They Lost their Sons to T1D…….What they are Doing Tomorrow Will Drop You to Your Knees.

Michelle Bob JenHave you ever stopped and actually tried to figure out how we do exactly what we do every day when dealing with our child’s diabetes?  I mean, imagine yourself before diagnosis; did you ever think you would be doing what you are doing today?  When the doctor ran down the list of all diabetes management would entail, did you shake your head and say, “OK, no problem”?

I doubt it.

But here you are.  Even if your child was diagnosed fairly recently, look where you are now compared to that day.  It’s not bad to take a look behind yourself every now and again and see the trail you blazed.  As the commercial used to state; “You’ve come a long way baby.”   But as my dear departed friend Larry, a minister, used to say when you reminded him how far you had come, “OOOOOOO YES BABY, and you have so much further to go.”

The road is long.

But here is a thought, no one escapes life and what it throws at you.  Precious few escape the so many disease states and tragedies that can change a life forever.  Some get more than others and sometimes it all comes crashing down, doesn’t it?  Remember, it happens to everyone.

As I reflected on yesterday being such a tragedy I thought of friends like Michael Otten.  Michael is about as much a definition of a guys’-guy as Webster could ever define.  Michael’s story of 9/11 would drive any person to their very knees, and he can share that with you some day, if he chooses.  Trust me when I tell you two things; he lost precious family members that day and he was one elevator ride away from being included in that horrible count of fatalities.  Just one incredible story.

Michael also has a son with T1D.  Seems like just yesterday that he was diagnosed.  He also owns his own business.  He has no time whatsoever…..none.  Yet he finds time to give back what is important to his family.  He will always greet you with a smile, a firm handshake, and want to know how YOU are doing.  Stories, oh he has stories, but he would rather talk about his family, sports, and know about you.  He is a brother-in-arms in this race for a cure.

A lesson I learned a long time ago that Michael personifies, the people who are hurting cope with things because they are more concerned with others and the world around them than wallowing in a world where their own problems rule their life.

I have said it before……they learn…….to cope.

Everybody has hurts and pains that drive right through the soul; it’s not what comes along—-it’s what you do with it.  Get on, get off, get run over.  The choice is clearly our own.  What will you do with it.

One final thought; The families of Michelle Alswager and Jen & Bob Nicholson lost their sons to T1D.  Lost!  Yet tomorrow they are running in an Iron Man’s grueling race to help other with diabetes……..think about that……..it will benefit them, NOT ONE IOTA in their dealing with diabetes…..but it will help your child and others who know the work of Sean and Mollie Busby’s Riding on Insulin.

So think about them tomorrow as they take part in something they have been training for months to achieve; and it still will challenge their physical bodies like nothing they have ever done before.  And for what will they benefit?  The satisfaction of helping children of yours and mine.  Pretty bold.  Humbling.  Yes?
(and if you have a buck or two, sponsor a mile…….it’s not too late; just click
Riding On Insulin.—I promise you will feel good about it.)

So the choice is yours.  Again, something coming into your life? No Control.  What you do with it when it arrives? All control.  Easy????? Absolutely not.  They will be extremely emotional at the race……but they will do it….they know their making a difference.  They know their sons would want them do be doing it.

Still.

It humbles us none-the-less and makes us ask, “what will we do today to make it count?”  What will you do today?

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

 

There is Just Something About the Number 11…….Sigh…..I Was There.

world trade centerEvery time I see an ’11’ I cannot help but think of the two towers in lower Manhattan.  When it has a ‘September’ before it, it brings me back to a time of not only incredible pain but also incredible human spirit.  That day, was today.

I was there.

I have often said that I saw things one could not have nightmares about.  But I also state for the 36 straight hours I was down there, I witnessed a magnificent human spirit.  People did things to help that you could never imagine.  People came together from all walks of life for one reason, to help.

No religion.  No color.  No anything but incredible compassion.  Incredible caring.  And the unyielding energy to get the job done.  It was a sorrowful and hateful day; but it also showed us at our best.  I will never get over what I saw, I like the word cope….I learned to cope with what I saw.

Cuts, blood, death, bodies dropping from the sky almost like raindrops……one learns to cope.  We push it to a place where we can cope with it……it allows us to move on.  So on this day, remember what happened?  Sure.  We will all know where we were at that time, that exact moment the towers were hit.  But also remember through the pain, death, and sorrow……..we moved on.

Moving on is a good thing.  We have done that…….but as I look around at the world which surrounds us, it would sure be great to see much more of that human spirit, that human resolve, once again.  It served us well fourteen years ago and it would surely serve us well today.  Maybe if we all look for it a bit in our hearts, it will take over once again.  I surely hope so.  If you need a reminder, think of it every time you see an ’11’.

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

OMG!!!! What Did I Do To My Child??? What a Horrible Parent!!!!

puppyIf you work with your hands long enough, you become calloused.  If you have 3 kids, chances are when the first one dropped their binky, pacify, woot-woot from their mouth and it hit the floor; you cleaned it, sterilized it, got it cool again and gave it back to your child—when the third child dropped it, you wiped it on your pants and stuck it back in.

Experience.

There is much to be said for it.  The calloused hands are because I beat myself up so many times, I graduated to just making a mental note not to ‘do it’ again, whatever it is I did wrong.  The simple truth is, when it comes to our diabetes world, we will make mistakes.  And some doozies as well.

When I have lectured, I have stated that no one has made more mistakes at this diabetes thing than I.  It’s not rhetoric, I firmly believe that; so today I speak to you as the king of what the heck did I just do, moments.

Wrong doses, forgetting doses, not figuring…(whatever) would have an impact, not waking up, not going to sleep and on and on and on and on……you will make a mistake, probably many.  There is room for error in this diabetes world and do not be so quick to beat yourself up over it.  Take that energy and learn from it.  Go over the episode in your head step-by-step and make sure you know WHAT YOU WOULD DO differently.

Unfortunately for the time being, I can assure you that when you wake up, diabetes will be there again giving you another try to get it right…….or as it was in my case many times….screw it up again.

So relax.  And take it a little easy on…….well…….you!

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

We ‘Need’……REALLY????…….uhm……Come Back from Over the Rainbow

ozI have heard this statement a million times.  “We need…..”  In reference to the diabetes community; we need a really good spokesperson; we need an ice bucket-type challenge, and other things…we need…we need….we need……….uhm……..not really.

We need to pull the weight ourselves……..all of us.

Mary Tyler Moore has given tirelessly of her entire career to the message of diabetes through the JDRF.  We can argue the fact that she is probably in ‘the top 3 category’ women EVER to be on television.  She did countless public service announcements which aired, she did countless trips to JDRF functions and private meetings (I was even privileged to be with her on one of them), she did a countless amount of trips to talk to elected officials…..never has there been a better public figure than Mary Tyler Moore in ‘speaking diabetes’.  The JDRF, NO—we; in the DOC—are lucky to have had her and her messages for so long.  Someone so tireless, and yet, the message still needs to be heard.  Did the world ‘get it’?   So is the answer ‘just’ a great spokesperson?

The JDRF and ADA walks and rides are the best in the world.  THE BEST.  They get countless amounts of people and raise millions—-MILLIONS of dollars.  Ever go to an event that has a fund-a-grant—well you can thank a woman in Seattle named Deniz (JDRF long-time employee) and the Benaroya Family of Seattle for starting that stroke of genius a million years ago.  So is the answer ‘just’ doing a NEW event?

Years ago you never even heard of the JDF (JDRF)…and the ADA was mostly a group of physicians and you might have heard of walk in October.  To be honest, even in my professional life at the DRIF, I am glad that these organizations are what they are with the people behind them because I was here in 1992……..and let me tell you something….at THAT time there REALLY was no understanding about diabetes.  These two organizations set the bar and opened the door for many smaller organizations and educational opportunities………and off we went.

A difference between T1 and T2???????…….back when??????……seriously?????……people never even heard of the disease much less discussions about better understanding.

Are we done yet.  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

But before we are so quick to say that nothing has been done…….let me assure you with almost 23 years at this at full speed I agree with what Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz; “……. if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! …”

Many organizations have been created over the years with GREAT focus and if ever there is not a perfect synergy between you and a group……find another; they’re out there.  It’s easy to just say, “we need….” and be done with it.   I’m here to tell you that “we need” is alive and well and more than that ‘we need’ is here now.  Add to all of this the DOC, we have one helluva powerhouse.

If you are not plugged-in somewhere—get plugged-in somewhere.  Yes we always need new spokespeople and new ideas, but let’s not forget what is here right now.  Be the addition to what is here now before re-inventing the wheel–change them up to make them better, and add as needed. There is still nothing so exciting as seeing 8,000 people the morning of an event.  I know, I see it every year at one of our walk-event with Walgreens and the DRI at Miami Marlins Stadium.  If you are active in these type of events with JDRF and ADA—you see it too.  It is shown ALL OVER the world…..Is there ANYTHING like it…….really?

They say there are almost 30 million people out there with diabetes (T1 and T2) and add the multiple of 3 other family members and the number comes to 120 million people have, or have a direct connection, to diabetes.  And if you are interested in just T1D, that same number is about 8 million with/with-direct-connections…….are there 8 million people in the epicenter of events around the country?  Not even close.

Without going into detail, in my immediate family we are directly impacted (or have been) by MS, Cystic Fibrosis, Alzheimer’s, and Autism–the organizations surrounding these events have shared (in part) over the years of the huge success in the diabetes world.  They see it more than we do.  They cannot even fathom having two humongous organizations like the JDRF and the ADA  both surviving and flourishing side-by-side; not even to mention major research centers like Barbara Davis, Joslin, and the DRI all also being in the mix.  Now add CWD, Camps, DECA, The Diabetes Scholars Foundation, and many, many more with specific and different missions.  We need…………what…….I ask?

So what am I saying?  As Dorothy stated, we have in our backyard EVERYTHING we need to succeed, and or be heard.  I think we need to figure out how to get those who ‘do nothing’ involved…..either that or just understand WHAT we do have.

More to do?????  Absolutely.

But “we need…..” must be replaced with; ‘put me to work…..’ because heaven knows we have what is needed……..every entity mentioned just needs more workers/volunteers/donors……there is nothing too small; and they will all welcome any and all help you can give.  I have said it forever, “Don’t Do Nothing”………………and don’t.

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

Kids Just Don’t Care Anymore?? That Phrase is Thrown Out the Window!!!

west broward posterWe hear it all the time.  Young people.  They lack enthusiasm.  They are lazy.  They have become cold.  They are too ‘into’ themselves.  They just don’t care.

Well………tonight I experienced something that I wish so many could have witnessed; but more than that I wish everyone in the diabetes community could have witnessed.  Education for T1 diabetes.  Education for T2 Diabetes.  Entertainment. Exciting. Fun.  Caring.  This event had it all…….the only phrase, BEST phrase…….is AWE.

Tonight was DiaBEATthis at West Broward High School.   The stands were packed. DiaBEATthis has so many facets to it but in a nutshell; it is an educational out reach that also raises funds.  This event was for the DRI.  When I saw the event was 3 1/2 hours long, I thought what could this be about——–I looked at the time and it was 5:20 pm—–next time I looked it was 9:03 and the event was over.

West Broward High School, in Florida, is a typical high school that could be anywhere in the United States……or so the outside shows.  Once inside, honestly, you feel almost immediately that this school is different.  The kids smile at you as you walk in the hall way and when a stranger is there (me), they ask if you need help finding where you need to go.  They all pitch in to help.  The compassion is quite clear from the get-go.  This is a school that has a mission to break down barriers….EVERY barrier that high schools have to deal with; West Broward HS—-is impacting these kids and you feel it immediately.

There is a group in the School called the S.O.A.P. Club and these are very special kids as well.  Over 50 of them ran this event from conception to completion.  Ms. Muniz, the faculty advisor is very quick to point out that these kids do everything themselves and the kids are very quick to point out that Ms. Muniz is tireless in her efforts.  They are a good team…..a GREAT team in fact.  Even alumni of this club/event returned for evening.

When a young lady is sharing her story/struggles dealing with T1, she finishes her speech and breaks down in the middle of the gym floor in front of the entire crowd; what happens?  She is surrounded by these special kids who spontaneously join her in a group hug–not caring who is watching—only caring……..there was not a dry eye in the house…..mine included.

It is a school that operates as one team.  Where all kids set up and clean up; and it is not uncommon to even see the assistant principals sweeping the floor to help get the job done.  No one is to ‘big’ to do anything in accomplishing the end goal.

Amazing.

There were speeches about diabetes and there were so many groups dancing, cheering, playing music…..all to educate the crowd about one thing, diabetes.  Let me show just some of it to you in pictures.
west broward crowd  Full Crowd supporting this great event.

Weat Broward Little cheerleaders These little cheerleaders made up a cheer about curing diabetes.  They bought the crowd to their feet.

west broward cheerleaders…and then the older cheerleaders had one of their own to show.

west broward band pix  When was the last time you saw a marching band…indoors….Robotic Inspiration I named them.  Timing like you would never believe.

west broward flagsDancing like I have never seen…..flags were not only flown; with these kids the flags became their dance partner in a routine that astounded the crowd.

west broward trophyIt was also a basketball game.  A competitive basketball game that had rules that included all-inclusive of kids, teachers, male, and female.  Kid yourself not, these teams wanted to win and the game was as exciting as everything else was this evening and in the end, the home team were the victors—–after losing the year before, the trophy was back home.  But there were no losers here…..the sportsmanship shown on and off the court was admirable, but let there be no mistake, this was a competitive game ending in a 53-48 win that changed leads throughout the entire game.

West Broward Ms. Muniz The faculty advisor, Ms. Muniz—her heart’s compassion could fill the gym………
West Broward chceck……the compassion of her kids in the S.O.A.P. Club filled the County of Broward.

I could not control my tears driving home tonight. Not all of the kids have diabetes, but some did.  These kids united a crowd tonight and presented some of the likes which I have never seen.  The energy, the excitement and the love filled the air.  Kudos to the leadership in this school.

I gave away a piece of my heart today.  They will stay with me forever; they are West Broward High School.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Do You Wait on Diabetes? Probably a Mistake!

waitIf you are waiting on diabetes to have a ‘good’ day, you may be waiting a long, long time.  Over the years I have heard and/or read some of the following:
“I sure hope diabetes behaves today.”
“I hope diabetes gives me a break.”
“Diabetes better be nice today.”
……..it won’t.

Diabetes is a beast.  It takes what it wants, when it wants.  As in anything like this, the only way to have any peace is to do everything you can to tame the beast and the ONLY way to do that is with education.  I have heard people say that they get annoyed when it is stated that you need to own this disease, “You can’t possibly own it, why do people say that?”  Totally? No, you can’t.

I had a friend, recently, who became very, very sick.  The doctors said that if he was not in as good a shape as he was, the outcome could have been completely different.  The absolute perfect picture of health, but still he was stricken and hospitalized.  He could only do what he could do in life, after that, there is no control.  What is control is that he was in great shape, it may have saved his life.

Diabetes is still going to throw curveballs to anyone who has it.  It’s the nature of the beast, BUT how much are you leaving for chance and how much do you KNOW is the question you need to ask yourself and only you can answer.  Is the care you are giving your child being rocked by every little ripple that diabetes throws daily, or have you educated yourself enough to know as much as you can……..and then learn even more?

Does your child have the best management tools that your finances can afford? Have you asked a million questions so you know everything that will happen based on carb consumption vs. insulin distribution?  Are you guessing?

Diabetes is a very difficult disease to understand.  And even after you do everything you can, you still are going to be thrown for a loop.  But how much work have you done?  Even those who ‘master diabetes’ still have days that are very, very tough.  So if you are just relying on any given day for diabetes to treat you well, you may be waiting for a long time.  If you are taking diabetes on with a fully educated arsenal of knowledge; you will be ‘luckier’ than others.  The harder you work at it, the ‘luckier’ you will be.

Diabetes takes a lot of work…….and even then; some bad days will lay ahead.  How hard are you working at it?  Because even when you work at it…….really work at it, there is still hoping for a good day………..involved.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Ever Have a ‘Situation’ with YOUR Health Insurance Company?????

Dog warningIn life, many things are not as you would think.  The signs may point to one thing, but once you are ‘through the gate’ you find that it is something else altogether.

I am contacted a lot about insurance companies.  What is covered, what is not covered.  Why are they so difficult to speak to?  Why don’t they cover everything?  Why did they used to cover XYZ and now they only cover ABC?  Let’s get together and ‘get’ the insurance companies to do THIS or THAT; who is with me?

Uhmmmmmmmm………wait………no.

The first thing you must understand about insurance companies is that they are a business.  Business has one objective at the top of their pyramid….to make money.  Make money for themselves, make money for their stock holders, whatever.  I learned a valuable lesson a long time ago.  There was a woman who worked part-time.  Her company only covered full-time employees.  When she inquired as to why they did not allow part timers to ‘buy in’ to the full timers policy, she was told it was not an option.  The why, she later found out, was the ones asking for it—are the ones who wanted it—for a reason.  Why would an insurance company encourage a liability on their dockets if they do not need to?

Some people believe that insurance companies are a service organization, they are not.  That is not a bad thing, but it’s something you need to realize and understand.

If you have a child with T1 diabetes (or any chronic disease) on your insurance, the insurance company automatically knows they will probably lose money on your family.  THAT is not a good thing for them.  Because of all sorts of rules, laws, and regulations, insurance companies have to add you if the rest of the employees are being covered.  They will learn pretty quickly that you are not one that they will earn a profit.

Now look at this differently.  If there are two million people with T1 diabetes, insurance companies need to work for less damage to their bottom line.  They know they must pay out to cover you.  But let’s say they pay less for you and you have to shell out an additional $100 a year from you, and they save $100 per person by other means—–they just saved 400 million dollars.  Get it?

It’s a numbers game.

So when you call them, you have to know in your mind that they will be doing something to save money.  It’s your job to know what your insurance covers and how to ‘counter’ when they push-back on something you need.  Know the process to appeal any decision that you know is needed.  Know that ‘X’ which is a different brand name from your ‘Y’ may be something you need to live with if you want it covered by your insurance.

I’m not sure if this is a way to wear you down, but the more amount of steps you need to rectify something, or the more amount of calls you have to make, or the more amount of paperwork you have…….the more likely you will ‘give-in’ and just do it any way that is easiest………..my advice on that………………don’t.  I never speak to someone who has to go to someone else for an answer.  Ask for a supervisor.  Ask what can you do to change the ‘no’ into a ‘yes’.

‘Let me see’, or ‘let me check’, or ‘maybe’ are all phrases you want to hear……you do not go from a ‘no’ to a ‘yes’ without passing through one of these phrases.  Also know there is no such thing as a quick call to the insurance company.  Call when you have a good deal of time to spend to solve the problem.  Take down notes; who you spoke to, the date, the time and what was said.  And NEVER hang up until you ask; “Who should I speak to next to help me resolve this?” If they say they don’t know, ask to speak to someone else there in a supervisory position who can advise you where to go next.  DO NOT LET THEM OFF THE HOOK.

The other thing about being a business is that they want customers satisfied.  There is a difference between strong and rude; inquisitive and challenging; and making them your partner to achieve a correct solution………but know how it is all played out.  Also know that the answer may indeed be a ‘no’.  If you exhaust every avenue, appeal, and inquiry—know that what you are asking is JUST NOT possible.

But always be willing to give it a good and educated shot.  So although things may not always be as they seem, we also do not have to merely accept the answer without a good and detailed discussion on doing what is right for your family.  Our best insurance, is our willingness to ‘work the system’.  The best way to know that, is to do it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

What is the Stupidest Comment You EVER Heard Dealing with Diabetes?

Stupid Do you hear people differently now that you have a child with diabetes?  How many times in the day do people say, “how are you?”

DO they really mean, how are you?  Do they really want to hear how we are?  Is it ‘new language’ for just plain everyday, “Hi”?  If everything is fine, the quick answer of ‘Ok’ or ‘Fine’ allows the conversation to continue seamlessly.   But what if you answer what really is going on?  What if you tell them who died, who is sick, who lost a job; well, honestly, are they really asking for the rundown in your life?

Some people really WANT TO KNOW how you are, they really do.  But in most case, I believe, it is a courtesy.  It can be the same thing when asked how your child with diabetes is, right?

“How is XYZ doing with their diabetes?”

Do most people really want to know how they are doing, or are they asking hoping for some sort of ‘positive’ answer that will allow the conversation to continue?
“XYS is managing…..sometimes….”
“Good, glad everything is okay?  What did you guys do this weekend?”
Does this exchange sound familiar at all to you?

I have come to learn over the years, who I know who is REALLY asking how my kids are doing and who is asking as if checking in on a weather report. Sunny? Great.  Cloudy? Okay.  Storm? Don’t want to hear it.

It used to frustrate me until I started taking mental notes on who was asking, REALLY ASKING; and who really is not asking but wants to be courteous.  It was also a very important lesson for me to learn as well.

I learned that I, at times, could be just as I now see others.  I really did not want to hear the whole story.  Perhaps it’s just human nature.  Perhaps we are too much in a hurry.  Perhaps we have our own problems and do not want to hear about someone else’s mess.  It was a hard lesson learned,  Now when I ask, I mean it.  If I cannot spend the time, I do not ask.

Of course some people wait for the ask so they can unload every problem under the sun to you.  That’s a tough call as well.  But for the most part when people ask, I answer and leave the closing of the sentence open-ended enough to answer questions, but closed enough that allows the person an out, if they ‘really’ do not want to hear more than ‘we are doing okay’.

And many times, the people who REALLY do not know, come up with the stupidest way to close the discussion.   It has taken me a long, long time to let these comments just roll off me.   I don’t get angry anymore.
“They will grow out of it I’m sure.”
“They are just watching what they eat, I’m sure.”
“You are used to it by now.”
“Two kids now, well good thing you had the first one, now you are experts.”
“Must be easier that one is out of the house.”
……………….and on……and on…….and on……and on.

So let it roll off you too.  Learn now what took me years to do because it just does not get better.   People will say what they want to say to make themselves feel at easy……and that’s okay.  Just recognize it for what it is the next time you hear:
“Oh I know exactly, EXACTLY, what you are going through………………………my dog has diabetes.”

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

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’.

 

Celebrities Should Help with Diabetes Causes…….Uhm……They DO!!!!!!!

Vip Clip Art and Stock Illustrations. 4,576 Vip EPS illustrations and ...When people help us, it should never be forgotten. 

I have often read comments from people in the diabetes community about how they wish people, celebrities, would do more to help.  The truth of the matter is that there are quite a few. 

Of course we always believe that our diabetes concerns should be front and center but it is a big world out there and only limited space for so many causes.  Let’s take a look at just some, and a BIG ONLY some, of the celebrities and how they have helped in various causes.  Without question, the leading celebrity voice for diabetes causes is Mary Tyler Moore. 
(In all of the examples below, click the picture to see the short video.)Commercial MTM

Ms. Moore’s efforts on behalf of the JDRF span the decades but she was not alone in assisting diabetes causes and there have been many.  Ever see this one with Sandra Oh, Nicole Johnson, and Brett Michaels to name a few.
test don't guess

Are there any Ray Romano Fans out there?

And for you boxing fans; Sugar Ray Leonard.
Sugar Ray Leonard Helps Knock Out Juvenile Diabetes | Type 1 Diabetes ...

He not only did this PSA for the DRI (actual website is www.DiabetesResearch.org) but also did them for JDRF.

And music sensation, Nick Jonas, did much work for many organizations, here is his PSA spot for the American Diabetes Association along with Jay Cutler’s spot as well.
Nick Jonas PSA

jay cutler football
Many celebrities from sports and entertainment attend events on our behalf, testify before congress, lend their names and their time to attend events, donate money (many times without any fanfare), and even perform, as is the case tonight in Miami where music icon Barry Gibb will be singing some of his top hits from the Bee Gees at the DRIF’s Love and Hope Ball for almost 800 people.

This is but a sampling (and surely not a complete) of an ever-growing list that includes others like Ray Allen and his family, Olympian Gary Hall and Kris Freeman, other football greats Kendall Simmons and Vince Wilfork, race car driver Charlie Kimball and there are many, many more of which I have not forgotten, but only used a sampling to show that so many DO INDEED care; and help. Feel free to add anyone you want to mention as a reminder to everyone else.

We surely would love for many more stories in the news and the media to center around diabetes and surely we would like the list to grow, and the stories be more plentiful, but we should also recognize that many do much.

And we all surely appreciate it………don’t we?

I am a diabetes dad.

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