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?

Ryan: Intense

Ryan: draining, difficult

Ryan: Supportive

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

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’.


“Are You the Woman Who Fainted?”….an INCREDIBLE Read from the Woman Herself

KarmelI love this woman and the way she presents this story.  How one person can be so humble, confident, delightful, articulate, intelligent, humorous, shy, and mesmerizing all at once is beyond my comprehension. 

I read, and hung on to, every word like it was an incredible novel.  It was such a wonderful feeling to know that the heroine was real and at the end; she just went back to being Karmel Allison.  WONDERFUL!!!!

What an amazing read of the most incredible 48 hours anyone could ever live through.



I am a diabetes dad.

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

NEWS BREAK: It Happened Again…….Get OUT, Your Child has Diabetes. ENOUGH!!!!!

RedAngryFaceLook–this is starting to get on my nerves.  In fact I am starting to really get pissed off. 

A lawsuit was just filed, by a single mom, in Cape Corla Florida that a child was discriminated against as “…..alleging the city discriminated against her daughter by not allowing employees at its after-school and summer programs to administer insulin and glucagon injections to those who suffer from the disease.”  

Now this is enough to drive anyone crazy but read this next statement, sent to the mom by a Mr. Mike Quigley, the Risk Manager; and your blood will boil; “Having to administer insulin shots would be an undue hardship on the City, as it would be required to have a nurse present with your daughter at all times. Such accommodation is not required by the ADA,”  (ADA-American Disabilities Act)

Undo hardship on the city????????????


So my question to Mr. Quigley, what’s the option; let her die?  Just do not allow the child to partake in the activities?  Screw it, what do you care?   So just find no answer.

Imagine these horrendous scenarios:
You cannot participate because your fat, your religious garments would get in the way of activities so you cannot participate, your nationality background would not lend itself to the activities for participation—-if anything; ANYTHING, resembling these statements were even whispered; the world would have a holy fit over it.  People would be calling for someone’s resignation.   Protests and headlines would be all over the newspapers——discrimination IS discrimination…….PERIOD.

But here we are again; it’s just diabetes.  So who cares what is said to the child?  Who cares how the child feels being told to get out?  Who feels anything needs to go further, we interpret the law this way, deal with it.

(YELLING) WHAT ABOUT THE CHILD????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I. Am. Just. So. Tired. Of. It.

Aren’t you?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Diabetes Should Not Even Entered the Argument…..Something YOU SHOULD Know About.

Scales tipped wrongMany times I have stated that any one person can make a difference if they choose to make a difference.  If you have not been following what has been happening in California, you should find out.

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the American Nurses Association (ANA) v. Tom Torlakson as Superintendent of Public Instruction, a case that disputes the legality of non-medical professionals administering insulin to children with diabetes in a school setting.

The two arguments (in my very simple terms, my apologies to the judicial system): ANA states that only a nurse can administer insulin in the schools vs. others being allowed to administer insulin. 

What I find interesting here is that it took seven years to get to California’s highest court.  Appeals, litigation, and seven years later the Supreme Court has to rule in 90 days on its findings based on the arguments.

Perhaps it’s me, but there just MUST COME A TIME that common sense prevails in cases such as these.  When it is so very clear of a child’s welfare being compromised, there is something wrong.  When the average ratio in the state is 1 nurse per 2200 students; there is something wrong there as well.

And it is THAT point that also MUST be considered.

In as much as the lawsuits seem ridiculously simple to solve, the bigger question the Union is asking is the real problem of the school district: Are there enough nurses, and what to do about it?

Unfortunately they may have a valid point.  But they missed on the approach and at the expense of those kids with diabetes; and that’s not good.

If you want Rocky Road Ice Cream; you have to ask for Rocky Road Ice Cream.

The real error here is that the plight of those with diabetes is being argued to make a bigger point and to fight a bigger argument. 

When I read these comments:
Justice Joyce Kennard: “If kids can self-administer, if parents can help administer the insulin shot, what amount of scientific knowledge is applicable?”
Justice Carol Corrigan:  “If I’m a parent of a first grader and there are no school nurses … either we have to hope little Billy knows how to inject himself or I have to rush home from work, is that how it works?”

My hunch is that the arguments made by the ANA are losing footing very quickly in the minds of these Justices.  And that is too bad because they may very well have a point that something needs to be done to change that 1 nurse per 2200 students.  I, for one, do not know what should/can work in this scenario.  I do not know what it should be, but THAT argument was not the argument and I do believe it should have been; and in a different scenario, it still may.

But someone at the ANA either underestimated the power of the American Diabetes Association’s ability to make the correct argument or they didn’t think it all the way through that the ‘issue at hand’ was too detrimental to our kids to be used for the bigger point they are making, or wanted to make.

It’s too bad because they may have a good and valid point.  But after seven years of going through the legal system, finally, we can only hope that the courts’ wisdom will prevail and a better system of administering insulin to the children who have enough on their plate dealing with type 1 diabetes every day, will no longer have to worry who can, and will, administer insulin when needed .

It very well may be that it turns out in our favor, that will be a good thing and thank you to all who fought the good fight for the last seven years. 

Special kudos to the American Diabetes Association.  If you ever wanted to see an organization in action, this was the ADA doing what they do better than ANY other group out there; fighting for the rights of people with diabetes—BRAVO ADA.

But the fact will remain that 1 nurse per 2200 students will stay the same—-and that should have been the argument of the ANA to begin with; now we don’t know if that ratio is okay to continue; and we very well may never know.  And that is not good.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

The Loss of a Giant in Wisdom, Humility, and Balance….A Remembrance.

Richard.I write in this space.  I share.  I try to relay to you my emotion and excitement about things that excite me.  I write about people, every day people, who make a difference.  I write to you as I feel things and I inform you on things I learn.  Some things you may know already, some things may be new.  Some things you may agree with and others you may not.  Today, I write about a friend of mine.

A friend, that whether you knew him or not; changed the world of diabetes.  And you should know about him.

Dr. Richard Rubin passed away this week.  He was a giant in our world and he would be very annoyed at me for saying so.  But you need to know who he was because his work will forever impact those we love with diabetes.

He was a psychologist, professor of medicine and pediatrics at John Hopkins School of Medicine and his awards, achievements, and over 200 diabetes-related publications would fill pages and pages of the written word.  His work helped many and made him respected by all of his peers alike.  He was a mountain of knowledge; he was a dad to a child with type 1 diabetes.  He was a father, a grandfather, a father-in-law, a husband, and a colleague.  He was a friend who found the commonalities that he faced with others in his work, his battle for life, and in our world of the ‘new normal’. 

If I could think of one word that Richard taught me; it was the word balance.  His ‘coined’ phrase of Diabetes Overwhelmus is still used today in describing when the world just gets to be too much and what to do to handle a life, or the life, of diabetes.  My involvement with him from the very first CWD Friends for Life Conference until the last time I saw him, where else; but a CWD Conference just recently, enriched my life more each time I ran into him.  How fortunate to know him for the years I did.

His smile was warm, his ability to listen uncanny, and unlike anyone I have ever met he could listen and remember something you may have said a day, a week, or a year ago; and bring it back how it would relate to the topic of discussion you were presently engaged.  He had a gift.

He often spoke of his family who he loved dearly, and would always find time to speak to them.  He taught about balancing the things we do professionally and personally; he would work that balance and he taught us to do the same.   He would freely tell you of his flaws and what he learned in his mistakes.  Good, bad, different, stressful, earth-shattering, joyous, and on and on—-this thing called life was the perfect teaching tool and Richard was the perfect teacher to show us how to maximize those tools.  He taught our grandparents, he taught our adults, he taught our teens, he taught our young children, and he surely taught us who worked with him.

I have very personal stories of advice Richard offered me, and I know I’m not alone as the recipient of those ‘unbilled’ sessions we were all so fortunate to have with a man who understood life as no other I have known; a man who reached across the table and could touch your life with wisdom, your heart with love, and your soul with peace.

His love for photography painted pictures of life.  Animals, plants,….and well, life as it should be through the eyes of a master who understood just that……..life.  There was some comfort in words he wrote recently, “….I am not afraid.”  He knew the battle he had valiantly fought and he was well aware of what battles he had left.  In the end, his body had enough and it was time to go; perhaps a little quicker than we wanted but he would probably tell us that all-in-all it was the right balance of how things like this should go; giving enough time to say good-bye and do a few things he wanted to do.

I saw him just recently and we talked for a while and he turned and he faced me.  “I want to tell you something, Tom”, he said,  “I love you and you’re a good man.  The diabetes world needs you to keep fighting.”  And we hugged each other and he walked away.  Those words will now resonate with me forever.  He was, in his style, saying good-bye.

I cried uncontrollably when I heard Richard had passed.  And now I will do as he stated and I will continue that fight.  We will all continue that fight.  When it comes to my sorrow, my pain, and my dedication to moving forward I will honor him every day of my life by finding that balance at every given turn to move forward.

We, as a diabetes community, are so grateful to his entire family for sharing a giant of a man they could have so easily kept to themselves; a man who was as humble as he was a powerhouse.

A man who taught us how to handle so many fears in this diabetes world we live in and how we all can go forward and understand within ourselves the phrase…….”I am not afraid.”

Rest my friend.

I love you Richard, and thank you.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

On the Road….Many Entities Help Us…..They Don’t ‘Have to’.

MiamiMy friend and mentor, Charlie Rizzo, once stated to me that he had to do what he does. I have written before about his tireless efforts in the world of diabetes and since his daughter was diagnosed he has never once lost that fire to find a cure.

I thought of those words today.  I am on the road, which I am a lot.  The traveling is always hard on everyone in my house.   I love what I do and the travel is part of it.  When I was an actor and in New York working people used to say how wonderful it must be.  I enjoyed that too but like anything, I knew that it was my job.  I came to work and did my role and went home.  I never thought of it as wonderful but always knew I was fortunate to be where I was in life.

It is the same with travel.  It is a necessity with my job and because I know that it brings me to meet wonderful people who do great things, this too is a fortunate side despite all of the plane, trains, hotels and automobiles.

Today I am in Miami meeting with some of the folks from Walgreens.  Walgreens is a great big company.  They do not ‘HAVE TO’ do anything.  Not just for the DRI, but the diabetes community as an entire entity is very fortunate to have a company who chooses to help out.  

There are many, many charities out there and Walgreens is a good friend to not only the DRI, but the JDRF, ADA, and other diabetes organizations as well.  We are all lucky that they ‘choose’ to help all of us.  On April 20th of this year they will run their annual Walk with Walgreens to benefit the DRI.  It is a huge event in both Port St. Lucie and at the Sun Life Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins).

There is no ‘one day’ that we stop and say thank you to the so many people, companies, schools, and a whole list of others who have no ties to diabetes that do great things for us.  They donate money, time, products, and other resources because someone got their attention and they chose to help out.  Let us know some of the places you work with and have been very generous to your efforts?

Sure I know, it is part of the corporate world to give back and I know that much money is spent inside their stores and it makes for the ‘warm and fuzzy’ side of the corporate world to help.  But remember that every entity you work with has ‘floor-to-ceiling-proposals’ from thousands of  charities asking for help.  For some reason they are involved with you because you asked them.  It’s never wrong to say, every now and again, thank you for helping us.  Remember, they don’t have to ‘this’, but because of our love for our kids, we do.  Call them up or drop a line and just say, ‘thanks’.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


What Will Happen in Washington?

Capitol hillThey are on their way to Washington.  Seems that letters went out to the many of 150 children who were chosen as delegtes for the JDRF Children’s Congress.   When I was part of the program we called it the ‘Run Up the Hill’, a great choice on the name now used.

The testimony and the few days from July 8th to July 10th  spent in our Nation’s Capitol will probably be remembered by these kids for the rest of their lives.  They have a job to do and they will do it well.  They will move lives to move mountains.  Nothing is more powerful than hearing directly from children what they life through everyday with diabetes.  The agenda will be set and it will be followed.

There was a record number of applicants this year according to the Children’s Congress website.  There needs to be a limit on how many kids can convene in the halls of Congress and the kids will be well furnished with what they need and will be guided by the JDRF on what can be distributed to the members of Congress.  But it is their voices and their stories that will have the biggest impact.

That said, if you would like to do something and be involved in meeting your congressman either in your hometown or in DC; perhaps everyone can take a page from Elizabeth Gar McCrary who is creating a book of faces and stories to take with her to share with our nation’s elected leaders when she goes to meet with her congressperson.  What a FABULOUS idea.  Magnificent. (JDRF Government Day is set for March 18-19)

The American Diabetes Association will also hold their Call to Congress from March 5th-March 7th this year as well.  Their message will be to ‘Stop Diabetes’ and surely that is a message that needs to be delivered loud and clear.

Here is the ADA Information about their call to congress. The ADA will also train people and let them know exactly how to the biggest impact with the leaders they will be meeting. 

Seems to me that our elected officials need to hear the stories about diabetes and they need to hear it many times.  Find out if you can be part of and join in these incredible initiatives meeting with our congressional leaders and testifying before congress. 

Find out if your congressional leader is part of the diabetes caucus.  I was part of the team that worked to create this in 1995 with the result occurring the following year.  It became the largest caucus on Capitol Hill.  If your Congressperson is not part, ask them to join it because it is THAT important.

There is strength in numbers and a unified voice is one that cannot be shut out or silenced; call these organizations and find out what you can do ‘On the Hill; or even at home if all the slots are filled. 

Say nothing and nothing will surely get done.

I am a diabetes dad

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

A Questions is Asked…..Diabetes Needs More? Do We? Your Thoughts Please.

we need moreOn FB yesterday I read the following question from a parent:

I am tired that everywhere I go there is a support this or support that except for our t1d children and families does anybody feel the same? In the world where we find products all turning pink or a telethon or paper Shamrocks being sold or even a hot air balloon paper cut-out being sold at registers; the question is a good one.  Do we need more?Being with the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF), I often marvel at the outreach capabilities of our colleagues at the ADA and JDRF.  I hear people say to us all the time, “who are you guys?”  “What’s the difference between you and the JDRF; or you and  ADA?”  “We love that you guys are totally focused on a cure and know you are known for collaborating but what is the relationship with the DRIF and other organizations?”  

And there are other diabetes organizations as well that all are constantly looking for assistance and I imagine asked the same questions as we, at the DRIF.  scholarships to those with diabetes, camps, foundations, diabetes centers, offering supplies, other research arenas……….if they all came together under one umbrella I assure you that the world would definitely know who that entity was, but there is not just one entity dealing with diabetes.

Nor should there be.In as much as I’m the first one who states that we all need to continue to strive and find ways to work together; but thinking for one second that all diabetes organizations should work as one is a naive thought at best.  Work together, when needed?….yes; work as one?…no. If you Google ‘diabetes non profit organizations’ you will see 3,130,000 ‘finds’.  That is a lot.Diabetes is a very complex disease with many different aspects; and so are there many areas of diabetes in the nonprofit arena needing support.  Volunteer and financial support of the many different aspects is very important.  People feel it’s important to support the partnering with private companies for better management tools (JDRF), people feel it is important to fund education in schools (ADA), and advocacy in legislative branches (ADA, JDRF), funding for scholarships (Diabetes Scholars Foundation) Funding for Camps (Diabetes Education Camping Association), research for a cure (Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, JDRF, and some by ADA), support of athlete initiatives (Chris Dudley Foundation, RidingOnInsulin.org, Iron Andy Foundation and many more), not even to mention the many organizations that help people aboard (Diabetes Hands Foundation, International Diabetes Federation, Insulin for Life, and LIONS International  to name but a few) and even on the local level there are thousands more non profits helping locally with diabetes assistance.

All of these organizations (and there are many, many more) do great things helping the many aspects of ‘the diabetes world’.  However, there is not a one-singular-all-encompassing diabetes organization.  And it is probably for that reason that one item, like a shamrock does not represent all of the different diabetes interests.

Now it may also mean that same events occur on the same date around the country; it may mean two health fairs occur simultaneously, and you may sometimes feel ‘pulled’ to make decisions on where you spend your time, your energy, and your money.  But you have choices, and the choices are yours.  Go one year to this event, next year to another.  Don’t get frustrated with what is or is not happening or is on conflicting dates; make a choice and run with it.  You will always have another choice to help where YOU WANT to help, when you want to help.

Here is the trade-off.  In as much as there is not just one universal diabetes organization, you have many choices on where you spend your energy.  What is important to you?  I have stated many times to not get involved in one organization OR another; but rather get involved in one organization AND another (and maybe AND another).

So to the woman who asked the original question, and I thank her for asking, I answer this way: we have so many choices out there to help those with diabetes; if there are almost 26 million people with diabetes in this world; and if each person along with two loved ones impacted by diabetes did just one thing to help, over 78 million people would be doing something right now to help in the ‘diabetes movement’.  And further, if each of those people gave (or raised) just 100 dollars annually; it would be more than enough to accomplish every single goal out there.
SO my questions is not; how do we achieve one diabetes organization?; but how do we get more people to help because more do not help; than do.  And THAT IS something we can all do something about, and we can start right now by asking the person in the mirror.  Just ‘don’t do nothing’.

I am a diabetes dad. 

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