Tandem Addresses if they are Next in the Animas-Leaves-You-Hanging Saga

Diabetes awareness monthIf you look up the word ‘aware’ in the dictionary, Webster writes, “….having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge; watchful, wary…..”
This is Diabetes Awareness Month and this day is World Diabetes Day—the 14th—–it is the ‘wary’ I would like to focus on.

Lately, I have struggled with my approach about the closing of Animas…..leaving tens of thousands of people to figure out…….what’s next?  How to continue their insulin pump with a new company.  I drew graphs, excel spreadsheets, and listed pros and cons with what the next steps could possibly be?

But I left the idea of ‘next steps’ as one thought kept coming back to me over, and over, and over again.  This ‘diabetes thing’ is a business.  Products made for diabetes management…..are…..INDEED a business.

To understand that; fully means to understand why businesses are in operation–and that is to make money.  There is NOTHING wrong with that and in many instances one of America’s founding principles….to make one’s own way.

But those of us with close diabetes connections should be well aware that in the business world we are consumers more than patients.  We are purchasers more than advocates.  I have seen diabetes products come and go but Animas was a real wake up call for me.

I called people to find out who would be next?  Do we as parents, as a person with diabetes, need to worry that Animas is alone or could it happen again to another device?  I started asking around. I came across David Kliff whose newsletter Diabetic Investor website states; Diabetes Investor is the premier subscription-based content publisher that provides real-time analysis of the business of diabetes – from pharma to med tech to devices and everything in between.
I know David and he has certainly a non-nonsense approach to the ‘business of diabetes’…his comment the day Animas closed down:
Today Animas has joined Deltec in the insulin pump glue factory and Tandem is getting ready to join them.

Wow!

So a man who makes his living advising people on what looks good and/or bad in the BUSINESS of diabetes states that Tandem will follow in the ranks of Animas.  Now, no one has a crystal ball but Mr. Kliff’s word’s on the heels of Animas closing are words to, at the very least, pay close attention.  For months and months Mr. Kliff had warned of the closing of Animas’ doors; and yet when it happened, the outcry of tens of thousands proved that they had no idea it was even coming.

This worried me as a parent; after all my two children are on the Tandem.  So I went right to the source and contacted Tandem and here is what their CEO, Kim Blickenstaff answered;
Tandem has heard misleading comments about our longevity in the marketplace, but what we focus on is bringing the future of insulin pump therapy to more people with diabetes. In addition to recently opening a new manufacturing facility in San Diego, we also plan to commence sales internationally in select geographies in 2018, and currently have a pivotal trial underway for our first automated insulin delivery product. We remain confident that our differentiated insulin pumps, the power of our Tandem Device Updater, and our robust pipeline will enable us to successfully execute our business plan, and continue to support our customers for years to come.”
Can that change tomorrow?  Perhaps. I surely hope not.

Diabetes Awareness Month!

I love everything blue, I loved speaking at a school today for diabetes awareness, I loved giving two families a tour this month of the Institute where they could see first hand what I know—-the promise for a cure is a real experience, I loved organizing Bounce Away Diabetes with Sky Zone on the 5th of this month, and I will love hosting Ryan Reed at the DRI this Thursday and witness him at Homestead racing next weekend.

But more than ANYTHING else; look back on how I started this column–World Diabetes Day.  The “wariness” and the “alertness” must always start with our own child, our own care.  There is so much happening so quickly—-stay up to date–ask a thousand questions and know what you are told one day, can change the next.

I’m livid that Animas is closing their doors in the manner they are closing their doors……but I also know beyond the blue, beyond the advocacy, beyond the wonderful people with us on this journey—-diabetes is a business.  And a business decision can impact us at any time.  Are we ready?

We are ready.  We can adjust.  Our eyes are wide open.  If we must change back to injections at any time, we can.  A broken escalator is still a staircase.  We prepare for everything.  We got this!  In this diabetes day and month, I ask…….do you…….’got’ this?
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

You Wanted Something DIFFERENT for ALL OF US to DO…..WELL HERE IT IS! B.A.D. is Now Good.

Bounce Away Diabetes CROPPED final 9 19 17 APPROVED FINAL FINALTime and time again we hear people say, let me know when something different comes along; something we can all participate in to help a diabetes cause that we can all do but does not take away from the efforts each person has with the diabetes organization of their choice .  Why can’t we get a company with multiple locations to support diabetes causes. Something cool.  Something Fun.  Guess what……………..SOMETHING has just arrived.

Bounce Away Diabetes.  B.A.D. to be good.

This is a small roll-out this year that could become national next year. SKYZONE, the NATIONAL trampoline heaven, will donate 50 cents to the Diabetes Research Institute for every minute your child bounces this Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-12 noon.  If you live near any of these cities (some in Canada also) come and participate:

Hoover AL
Daytona Beach FL
Pompano Beach FL
Doral FL
Cutler Bay FL
Kennesaw GA
Fairview Height IL
Shawnee KS
Kingston MA
Danvers MA
Brighton MI
Canton MI
Kalamazoo MI
Saginaw MI
Shelby Township MI
Taylor MI
Fenton MO
Albany NY
Henrietta NY
Syracuse NY
Toronto ON M4G 4C5
Whitby ON, L1N 0G3
Waukesha WI
Madison WI

The SKYZONE in your city is participating.   It does not matter what organization you support because this is no fundraising on your part——this is SKY ZONE helping a diabetes cause, in this case it is the Diabetes Research Institute and their efforts in finding a biological cure.  And it’s fun, fun, fun and bounces of fun.  Tee-shirts included to all participants.

Don’t just ‘bring in’ Diabetes Awareness Month this year…….BOUNCE it in as we (click the link for details) Bounce Away Diabetes this Sunday November 5th from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon.

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

When Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes, Will Anything Change?

Jimmy KimmelBy now I’m sure you read the comment made by Jimmy Kimmel regarding the cookies he received from Kelly Ripa (“you are sweeter than diabetes”)?   Forget Halloween, the internet lit up like a Christmas tree with tweets and comments slamming the late night host stating that he should know better AND especial because he has entered the limelight of healthcare with issues surrounding his own child.

I’ve been to this rodeo, and in fact, been to it MANY times.  On more than one occasion I have even led the charge over a stupid statement or a knee-jerk reaction to something said/done stupid about diabetes in the news, media, television, movie world.  When Jimmy apologizes, and my guess is that he will apologize because he knows now that his statement hurt many people, a moral victory will be declared by the diabetes community and the community will move forward knowing that when our voices are unified, people will hear.  Jimmy just seems like the kind of guy that is sensitive to issues such as these and hopefully he realizes that many people who have a child with this disease or HAVE this disease themselves……..were hurt.  Shortly after he realizes that and apologizes, everyone will be back to their own lives waiting for the next needed public outcry.

I ask, “To what end?”

To clarify, if you are reading this, chances are that you are not even the ones to whom the article is aimed.  You’re active.  You support diabetes charities.causes/advocacy.  You are active in making a difference.  You want your voice to be heard.  It’s just so unfortunate that the silent majority are the ones that need to speak up.  But even they, perhaps, are not involved because they do exactly what we ask them to do, to live life to the fullest.  To be in the mainstream.  Many do just that…..live with their diabetes.

So the two-edged sword is always, who speaks up/does something and who just moves forward with a disease that always poses the question, “If we do not seek a change for the very disease that is so close to us…….who will?”

Also included in the consideration is knowing that before ‘we were touched’ by diabetes, what did we know, what did we care to know?  In truth, we didn’t because it was not important to us and now THAT IT IS we expect others to be sensitive to something that we, honestly, probably never gave a second thought to before it was so close to home.

So what do we do about all of this?  1. We raise our voices every time someone misses the mark.  I have discussed before about the ‘Razzies’ –awards given out for ‘worst acting/movies’ of the year…….they have become almost as popular as the Oscars themselves….Award shows have but one purpose—-to keep the people and whoever is giving out the awards in the limelight and hence, in the public consciousness.  Might we as a diabetes community consider doing the same; both good and bad in the diabetes world?

2. Don’t do nothing—-said it a million times and is a mantra of mine.  If we do not do something ourselves, who will?  Who would we expect to?   GetDiabetesRight.org is chock full of posters you can print and hang in your community, your school, your shopping centers, and anywhere else where the general public may see and learn……and this site created by Kim May and myself is surely not alone in this effort……so many more efforts exist for the sole purpose of ALLOWING YOU the opportunity to print something and hang something in your community to bring awareness to our word of diabetes.

3. Pick a cause within diabetes to give your efforts/time/donations.  A cure.  Better Management.  Eating Disorders.  Advocacy.  Female Issues. Family Education. Male Issues. College Issues. Camps. Providing for those in need; both abroad, and here at home. And there are more.  There are not just 2-3-4 diabetes organizations anymore; there are quite a few.  Some local, some national, some international….all doing GREAT STUFF.  Who do you want to help………figure it out……and help.

There are conferences, initiatives, efforts, gatherings, movements, events to satisfy what YOU WANT TO DO.  You can write, hang posters, walk, run, iron(wo)man, skip, jump, hop, fly a kite, hit a whiffle ball, discuss, meet, lecture and million other items……….and do you know what we lack…….enough people to get it all done.

So if you raised your voice at Mr. Kimmel, but that’s all you have done, that’s all that will get done.  Find a spot.  You can be rich, poor, fast, slow, smart, smarter, educated, street-smart and a million things in-between to find a place for your talents and efforts.  But the only thing that there is no place for; is to just do nothing.
Don’t Just Do Nothing.  Your call.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

An Open Letter to the Remaining Insulin Pump Companies

letter insulin pumpsDear Remaining Insulin Pump Companies.

Hi.  In the diabetes community, I’m known by many as DiabetesDad.  I write a column such as this.  My heart belongs to my two children who have diabetes.  My heart belongs to the world around us who are on this diabetes journey.  Many people have diabetes.  Many have a child, or two, or three (or more) who live with this disease.

Many of us, have our ear to the ground.  We hear things.  We don’t know for sure, we’re just living our lives.  If you are with an insulin pump company, chances are you are a family person too.  You love your family and do not want any harm coming to them.

Neither do we.

It was announced that Animas is closing their doors. Sad as this is,  it happens in business sometimes and we understand that aspect of this world.  We have watched other diabetes companies over the years close their doors too.  The 100,000 plus people on an Animas pump must now look elsewhere for an insulin pump.  They will be looking for a new pump, they may be looking to you and your company.

We are just parents.  We are just people who live with this disease.  You are the corporate mavens in this world.  Deep down inside, you really know how soluble your company is.  The hardship of taking our child off one pump and putting them on another is excruciating.  No one likes change.  Our children will look to us and know that we are doing what is right for them.  But we do not know everything…………………………….

………so as a parent, I’m asking, pleading, begging to ask you to look inside your heart. If you have a gut feeling that your insulin pump company will not be here in the near future——please let us know.  Be honest, this is our children’s lives..  I ask every parent who is s presently on an Animas Insulin Pump and will have to switch to another pump company, no matter who that company is, demand a message from their highest ranking official what they believe the future of their company to be.  Let them know how painful this is and that you do not want to go through it again a few months down the line…….ask them to be honest with you.

Then choose your new insulin pump company wisely.  We are not stockholders, we are people.  Our future, and the lives of our children, are in your hands.  What will you tell us?

We are sorry to see Animas go…….we trust, as parents yourselves, you will not steer us wrong.  God Bless you.

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

 

Animas Insulin Pumps Going Out of Business

Animas 1I received the announcement listed below earlier today.
It is very straightforward.
It gives information what to do next.
Yes, it really sucks.

From Bridget Kimmel at Animas
I wanted you to be among the first to hear about some important news that was issued early this morning announcing our intention to shut down the Animas Corporation. This decision was extremely difficult and comes following the extensive exploration of all other viable options for the Animas business. With changing needs of customers, rapidly evolving market dynamics, and increased competitive pressures, it proved too difficult to sustain the insulin pump and glucose management delivery business. Patient care is our top priority, and we will work with our preferred partner, Medtronic, or our patients’ manufacturer of choice, to facilitate a seamless insulin delivery system transition. Patients can find more information at www.animaspatientsupport.com. We are incredibly grateful to our patients and health care partners for the trust, confidence and loyalty they have placed in Animas products over the last 21 years.

Take a breath, you will get through this……..one step at a time.
For whatever it’s worth…..Medtronic is not the only game in down….Of late, many people are looking at Insulet’s Omipod.

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

 

Year 26 Starts Today…..Some Tips We Learned Along the Diabetes Roller Coaster Roadway

rollercoaster roadwayNow listen carefully if you have been at this ‘diabetes thing’ for a few years and you are ‘losing your grip’.  Hang in there.

Today marks the beginning of year 26 since Kaitlyn was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of 2, with this monster called diabetes.  But take heart…..we have learned a ton and here are just a few morsels of education.

1. Education is the equalizer in diabetes.  Nothing levels the playing field like knowing as much as you can.
2. Don’t do nothing.  Every diabetes organization/movement/action is only as good as the people inside the organizations.  If we do not do for our own…..who will?
3. You will meet the most incredible people on earth in this journey, who are in the same battle as you.  Seek them out…..they are beyond amazing, inspiring, and dedicated.
4. Hang out with people who are smarter than you about diabetes……I spend/spent my life doing this.
5. It’s not all about one organization or one…..well anything…..do not be afraid to help/be-involved with more than one……open your mind.  Never stay with some place because it’s merely convenient.
6. Open your mind and ask a million questions because the smartest people you THINK are so smart……may not be as smart as they want you to think. (think about it)
7. If diabetes is the most important thing in your child’s life……….diabetes will be the most important thing in your child’s life………I always believed living life was the most important aspect of life itself.
8. Don’t ask……’if’ they can do something…….figure out a way ‘how’ to allow them to do something.  They should be limited by……….nothing.
9. If you hang around with naysayers…….you become one.
10. If you give up hope……..you are doomed. (if people say you should not think a certain way, see #6).
11. Blood glucose numbers are a gauge not a report card.  Learn, adjust, move forward.
12. Kids with diabetes are still kids……..never forget that.
13. Your kids without diabetes should not come in second in everything moving forward.  DO not just EXPECT them to ALWAYS understand (see #12). You’ll figure it out…..but only if you want to,
14. Glucose numbers are not as important as showing your child love.  And no matter how many hours you are awake, or the amount of tears you shed; if your child has T1D and you do not you do not know what it is like (and in fair response….and your kids will not know what it is like to be a parent either).
15. If someone is active in an organization that you do not agree with, do not look at as they are wrong and you are right, look at it as they are in the minority of people who ARE DOING something in the diabetes world…………and respect them for it.
16. If you think you know all there is to know about diabetes…….your stupid.
17. Do not waste energy on ignorance but also remember that you did not know until you had to either.
18. Remember how important your medical professionals are and that social media input does not always know the best way.
19.  Social media is an incredible highway of information.  Harness it, but never forget that ‘the someone’ giving you information can be as anonymous as they want.
20. Life is life.  We all have life dealt to us. We also are invited by life to live it.   Look for all of the most exciting things that life has to offer, and it offers so much. Take it one day at a time and let no one, nor one thing, stop you and your child from living it.

Dreams do not start when you go to bed, they start each morning when you start living them.

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

 

 

IRMA: WHERE TO POINT PEOPLE IN NEED OF DIABETES SUPPLIES

Hurricane IrmaBelow is a message I just received from Carol Atkinson of Insulin for Life-USA.  Please share it with people you know in Florida and pay close attention to help happening for those in the Fort Meyers area this weekend.  So if you have supplies, hear of someone in need, and/or have few bucks to share, help IFL—-please read and share:

“This morning IFL USA received a call from a physician (general practice DO) in Ft. Myers.  He was taking his dog for a car ride to enjoy a little AC as he was out of power.  He heard an interview on the radio (Editor’s note: Which was our good friend Joe Balavage, a diabetes dad and founder of a FABULOUS organization: Help a Diabetic Child who was on the Trey Radel radio show).  He came home and called to inquire if we could help.  He is working with his church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1305 Broadway Ave, Ft. Meyers, FL, 33901) to host a help center this weekend for three days to assist in the community.  He will be there and will assist those with diabetes.  We are working to send him supplies.  Hopefully we can ship today with overnight delivery.

If you receive word from some in his area, please be sure to point them in his direction.
If you hear of other health care providers have them call us.
Have a great day.

 

Carol Atkinson
Director

(352) 327-8649″

If you cannot give supplies, feel free to give a donation to this incredible organization; during times like this—–their service is invaluable.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Why Go It Alone……Ask!

Boat manIn addition to asking for help on social media when you come across a ‘hiccup’ in your diabetes journey, make sure you also ask for good and reputable websites to help you address a problem, or for that matter; any problem.

Little, if anything, has yet to be seen in this crazy world of diabetes and (no matter how small, or how large, you think your challenge is) chances are someone can say ‘been there, done that.”

Gaining an insight of personal experience is always a help, but also make sure you always ask if there is a website from a reputable source to help ‘walk you through’ any situation. Many, and I mean, MANY pages of useful information are within our social media highway and I have found that you can find pretty reliable information……..merely by searching.

Quite honestly, I lost count on how many times we went to the library the years following Kaitlyn’s diagnosis in 1992.  Countless days and hours spent looking up this or looking up that…….and now all of it is at our fingertips.  But always remember that because it’s easily accessible does not mean it’s necessarily, all, correct.  Check your facts and do not take someone’s opinion/experience as gospel.

Remember that this disease is as different from one day to the next as it is from one person to the next.  That said, the information is limitless to those who look for it.  So do not only speak to others on the various outreach; check what you hear.  But also know that information, moral support, and experience awaits you by only asking and verifying.

All of this can equal a more informative diabetes world for you, for your child.  Education is always the equalizer to this disease.  And it’s a disease that can be managed……and managed well…….look it up.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Where Did Everyone Go?

wide eyed animalI still have a hard time understanding where people go after being active in diabetes causes for so long….one day…….poof, done.
“I am tired.”
“I cannot ask my friends for money anymore.”
“My kids are older now, let younger people take over.”
“I got so tired from broken promises…..it is all just a waste of time.”

BULL DINKIE.

So many times we tout that our children MUST keep at it, be vigilant, keep going no matter what.  What if when they turned 23 and just said, ‘no more’.  ‘I’m done.’  They can’t because they will die if they do that and do not think that they have not felt the burden of ‘doing diabetes’ 24/7.

For whatever reason you stopped…..look in the mirror and realize that it was a bad decision. No one says you have to take on the world like you used to, but no one says you should wither away and go away and do absolutely nothing either.   There’s room between running the largest event in the state and doing nothing anymore.  If we do not do for ourselves, ask yourself, “who will?”

We do not accept excuses from our kids, and honestly, they should not have to accept excuses from us……ever.  Why is any excuse bigger than the welfare of our kids and those like them?  Doing nothing will get absolutely nothing done.  So ask yourself where you fall on the spectrum………and get up off your comfy chair and do something.

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

Not the Pain, but the Void………Left Behind.

blackToday, I saw the date in the lower corner of my computer.  August 22, 2017.  I started to reach for the phone because I knew, inherently, that the date was significant. I reacted because I had not yet called my dad to wish him a happy birthday.  “Oh, I gotta call……..”

But you see, I didn’t have to call, because dad is gone.  Dad passed away on March 16th 2009.  But at some point every August 22nd since, I have started to reach for a phone during the day.  The urge to react on what I must do, is just a tad faster than the realization of what is true and what is real.

It will,  undoubtedly, also happen during every baseball season as well because if it was one thing dad and I liked to discuss, it was baseball.  It is not a real ‘pick up the phone and start to dial’ and realize, “oh, he is no longer here”.  It’s just that quick second and the beginning of that motion and that thought.  The aftermath is that you start to realize, “wow, was I really going to call dad?”

It’s a time to reflect on who we miss.  Their smile.  What they may have said that made us laugh; made us cry. made us angry, made you inquire as to what they meant, and made us think.  And truly make us miss them beyond comprehension.   So many people come and go in our lives and they are taken in an instant, or are sick, or are here one minute and gone the next but at sometime or another the void they leave behind is both realized and immeasurable.

We do not really ever accept it, do we?  I was taught once……we learn to cope.

That void can be a reminder but more than anything else…….it’s just that……..a void.  We can try to fill it or push it away but at some point the void reminds us that one who filled it, is no longer here to do so.  Makes you want to hug someone today, doesn’t it?
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.