  It was the brainchild of a talented dancer, Elizabeth Stein, who was diagnosed shortly before with T1D.

Not to let diabetes stop her in any way, IN ANY WAY, she began Dancing for Diabetes to help others know that they can do anything while managing their diabetes.  Indeed.  When you see the graceful Elizabeth on home-made videos, you realize just how magnificent and dedicated she was to her craft.  When you see her at work  in a Florida Law office, you see an educated and focused office manager. When you see her speak of Dancing with Diabetes, you see a business woman with a fierce dedication to make this project work outside the boarders of her Florida State.

Dancing girls endBut it is the softness, in this same woman’s eyes, when she speaks of the young dancers who are featured in the second act, all having diabetes.  ‘I remember what it was like to dance and manage this disease.  I know what they are going through.”   And she does.  When she is on one knee speaking to one of her dancers, she walks them through as they manage their diabetes.  An outsider (me), cannot help but ask which is bigger, her knowledge of making Dancing for Diabetes the sharpest, tightest, and most professional evening of dance ever created; or her heart that cares so much for her dancers (and there were hundreds of them) especial those who dance with insulin pumps and CGMs on their waists and attached to their arms.

Awe. Inspiring. Impressed.  And quite frankly a few tears as I remember another little girl who loved dancing a lifetime ago.  On this World Diabetes Day, I was taken back to a little girl who with her diabetes, wanted to dance as well….and dance she did.  Diabetes did not stop her then, and at twenty-five it has not stopped her yet.

In my seat of hundreds of people, I was alone; as tears filled my eyes watching this evening unfold.  This one incredible evening unfold.

Dancing for Diabetes is a nonprofit organization and the Diabetes Research Institute will receive the proceeds from this year’s event.  Elizabeth has an army of friends and family who help her and this is one professionally run evening right down with signs on where to park outside the building.   As I spoke to the sponsors and special guests at the reception following, I said that Dancing with Diabetes should be, no NEEDS to be, in every State of our great country—-and beyond.   Turns out that is Elizabeth’s exact plan.

So if you have a love for dance, or your child does, and you want to learn more about Dancing for Diabetes; send me an email at (write Dancing in the subject line) and I will have Elizabeth get back to you.  It takes some work, but it is a fantastic evening and everyone should share in it.

Dancing for diabetes Elizabeth Head shotIt was a World Diabetes Day to remember and for Elizabeth, by evening’s end, it would be even more-so as her boy friend dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him.   She said yes.

Take THAT diabetes.

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Diabetes Awareness Day I Created Something You Can Share to People Without Diabetes

Star. CupSo here is something you can share with those people who do not have diabetes.  A simple cup…….with a message. It just seemed to me that instead of it being a controversy, it could be used for a simple message…..a message that could save the life of someone you know and love.   It’s ‘interesting enough’ that local newspaper and media outlets may share it also….share it with them.  Share this with other sites, any sites.  Place this on all social media.  Anywhere where people who know nothing about diabetes may see it.

GDR Warning jpg

If you received this post….kindly click the flyer above and print it out.  Hang it somewhere where people will see it.  Sometimes, at the onset, type 1 diabetes can seem like a flu/or virus; but it’s not.  If someone you know has the signs above, ask your doctor to test for type 1 diabetes immediately.

So if today is about getting a message out……this just may be a way to capture those who know nothing about diabetes, the message is surely there.

Have a GREAT November 14th.

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Tomorrow is November 14th; Nothing Tops the Reason We Started…….and Nothing Ever Will.

Kaitlyn FlowerI’m all in favor of everything that will happen tomorrow, and for that matter, all this month regarding diabetes.  Happy Birthday tomorrow, Dr. Banting and thank you for creating insulin; it–more than anything else ever discovered, created, invented, researched, and/or implemented is still the single-best finding EVER in the world of diabetes…..and everything else pales in comparison.

But we surely are glad that everything else that has come along and will continue to come along on this journey……aren’t we?

I always find myself thinking many things during this month.  My thoughts come down to one thing each and every year during this month.  Why I got involved in the first place.  And that reason is still a little girl who asked me, in crib/bed at the hospital in 1992 when she said, ‘Daddy, fix.”

No matter what has happened in this journey, it all comes down to her.  And in 2009 her brother was added to that drive.  Two of my three kids having diabetes.  It’s still my single focus and all that matters to me at the end of the day.  It’s why I try not to get caught up in ‘stuff’ that does not interest me.  What interests me is helping others and seeing that one day this disease is cured.  For Kaitlyn.  For Rob.   For others.


Nothing short of that is acceptable in my eyes.  Many things that come along are appreciated but I’m always reminded of the headline when insulin was discovered which stated that it had been cured……..hmmmmmm?…..greatly helped……but not cured.

I have a definition of cured in my mind, and you have what that means to you as well.  We may differ how we will get there.  We may differ on who, or what, will lead the way.  We may differ on what ‘word’ we want to get out to the masses.  We may differ what symbol and/or color should be used to represent us all.  We may differ on who has written what, and how we sometimes want to hug the person, and sometimes we may even want to punch them in the nose.  We may differ on organizations.  We may differ on the emphasis of what is important.

I have said it a million times, just ‘Don’t do Nothing’.  And yet, over the years people have informed me that all they choose to do is take care of what they need to and I have learned we may differ in that thought too.

But at the end of the day;  when we crawl into bed, sign that last letter, post that last comment, give that last dollar, undo that last black-tie, tie that last sneaker, pedal that last bike we need to stop and we should look upon the face that started it all for us.  No we do not need a reminder how we got involved, we will always remember the reason.  But as the thirteenth of November turns into the fourteenth of November, look upon the face of the one who got you here.  Either as they sleep, or by looking at a picture.

And say to yourself yet again: Nothing matters as much.

For me, nothing ever did matter more……and nothing ever will.  Keep that thought and realize just how wonderful you are…….and multiply that by a hundred to realize just how wonderful and special your kids are as well.  And how much their siblings and other relatives and friends have been there to help.

And remember this…… matter WHAT has happened to you in this journey, that face still stands as the single most reason to continue what ever it is that you do. That is Diabetes Awareness Day to me; always has been….always will be….and it happens every day.   You?

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

HEADLINE: Diabetes Caught Twerking in NYC Night Club

twerkI have always found it fascinating how Realty Show Stars and other celebrities capture the headlines.  You know that at least three names jumped into your head as soon as you read the first line of today’s article.

Interesting isn’t it?

There’s always so much discussion how little people know about diabetes.  How much more diabetes needs to be in the media.  “People just do not know about it.”  Yet celebrities and/or pseudo-celebrities CAPTURE the headlines with ridiculous feats of activity that just boggles the mind.  Perhaps we should have diabetes pull a few stunts to get into the headlines.

Ever notice how some major announcements by some of these people coincide with the opening of a movie, book, or television show…… me, it is NO accident.  It got me to wondering……..

“Diabetes parties all night with Kim and Justin in NYC Nightclub.”
“Diabetes……pregnant?  Seen wearing outfit with obvious baby bump.”
“Could diabetes be engaged…..seen sporting huge rock at sporting event.”
“Diabetes’ girlfriend DLo pregnant, and he could no be happier.”
“Diabetes twerks and sends text by accident to 12 million fans.”
“Diabetes in car accident….and pays off lady’s mortgage.”
“Diabetes gives outrageous interview on Tonight Show….jumps up on desk.”

See how it works?  Many people have been attributed with saying, I don’t care what the newspapers say as long as they spell my name correctly. (Mae West, PT Barnum, WC Fields and more).  So as long as it is outrageous, they will print it.

Impacting millions
Costing billions
Causing heartaches
Costing Lives
Tearing apart families
None of that worthy of headlines………that what we have here?

I’m at a loss then.

Think I’ll check-in and see what Khloe is doing tonight??????????

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.




Hey, Yew Look’n at Me???…..Blue Bosses in Charge; Until…….

MOb face in Blue Circle

Here is a fun take/tale on the meeting between ‘bosses’.  Enjoy for Diabetes Awareness Month.  This is my guest blog for Diabetic Lifestyle.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.