NEWSBREAK: Interview with a REAL Winner…..Oh Yeah, He Won Daytona Too!!!

Ryan reed victorI had the opportunity for a one-on-one interview with NASCAR Xfinity Series ‘checker-flag’ recipient, Ryan Reed, shortly after his huge victory at Daytona National Speedway last weekend.  This remarkable young man is not only taking NASCAR by storm, he and his partners at Lilly Diabetes and The American Diabetes Association’s Drive To Stop Diabetes, are also allowing many other people, mostly young people, to meet Ryan and hear his story first hand.

Lives are being changed.  As you listen to Ryan speak, it’s as clear as can be that his passion for being in NASCAR may very well only be surpassed by his desire to touch lives.  And he’s doing JUST THAT.

Thank you so much for taking the time today; and first of all; congratulations on your big win.
Ryan: Thanks it was a fun weekend.

In the race, you have two laps to go, you are 4 cars back. What goes through your mind at that moment?
Ryan: You take it ‘corner-by-corner’. Trying to take advantage and deal with the fact that the leader can just pull away. I was side-by-side with the 33 car and when a few cars ‘got together’ (collided) I was in a good position and took advantage in the back straightaway. During the race when the two cars got together, where you surprised that the yellow caution flag did not come out? Ryan: I was concerned. But the two cars that got together; they keep moving onto the grass and emergency vehicles were not needed, the race officials will allow the race to continue and not display the cautionary flag if there is no perceived danger. You just never know, you cannot think about it and need to just keep going.

I have heard you say that you drive with gloves on and checking your blood sugar is not an option by finger pricking; you use the Dexcom; who is looking at it, you, a pit crew member?
Ryan: I have 5-6-7 gauges that I have to keep an eye on located on my dash, the Dexcom (receiver) is one of those gauges; it is not inconvenient at all to keep an eye on it while racing.

Was there anything that needed ‘tending to’ during the race from trending up and/or down?
Ryan: No it was pretty much business-as-usual. Between the heat in the car and the adrenalin pumping, I stay hydrated. I pretty much stay where my number is at levels I need them to be. I start at about 100-120 and usually end the race at around the 180-200 range.

You have been around the track since age 4; who inspired you?
Ryan: My dad, I was always pulling for him when he raced. There were a lot of guys that I learned from who broke into the race when they were young. I looked up to them to learn some things because I knew as a younger race I would need to know; a few guys really inspired me as I started to get into it.

Did you always have the ‘need’ to go faster?
Ryan: Anything that had a motor was always a lot of fun to me. Growing up it was, and still is, fun for me to do. I enjoyed motor cycle riding but, for me, it was always NASCAR. I did not want to compete with motorbikes; it has always been about being 100% on a NASCAR track as my goal.

You’re 21; is 21 considered young for racing?
Ryan: In the Xfinity Series, you can start at 18, and you will find 18-25 as an average but racers are in this series at 55. So the ages can, and do, vary.

There have been professional athletes, upon being diagnosed with T1, told they could not no longer compete; can you take us back to when you were told that; how you felt, and what you did when you decided that ‘diabetes just won’t do on my track?’
Ryan: It was a tough time in my life and that transition when I was told I could not race any more. The turning point came with my Doctor, Dr. Anne Peters. She had a very different outlook on it. She was just so confident and instilled the confidence in me that if I gave 100% we would make it happen. From that point forward I was never worried about getting in a race again, and just wondered how we would do it.

You are diagnosed. You deal with it. You now go back to your parents and you say you want to get back out on to the track; what was their reaction?
Ryan: They were super supportive. They knew the track is where I wanted to be and there were some who stood up and said ‘No’ you can’t do that, or we don’t want you to do that, that was a conversation we never needed to have. I would like to talk a little about your relationship with Lilly Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association.

When you look at your car, and you see those logos, they must represent more than a sponsorship. It makes a statement to the world. How does it feel knowing that you all work to make real differences in this world?
Ryan: Absolutely. I think we have one of the most-unique partnerships in motor sports or in any type of sports marketing in the country; or the world. The partnership among us, Lilly Diabetes, and The American Diabetes Association is just so organic, and pure. Three organizations working together for a common goal to raise awareness and send a positive message. I do not know how you can get more pure a message. The main reason is to spread a positive message about diabetes. Last weekend when I jumped out of my car, I did not have to talk or rattle about sponsorships but I could tell my story and how much this (the win) means for people with diabetes. I cannot thank Lilly Diabetes and the ADA enough for teaching me how important it is to tell my story and try to make a difference. It’s rare and really cool.

Tell me about the meetings that Lilly Diabetes and the ADA’s Drive to Stop Diabetes (click to learn more) set up for you where you meet kids around the appearances of your race schedule. Can you tell me what those meetings are like when you see all those young people?
Ryan: We sat down and figured out how we could design Drive to Stop Diabetes, you know away from the racetracks. Hospitals, diabetes camps and any place that is involving kids. It’s the coolest part. Not to just tell my story but hear about the kids doing sports all year round where diabetes doesn’t even phase them. For me that is what it is all about. It is what makes it all worthwhile. What do you say to kids who say, I don’t think I can reach my dreams? Ryan: It’s hard. If someone tells them they can’t…a coach or others; I went through all that and do all I can to get them to stay positive and use any example, either my story with racing, or other stories of people I know to go out there and do what they can.

The last thing I like to do; is mention a word or a phrase, and you tell me the first thing that comes into your mind?

NASCAR
Ryan: Intense

Diabetes
Ryan: draining, difficult

Parents
Ryan: Supportive

Nothing between you and the checkered flag.
Ryan: What we work for, that’s what it’s all about; winning races.

Dreams
Ryan: Motivation

Other kids living with type 1
Ryan: Inspiration and connection.

Thank you for your time today.  I speak with kids all the time trying to find their way out there and you are an incredible and inspirational young man changing the lives of so many who live with type one diabetes, thank you for that and good luck in the future. Ryan: Thank you for saying that and thanks for the interview

Seems to me this young man was a winner long before he ever crossed first in front of a waving checkered flag.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

A Mom with a Newly Diagnosed Child…….Teaches an Important Reminder

MomI had the chance to speak to a new mom.  Well she is not a new mom, but a new mom where diabetes has become the new normal.  Let’s just call her ‘S’.  ‘S’ asked me to call her because she had questions about her nine-year-old who was diagnosed only a few weeks ago.  She may have called to ask whatever advice she thought I may share, and yet, it was she that taught me a very important….re-lesson.

I COULD HAVE ONLY WISHED I had the wisdom ‘S’ had when Kaitlyn was diagnosed over 22 years ago.  She is wise beyond someone who is just so new at the entire situation.  So new and she has learned the denominator that will keep her entire family going in the toughest times.

She asked me, “We tackle things as a family here.  Everything.  We have each other’s back and we do it with a good deal of humor.  Humor only we would understand.  Humor that I wonder if it is…….okay?”

Humor.

What a reminder.  There are situations that are broken with humor/laughter that only the people involved need to get.  One of the largest heroes in my life is my sister JoAnne.  I have mentioned her before and I am not telling you this for any other reason but you understand.  My sister has been severely attacked by MS.  From her neck down is nonfunctioning.  But her mind is as sharp as a razor.  She loves to laugh and anytime I feel sorry for my self for any reason, I remember that I have never heard JoAnne complain…….ever….EVER….NOT ONCE.

Every time I see her, I say the same thing.  I won’t share it because it is ours and will stay ours.  But it makes us both smile.  No one would understand, and we do not care whether they understand.  It breaks my heart when I think of how she used her body in a gymnast manner growing up, the way she could bend or jump, and now her own body has become her enemy.  BUT if JoAnne does not want anyone to feel sorry for her, humor helps us through it, I will abide by her wishes when I am around her.  I wish you could all meet her…..you would love her like we do.  She is electric, and she is the ‘go to’ person when it comes to movie trivia.  She laughs like no one else.

So when “S” asked me if humor was okay, in the manner she handles diabetes; I say you go girl, and your entire family as well.  Does “S” cry when she is alone, does her husband?  Bet on it that they do, but to attack this disease by learning all you can and somehow find the humor, or to use humor so your kids can understand it better and accept it better…………………is such an amazing thing to learn so soon after diagnosis.

Have you found the use of laughter in daily struggles???—-PLEASE SHARE with all of us.

I am going to bet that “S” and her family will be just fine.  It’s a good reminder for all of us.  She taught me, again.  “S” was MY hero yesterday.  When was the last time you found something to laugh about?  Is diabetes funny?  Not in one iota.  But using humor in how you handle some aspects of diabetes, as in anything in life, just may be something worth thinking about.  Try it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Brag…….Go Ahead……I Dare You……BRAG ABOUT YOUR CHILD!!!!!!

BragOn this day, let pride win.  Instead of feeling the hurt, the pain, the grief over diabetes being in the life of your child, why not choose NOT TO GIVE IT SO MUCH attention—-just on this one day.  Brag about your child.  Be proud.  Brag to us all……about anything.

Choose the fact that your child went to practice today to play a sport they love.

Choose the fact that your child rehearsed for the school play today, because they love to sing and/or act.

Choose the fact that they checked their own blood sugar.

Choose the fact that they played with their friends.

Choose the fact that they went o a full day of school.

Choose that they made you or a family member laugh or smile.

Choose that they were playing with your pet today.

Choose that they told you they loved you.

Choose that they did something without being asked.

Choose that on this day……you decided that diabetes should just not be in the spotlight.  Even if they went low or high, choose to celebrate that they bounced back and got back ‘into whatever they were doing’.

Just for today….do not let diabetes remind you how much it can do, choose to let diabetes know what it won’t do……………………just for today.  Feels good….don’t it?

Try it again tomorrow……..three days in a row you will have a pattern.  But……it…..begins…..with today.

Choose.  What will you choose to brag about????……..PLEASE SHARE.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Putting you Child in a Bubble; You Will Get What You Seek.

boy bubble Turning down every chance you’re given.
Takes the risk out of life, but friend
How the hell can you call that livin’?
Out There—from the Broadway Musical, Barnum

I have been thinking a lot about the pathways our children will take.  As I reported the news on Ryan Reed’s huge victory this weekend in Daytona, I could not help but wonder what it was like in his house growing up.  How often do we tell our child ‘no’ on something?  How do you think that played out in the Reed household.

“Hey ma, I’m thinking at traveling at speeds over 200 miles per hour to be the first across a waved checkered flag.  But don’t worry about my diabetes.”

Right? I’m thinking the same thing.

We as parents are always faced with two decisions; yes….and no.  Pretty simple right?  Of course not and any parent will tell you that there are so many decisions that do not come with any ease whatsoever.  We labor over decision after decision.  We labor on the right and the wrong?  We labor until it pains our hearts to allow our kids the platform to grow and expand their horizons.

But do we?   And THAT is the question we must ask ourselves before we answer anything else.  Are WE the ones who hold our kids back for fear of what COULD happen.  And why?  What is the worst that could happen to them.  They fail?  They get hurt?

Why get a driver’s license ever (much less be a professional racecar driver)?  Why Ski?  Why mountain climb?  Why play sports?  The answer of course is simple, because they want to; that’s why.

And that simple answer is the toughest call we make every and singe day.  Robert Kennedy once said; “Some men see things as they are and a why, I dream things that never were, and ask why not?”

You can find a thousand excuses not to do something, but you only need one good reason to do the same thing.   Your kids deserve that thought process.  Think about it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

The Oscar, for Their Role as a Person with Diabetes…..Hmmmmm. Fantasy???

oscarAs I watched the Oscars tonight, I am sure I was not the only one who was struck boldly by the winners of Best Actor and Best Actress.  It might be that I am so linked to the diabetes community but I had two distinct feelings.

Fabulous.  And; when will see diabetes?

In case you did not know, Eddie Redmayne won his Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawkins in The Theory of Everything depicting his decline in health due to ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Julianne Moore followed up with a Best Actress Oscar in Still Alice; a revealing look at a woman’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Very compelling performances, both.  Two devastating diseases highlighted and recognized.    Wow!

What would the movie be like, of a parent or an individual battling T1?  How would a movie maker proceed to show a side that no one knows; in a compelling and complete story-telling presentation?  It cannot just be a film that resonates with us, but with the general public as well.  What do you think?  Could it be done?

The real problem with film making is that it may seem like it is important to some people but it MUST be presented in such a manner that resonates with the public as a whole.  How can that be done?

Before you answer, you need to remember the many sides when diabetes is presented.
Online initiatives and commercials are many times met with opposing view points.  Too rough for our children to see, my kids should not see the complications, and we need to protective our kids so they do not to see ‘this'; are just some comments that have come forward—I am NOT stating if they are right or wrong, that is up to each individual.  But I am asking to now imagine an entire movie dedicated to this disease.  Would we as a community embrace it?

It’s a question that came to my mind as I pondered the possibilities.  How would we react to a film that told the brutal truth to this disease; would we be willing to let people see the truths we deal with on a daily basis?  Could we as a community…….’put it out there’?  They say, in Hollywood, to be impactful it all has to be out there on a limb.

I could not answer that as I thought about it and I am interested to hear what you have to say about it.

Find a way to make a film both truthful and where the diabetes community would embrace it, knowing that it would be a rough film to make compelling enough that 2 people who have no connection to diabetes would pay $23 dollars to see it on a Friday night….think it can be done?

Let me know your thoughts and should we find agreement, we can move to……lights, camera…………………….action.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

NEWSBREAK: RYAN REED WINS DAYTONA 300 XFINITY…….TAKE THAT DIABETES.

Ryan reed wins In a stunning move during the last lap, 21-year-old Ryan Reed, a person with diabetes, took the lead and kept it to cross the checkered flag at the Daytona 300 Xfinity Nationwide Series late today.  In a race that had many collisions including one that landed Kyle Busch into the hospital with a leg injury after a crash; Mr. Reed survived all and became the victor in today’s race.

That is correct; you see the name Lilly on the hood of that car speeding to victory.  Ryan and the folks at Lilly, have been working together for some time inspiring so many others who have diabetes, that they can do anything.  Dexcom is a partner with Ryan as well.

And now Ryan’s message will change from you can even race at Daytona with diabetes to: You can WIN AT DAYTONA WITH DIABETES.

Ryan ReedI have been with Ryan quite a few times and he is one incredible role model; he works hard and now he can savor in victory.  CONGRATULATIONS RYAN, LILLY, AND ALL INVOLVED….TAKE THAT diabetes…..indeed.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

A Letter to My Children with Diabetes…….Feel Free to Use it Too.

letter penFeel free to copy, paste, make your own, and leave it where you child(ren) will see it.

My dear children,

If I have not told you lately, you are my heroes.  I know, I know…….I do that parenting thing too much which embarrasses you at times and annoys you at others.  But what you accomplish everyday handling diabetes, well that is pretty special.  You both handle it so differently and yet, your results are usually what you want.  You both LIVE so much and offer so much, I’m a very proud dad.

I just wanted you to know that ‘checking’ your blood sugar is not anything I really want for me.  I know it doesn’t seem like that because I’m such a pain in the ‘butt’ about checking so often.  Please understand that the best way you can feel good is to know where you stand.  Going too low or too high, in many cases, can be avoided before you get to the point where being high or being low can impact your day.

You know a million times more than I what a real high or low feels like.  I just want you to feel good and go about your day.  You know there is a silly saying that reads ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure’.   Meaning to take care of something when it is a ‘little something’ BEFORE it becomes a bigger problem.  That is my only goal when I hound you to check.

Really.

To better go through work, school, fun, drive your car, and to just have a better day over all.  I don’t ask you to check; for me………I ask you to check because I care and I want you to have as great-a-day as possible.   I know ‘I get on you’ too much sometimes and I just wanted you to know that I ONLY do it so your day is a little bit better.

Check, adjust (if needed), move on.

Nothing makes me happier than when you are living this life to the fullest which has so much to give.  You are GREAT at what you do everyday……I want what is best for you and I wanted to tell you.

I love you.
—-Dad

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

Kids? To Cell Phone or Not to Cell Phone—–That is the Question?

cell phoneWe, as parents, pretty much have our minds made up on many things when it comes to our kids.  When they can stay up later than 8:30 pm, when they can no longer sleep in our room, when they can see a certain movie depending on violence and other such content, when they can go out with their friends ‘unescorted’ and the list goes on and on and on.

When diabetes enters the picture, do you find yourself having to ‘trim a few corners’ as you move forward in parenting?   Isn’t it wonderful explaining to sibling why your child with diabetes is allowed to have something sweet right before bedtime due to a low?  Isn’t it just wonderful to have to return home and be late for your other child’s soccer game because you left the diabetes bag at home?

I think we have all been there.

There is a new phenomena sweeping our diabetes community and I want you to know two things: 1. You are not the only one facing this phenomena and 2. It has been going on longer than you think.

This phenomena……should my child now have a cell phone?

As you look toward answers here,  I want to tell you how we came up with our answer.  Now I admit that I may be older than most and I can tell you from a parent’s perspective of having a time when we had no choice in cell phones because they were not in every day use (yes, I am :( THAT old) and when they were available to all; I would choose hands down, and unequivocally, to make sure my child had a phone as soon as they were able to use it and understand when and why it should be used.

Cell phones, in this day and age, are almost as important as every other tool your child has in their ‘diabetes toolbox’.  It’s not just to call or text in an important matter, phones are now electronic screens for many devices, serve as an ‘upload’ link, and connect so many at unthinkable speeds—and their use is growing.

Certainly lay the ground work when the phone can be used and not used.  Set the parameters, make sure the rules are adhered, there is no negotiation regarding the use and the privilege of using it…….but in this day and age, it is almost a necessity.  Those rules should also include no teasing the siblings who do not have a phone, in our house if they did not have diabetes, they had to wait until they were sixteen (now that was in 2004 so those parameters might have changed—to be clear).  Now I can surely understand why many parents can say ‘no’ to this feeling and that is surely a call each family needs to make.  But that access to our child, and the ability of them to use the phone for so many things-diabetes, well it was a godsend for sure.

I still remember the odd looks, back-when, when I placed the phone in the 504 plan at school; but in the end everyone agreed that it “just made sense”.  So it was included and a pass was given stating so.

Never did I think such a thing would be ‘on the table’ in 1992 when we started our journey; but then again we had no pumps, CGMs, Cloud (well we did but they were fluffy things in the sky), Blue Loop, and a whole lot more either.  Tell me again how nothing has change over the years.

Today’s technology……embrace it.  Trust your child’s judgment.  Guide them.  You will all win.

(buzzzz buzzzz) Gotta go, I have a text message waiting………………………….

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

A Cure for Our Kids. Naysayers. Sorry, Not in Our House.

promiseWhen Kaitlyn was diagnosed over 22 years ago, I made her a promise.  I promised her that we would do all we could to make sure she was well taken care of and more than that, I promised her that I would not rest until a cure was found.

My promise.

Every step I have taken has been search of that end.  I never thought I would end up in this field (being at the DRI) as a profession.  But when the door opened, every door that opened, I walked through it not knowing fully where I would end up.  The profession became my career.  I neither wanted it, expected it, nor ever thought it would turn out this way.  What I did know was that I did not come from a family of means, and I never figured I was the type who would make the millions to give where, and when, I wanted.

As I moved forward, I figured I COULD help a little by sharing my story and asking others to join.  I ended up with a career I never wanted but where it seemed; I could do.  And all I could do was continue to try to do my best   Diabetes became my world.

I tell you this because maybe it makes me naïve in my belief.  Maybe it makes me jaded to naysayers.  Maybe those who believe there is no cure for our children…..will be correct.  That is both their right and their prerogative.  I don’t want to convince them otherwise BUT I ALSO know that those who believe differently, will never impact me one iota on my focus to make sure I’M doing all I CAN to help us achieve the goal of a cure because THAT was MY promise.

I have stated a thousand times that education is the equalizer in diabetes.  For us, THAT EDUCATION was advanced forward at great speeds due to our involvement with CWD.  They, the people involved and the friends we’ve met, have allowed our kids to excel beyond measure.  You do not have to believe that; there are surely other ways you can educate your child and any venue you choose is between you and your family and I can only wish you well.  To those who choose not to educate themselves, in some way, that’s your choice as well.  No one has to do it one particular way….it’s your call.  We choose this pathway, to this day, and it has served us well.

I have stated a thousand times that I believe there will be a cure.  I do not say this for you to believe or not believe, I share because WE BELIEVE that point and it has served us well.  When I write, I share things that I think are pertinent in our diabetes lives.

It’s the easy way out to believe in something already proven or something you can touch, today.   It’s easy to throw up your hands and say, “….it will never come…..”.  Whatever ‘it’ is.  Talk to anyone hugely successful in business, or in the development of any product, and they will tell you the same thing; the hardest part was continuing when everyone else said it could not be done.

I do not allow myself to gravitate towards those who say something cannot be done; I want to be drawn by someone who says; “I don’t care how it looks or how many times different roads failed, we are staying at it until we finish the job.”

THAT’S WHO I WANT AROUND ME AND WHO I WILL FOLLOW.

But do not mistake MY intentions, I’m not naïve.  I do my homework.  I investigate things in every possible dimension I can.  If I don’t like what I see, I move on.

As an example.  The world said that you could not take islet cells and put them in another person’s body and they would work.   It was said IT COULD NOT BE DONE.  I was there.  I heard leaders from so many areas say IT COULD NOT BE DONE.  Guess what?  It was done.  The same people came back and said, “Well yeah, it worked but with anti-rejection drugs.”  And I thought……..so???????  It’s a start.  Why not continue on a path to perfect the process.  Easy? No.  But worthy.

When the pump was the size of a small refrigerator, many said this was a waste of time.  I was there.  I heard many say it would never be practical.  And I thought……..so?????  It’s a start.  Why not continue on a path to perfect the process.  Easy?  No.  But worthy.  We are talking about THE insulin pump!!!!!  (looking at it today—can you imagine?) Well that did not stop those who were working on it.

In both of these cases, what was said could not be done…..was done.  If the amount of money that was dumped globally into perfecting the pump, was also dumped into perfecting islet cell involvement; where do you think we would be today?  But some just said……it did not work our way, so forget it.  But many kept at it ANY way they could.

My point.  Perfection is a process.  Just because YOU are not an expert in knowing everything, does not mean it is not being worked on.  And lastly, if NASA decided after the first test rocket blew up that they were done, we never would have walked on the moon.

So for us, in my house, we are not taking our eyes off the cure and not letting anyone else convince otherwise.  You can not help any process sitting on the outside saying “…..you will never get there….” or “…I don’t agree with you….”.  No one, NO ONE, fixed anything from the outside.  They got in, rolled up their sleeves, and stay determined and focused until the job was completed.

How many glass enclosed hot wires exploded before one stayed lit as a bulb; thank you Thomas Edison for sticking with it.  In our house, our light is a cure, down the tunnel a bit for sure, but I am staying with it until I can hold that bulb-of-a-cure in my hand.  Together.  Alone.  Makes no matter to me……the promise I made was to my children…….and if not for them……than for whom.  THAT light will never dim in our house. Period.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

You JUST MAY Owe Someone a Call in your Diabetes World.

phone ringOver the last few days, a few things have occurred that took me back to when we first started with ‘our new normal’.  At the time, there were a few individuals who taught me a great deal.  I have written about Charlie Rizzo many times.  He, even after so many years, is still as dedicated to finding a cure as the day he started.

He has searched until he found the DRI where he gives much of his effort.  Not just in fund-raising but also in sharing research and challenging all to make sue the focus stays just that, focused.  I called another friend last night.  I do see her from time to time but she was, when I met her, and she remains so today; fiercely loyal to her family.  I used to call her super-mom.  Barbara’s energy for her family was unyielding.  She was the master at sitting down to ask something of someone on behalf of a cause to help her son with diabetes, and I honestly believed that anyone who sat across form her had ‘no chance’ of saying “no” to whatever Barbara was asking.

Any question I had about Kaitlyn and diabetes; Barbara was the go-to person for us.  She was an ‘expert’ but also an expert on finding information when she did not know something.  It was with her that I learned that ‘education’ is the equalizer to ‘owning’ diabetes.   Something I state to this day.

Her efforts were tireless and she single-handedly has raised millions of dollars for diabetes research.  She’s tough, charming, brilliant, compassionate, fun-loving, and tireless all rolled into one…….she has influenced me greatly.

Well like I said, a few things occurred over the last few days that bought me back 22+ years and it made me think of this wonderful person.  As I thought, I also realized I probably never told her how much she has meant to me over the years.  Well that changed last night.  I called her for no reason but to tell her how much she meant to me when we started on this journey.  She, of course, was very thankful and to deflect everything to the ‘team’ we all were—-that would be typical of Barbara.

When I hung up…….well…..honestly…..tears rolled down my cheeks.  We are so fortunate to have so many people who help us when we are first in this world, so many who share their knowledge.  So many who are sorry they know you for the only reason they are sorry they know you……you are both members to a club no one wants.

But they are there…….for you.  Think back to who was there for YOU.  If you have never told them how much they meant to you…….let them know.  Call them.  Without them your journey would have gone down an entirely different path……give them a call and say thanks because at the end of the day…………………..we are all in this together and at some point YOU TOO will be called upon to help someone else.

It’s what we do….we are the diabetes community.  And I love each and every one.

I am a diabetes dad.

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