A Controversy Over a Defiant Little Girl……..Why? The Diabetes Community Surely Understands.

Fearless BullI was in lower Manhattan this week for a DRI Event (which was wonderful) and across from the front entrance were two famous artworks that have become the fodder for many who like to create, said, fodder.  “Charging Bull” has enjoyed the spot for some time since 1987 when Arthur DiModica dropped (literally) it off in the dark of night as a gift, but for the past few months, the spot is now shared……..and may it stay that way forever.

State Street Global Advisors commissioned artist, Kristin Visbal, to create ‘Fearless Girl” to stand opposite the raging bull in defiance to the powerful breathe and force of the overpowering dominant animal, with the meaning that women could stand-up to, and in, the male-dominated financial and corporate world.  I had heard about this artwork and decided to have a picture taken with it/her.
fearless Girl

But before I did, I stood back.  I love art and I wanted to see what was going on.  I knew there was ‘some hubbub’ out there about the two artworks but really did not pay it much heed.

I looked at the two artworks, I watched individually at first…and as a unit together. Both in their own right say much to the observer……..and clearly both can stand absolutely alone.  How do you change a meaning of one huge animal artwork bearing down on anything in its path?  Place a little girl in front of it with hands on her hips in defiance of any intimidation whatsoever.

In my observation, the artwork of the two pieces as one statement is a million times more powerful than standing alone as two separate pieces.  Both could stand opposite many artworks and have a different meaning but these two are now linked forever as much as any other pair who came together for destiny to serve as the glue for all time moving forward.  Lewis & Martin,  Branca & Thomson, Hamilton & Burr, and now Fearless Girl & Charging Bull.

But, as those who know this column can imagine, I did not see that little girl as a female standing up to the male dominance that she defies as the artist was commissioned, no, I saw a different meaning and as any observer knows about artwork, that is well within my right as much as the artist’s intent.

I saw I guess my daughter, but really all kids who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The defiance is loud and it is clear.   The power of diabetes (the bull) thinking that it will have its way with any child but yet, in their little bodies, they stand to stare the giant down.  Defiant, confident, proud.  “C’mon, you beast, you will not win.”   In all of the rumblings about these two artworks, I saw one artwork.  I saw our children standing up to something so much bigger than themselves…….and winning.

Please feel free to see what the artist’s work was meant to represent but also understand that art can mean many things to many different people and can be as different as the person who views it.  One thing is clear, this little girl is fearless no matter who she represents……..and THAT……..is no bull.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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This is Really Cool…FRIDAY is Superhero Day…SHARE SHARE SHARE

T1DSuperhero

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m more interested in battling diabetes, and NOT battling each other.  It’s why on many occasions I’m more than happy to share something merely because……well…..it’s cool; no matter who the person, organization, and/or entity is who came up with the idea.  If it’s cool…….share it.

Today, my wonderful and talented colleagues at the DRI(F) have come up with a Superhero idea.  It has always been my contention that as wonderful as so many celebs are in the diabetes world…..they are not the only heroes.  So are the kids who live their lives to the fullest and doing it with T1D and doing it every day right in our homes, hometowns, and schools.

A #T1DSuperhero might not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but those with type 1 diabetes take on heroic actions every single day to conquer the challenges of living with the disease. On Friday, April 28, join the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation in honoring all the T1D superheroes–those who live with type 1 diabetes and the families, friends, and caregivers who support them.

Help raise awareness for T1D and the need to find a cure by changing your profile picture on social media to this special #T1DSuperhero graphic.

Download the free graphic here and change your profile pic now!
Also get a sneak peek at our new public service announcement, featuring our very own T1D superheroes–our DRI scientists who are working to find a cure. You can be a #T1DSuperhero, too!  There is also a really cool superhero video on the page as well. So if you have, or have a loved one with diabetes, change your FB page for tomorrow, Friday, Superheroes Day.

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

A Loss of a Daughter—-One Man Teaches Us that a Broken Heart is NO Reason to Stop

A closeup image of a broken heart.

Stacy Joy Goodman passed away in her sleep last night.
Those were the words as they were relayed to me 23 years ago, this date, and it still shakes me to this day. The world outside of diabetes, was not too unlike it is today. Nelson Mandela became inaugurated, a President visited other countries, the NY Rangers would win the Stanley Cup, and new shows entitled ER and Friends would debut.  The world continued.  But within this local diabetes community, the world changed forever.  Stacy was 17 and had type 1 diabetes.

We were only into this ‘diabetes journey’ about a year and a half.  I was very new at an organization called JDF (now JDRF) as their first Long Island Executive Director.  The volunteer leadership involved, who hugely intimidated me with their business successes, I knew I was in way over my head.  Me, as an ‘Executive’ ANYTHING seemed silly at best.  I was 35 and this ‘fundraising for diabetes’ was so new for me. Geez Louise, I was an actor, not a fundraiser.  I had done some fundraising in my life and surely got the knack how to get things done, but THIS, with the passion and the huge amount of these wealthy individuals, was so very new to me.

Since that time, many of those very same people became my closest friends in this fight.  But in 1994, the day Stacy Joy would pass away, we would all be crushed.
There was no instant news across the world via any social media.  If something happened it either happened in your back yard or it took weeks before you would even hear of something like this.  This did not happen in our backyard—-it happened right inside our house.

This was new to me, the realization that this disease could actually take a life.  ‘Things’ that happened would happen to others, much older, not to us….our kids involved in the chapter were 17, 15, 22, and (at the time) mine had just turned 4, and having diabetes since she was diagnosed at age two.  But not for a second did I ever think this disease could actually take a child……or that it WOULD take a child.

Stacy’s mom was the Chapter Co-President.  Her dad and his wife were out-of-town. There was screaming, sadness, and tears………oh so, so, so, many tears.  A short time after the funeral I remember sitting at my desk.  It was about 8:30 pm and everyone had left the office hours earlier.  I was staring, staring straight ahead.  Tears rolled down my cheeks.  I. Was. So. Angry.  A realization came to me in a two stage thought process; it was clear to me now that this disease could take anyone it wanted.  Anyone.  The second thought process was that there had to be an equalizer in this disease.  I had to do more for my own education and to try to bring people to the table who could help end this disease forever.

Somewhere out there was Stacy’s dad.  Our roads had crossed minimally at best.  This is where all of our worlds were changing because Marc began a mission.  His daughter had a strong liking for the medical field.  Marc was determined to find the best place that was on the receiving end from the organizations out there.  Who were they funding and why?  He literally searched the globe.  The many organizations raising money to fund research were great but Marc wanted to be where the science was occurring and who was the best at it.

It was a time where one did not just ‘google’ anything—-one had to visit in person.  And Marc and his wife, Esther did just that.  Again, again, and again.  Stacy deserved that effort.  They landed at the Diabetes Research Institute at the University fo Miami.  It was rare (still is actually) for a place to be single-focused on curing type 1 diabetes.  But that was (and still is) their mission.  Their goal.

But the point of my story today is about Marc (and his wife Esther).  Over the years, whenever it seems that I’m overwhelmed, I think of them.  On this date, 23 years ago, they could have disappeared, who would have blamed them?

But they did quite the opposite.

They threw themselves completely into this battle.  A battle that would have absolutely no chance of helping their daughter.  But to provide the hope that one day to create a possibility where no one would have to undergo what they went through.  To be given a hope that some place was out there completely driven to accomplish their single goal to cure this disease.  Marc and Esther joined the (DRIF) Board and stayed with it until he was Chairman.  And when he was done in that position, he stayed with it still, going back on the board.  And still to this day he serves.

But yet it’s Marc’s eyes when he talks about the things that might have been for Stacy Joy, and when he looks you straight in the eyes and says, “We will change this.”  And he believes today as when he first started his mission shortly after Stacy’s death …….and one will believe him.  Because when one hears his story and what he has done to advance research forward and what he has done with absolute sorrow in his heart…..well that will humble one…….right down to their very knees at night when they pray.  I know this because I am one.

I was there the day Stacy Joy passed and I am here today for my kids…..and when I ever need a reminder I merely glance over at my good friend Marc Goodman, who reminds me as he continues on his journey, reminds every researcher, and reminds anyone else who is in this fight………that actions speak louder than any spoken words and Marc’s actions have shaken this very diabetes world still to this day…….and we are all better off for it.   But to thank someone who has lost so much seems futile to me; to do it to Marc, or Esther, or Jane, or Michelle, or Bob, or Jen, or anyone else who has lost their child…..seems so empty; so I honor all fo them every day the best way I am able, by staying at it with every ounce I have……..it’s the absolute least any of us can do.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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No One Wins if No One Plays……Where Are YOU?

Clock nothingI had the opportunity, recently, to be in Washington DC.  I love Washington DC and it is one of the most exciting places on earth.  So much happens there and whether you love or hate whoever is in office does not change the fact how much occurs on any given day.

While I was there I had the opportunity to make an observation.  In just a matter of days, nurses, unions, fire-personnel, medical first responders, and students were “charging the hill” to have the opportunity to express to their elected official how important their issue was.  It was an attempt to make them hear about a certain legislation that needed to be voted upon one way or another.

There were thousands of people from each group I just mentioned.  Thousands.  All going up the hill at the same time.  Now just on those four days, whoever would be on the receiving end of whatever had to be said……..received an earful.  A BIG HUGE earful.  That was just those 4 days.  Now multiply all the days in session.  That is a  lot of meetings.   That is a lot of voices.  That is a lot of people.

So what makes you so sure your voice gets heard?

You get all ‘gussied-up’ to look your best.  You have your notes.  You have your heart-breaking story.  You have your photographs.  And you have the ask you want to ask.
Well so do hundreds, if not, thousands of other groups.  Different day.  Different group. You climb the ‘hill’, you meet, you take a nice picture, you may even get a memento to take back……..but what makes your story THE story that representative will remember? How do you know?

In truth, you don’t know.

We never know.  But doing nothing will get you just that…….nothing.   If you say nothing you most assuredly will get just that so when nothing happens because you did nothing you will never be surprised…..will you?

So when nothing gets done…..now you know.  So what will you do about it?  I leave that to you but it’s my guess that if you want a better future for your child, Just Don’t DO Nothing.

Yup, I’ve said it before and I most assuredly will say it again……..because so many movements could use……………………………….you!

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

 

Do You Doubt Your Child’s Future with T1D? Read this and Share.

kaitlyn-jobDear Parent,

My name is diabetes and you may have just met me or you may have known me for years.  I am not welcome and I know that I’m not.

The young lady in the picture met me when she was two.  On this day, April 5th, she turns 27, old enough to know things but still young enough to say her age without a problem (women understand this more than men).  She is one of those young ladies I do not want to talk about because if you become like her, you make my life miserable. But I assure you that she will have a Happy Birthday today…..because she hates me more than I attack her.  In as much as I have tried, I stop her…….from nothing.

Her name is Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn created a mantra for herself.  It was not given to her by her parents, she thought of it all on her own.  Kaitlyn stated, “I have diabetes, diabetes is NOT who I am.”  Wow, that hurts.  I like to own people.  I like to make people operate under fear.  I like people to doubt life, others, and their own-self.  If I had a middle name my name would be Diabetes Doubt……because I love havoc based upon doubt.

Kaitlyn is one of my failure stories.  She has not let diabetes stop her from anything from her days growing up, to high school, to where she is today. She danced, could ski, ran track, became a class officer, was in the prom and homecoming court, was a class officer, loved and enjoyed life and excelled in all she tried.  Please do not look at Kaitlyn or listen to her.  She is NOT A FRIEND to me, diabetes.

She has lectured, graduated school, taught, served as a first responder, become a nurse (in the diabetes field no less—-what a pain she is to me), and even got engaged…..diabetes does not like happiness.  She travels for fun and teaches many young people how to live with me; like she has.  She is so resistant to me.

Sure, every now and again I have a good day with her and make her feel bad either physically, emotionally, or both.  But I need to try real hard with her because she knows too much.  But if you ask her, she will tell you that she does not know enough yet and she is always trying to learn more….she is such a pain.

Her parents were like that too.  They even had the nerve to say, and tell others, that education is the equalizer for me.  I hate people who keep trying to learn.  I like people to feel sorry for themselves.  I like people to give up.  I like people to just learn the bare minimum and try to ‘skate by with me’…..I have a field day with those types of people. But not like Kaitlyn, nor her family.  I tried so hard that I even took residence with Kaitlyn’s younger brother……..but even then…….that family does not stop.  And I try really hard to ruin their lives.  And even with their ups and downs, they support each other, they have each other’s backs…….and boy I wish they would stop trying to learn more.  There are others like them out there and I don’t like them either…..those who say that I just will not do in their life.

She has had me for 25 of her 27 years.  I hate her, I hate her family. I hate those like them. They will not let me win.  Don’t be like them.  Please.

Sincerely,
Diabetes.

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

 

NEWSBREAK: NEEDED Parent to a Child Playing Competitive Football Wearing Omnipod

football player on kneeIf your child played or is playing competitive football; high school or college level successfully, and is wearing (wore) an Omnipod—-kindly email me at tkarlya@drif.org.  I would like to speak with you as I am looking for advice how to play while wearing the device.  In the subject line please write ‘football’.

Thank you,

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

 

 

Contact Your Representative: Take the Diabetes Challenge

Capitol ChambersHave you had enough?  Are you sick and tired of just……well….everything politics these days? And I mean on all sides of the aisle.  It’s just too much, isn’t it?

I have an idea.

You see, I’m under the belief that if any suggested legislation is ‘nay’ all one party and ‘yay’ all another party—-they have all failed.  I do not believe that everything is just as one party thinks and if it is not one part’s legislation….it should be voted down.  It just does not make sense to me………..and it never did.

I think we ask, no we confront, the members of the Congress and the Senate to take the Diabetes Challenge.  That is; one piece of legislation this session to better the lives of people with diabetes and pass it ACROSS THE BOARD……..non partisan.

Almost everyone knows a loved one with diabetes.  Our Members can search it out, write it, argue it, but at the end of the day, they pass it across both aisles.

No big 45-page deal….just call your representative and say, “We challenge you Congressperson (or Senator) so-and-so to take the Diabetes Challenge”.  Prove to the world that you can do something that you all agree on that will be for the betterment of everyone in a diabetes world.  WE challenge YOU!

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

 

NEWSBREAK: Casting a Person with Diabetes in the New York Area

casting-callIf you have diabetes—type 1 or type 2 and are willing to share your story on why and how you lead a positive life….click the link below for more information and you may be chosen for the world to hear your story.

There is some pay involved as well….click the link below for more information and you need to be in the New York area.

Diabetes Casting

Break-a-leg.

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

This casting notice is being shared without full vetting process….makes sure you check out all details yourself before auditioning.

Stop Screaming at Yourself Over an A1C

ScreamingSomeday it will dawn on people, and I’m not sure when or how, that the blood glucose numbers one deals with are not numbers of judgment and if you allow them to be….well then you will have to deal with them.
“OMG….what a horrible number.”
“How did I let that A1C get so high…what kind of parent am I?”
“Just got a bad report, her A1C was 9.0……bot did I get an earful.”

Seriously?

Hear me and hear me loudly——there is a huge difference between a gauge and a report card.  We always and in all ways looked at A1C and other diabetes’ numbers as gauges to help us rectify whatever situation we were in.  We never got worked up about the numbers and I see no reason why that should change especially if there is such an incredible effort to do one’s best.

When an A1C number is high, figure out why it is, and adjust accordingly.  Not with a self-lashing or belittled approach by anyone else (including your Doc).  The number is 9.0 and that seems a bit high.  Why is it high?  What do we need to do to lower it?  Is there anything that can be done differently to lower it?

Nothing more……..nothing less.  A gauge.  Correct and move on.  Period.
’nuff said.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

NEWSBREAK: RYAN REED WINS IN DAYTONA…..Diabetes at 187 mph!!!!!

Ryan Daytona 2017I have no voice from screaming at the TV.
Car accident after car accident.
Two involving Ryan.
But still, he kept coming back.
And kept coming back.
In a race that went into overtime….
Ryan Reed won at Daytona tonight in one of the longest races ever on record.

BAM TAKE THAT DIABETES.

My heart was pounding through my chest as I screamed at the television watching this young man who not only has won over an entire diabetes community….today he beat three powerhouses with incredible driving to win….and win over the racing community with INCREDIBLE DRIVING………and won big in Daytona.

And yes he mentioned the wonderful folks at Lilly who sponsor him and yes, he mentioned that it is a big win for people like him with T1D.  He again showed poise, grace, and deflected all attention to his team.  Congratulations to his family, his team, and Lilly Diabetes for sticking with a winner.  Nice job, all.

But it’s Ryan at the wheel.  It’s Ryan on the gas.  It’s Ryan checking his blood sugars at 187 miles per hour.  It’s Ryan at the checkered flag.
LIVING with diabetes. DRIVE that home to your kids.

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