Our Diabetes World NEEDS a Smokey the Bear……..any Takers??????

Smokey the BearThere is this commercial presently running on television in the United States.  It’s a commercial warning that your child could be at a very high risk of a fatal disease by merely casual contact of their peers.  At first I thought it was a fairly decent commercial warning of a potential hazard.

Of course it was more.  It was actually a commercial to get you to have your child vaccinated with their drug.  There are other commercials out there like this.  Many have to do with flu shots as well.

This got me to thinking.  There are many other commercials created for the only reason……..they are needed.

Many great PSA (Public Service Announcements) commercials are actually products of the Ad Council.  The Ad Council, by their own mission statement; Identifies a select number of significant public issues and stimulate action on those issues through communication programs that make a measurable difference in our society.

Hundreds of Ad Agencies, Sponsors, Media Partners, Corporations all have joined forces and have been responsible for some of the greatest campaigns…….well…..EVER.  Their longest running campaign, lasting over 70 years, has been those surrounding Smokey the Bear.  Worldwide has been their success on relaying the truthful impact that “Only You, Can Prevent Forest Fires.”  Simple.  Hugely effective.  Fun.  A message worth gold.

There have been so many initiatives within our community of late.  Issues of importance that need public awareness.  Imagine if there was an Ad Council for our diabetes world?  If all the companies gave one or two individuals, along with a few other advocates, and joined together and became the ‘think-tank’ for messaging on issues pertaining to diabetes.

Once a year we would meet at….let’s say……the ADA Annual Scientific meeting……and decide two or three messages and an ad campaign would be created.  Maybe even create one PSA annually to benefit T1D, one to benefit T2D, and one generic for whatever else is needed.  Let’s call ourselves The Diabetes Initiative for Ads to Better Enlighten, Teach, and Engage Society; or The D.I.A.B.E.T.E.S Council.

Surely there are enough companies to be involved that would make this extremely worth while.  And who would win?  The millions out there who have diabetes.
How cool would it be to see PSAs running and at the end a logo is show and the voiceover says; “The preceding was made possible through the D.I.A.B.E.T.E.S. Council”?

Send this article to someone in a leadership position at a company you know.  Tell  them to reach out to me and we will get the wheels moving.  Anything good begins with just an idea……any takers?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Twas the Night Before d-Christmas 2015

Santa Claus And The MoonWith special apologies to Clement Moore.   I present a tradition……an updated, ‘Twas the Night Before D-Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with  prayer,
In hopes that Santa would bring the cure with him this year.

The children were nestled from head to their feeties,
While thoughts in their head were no more diabetes.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, she prayed for the cure too,
A dad still wonders what else could he do.

Remembering this year; the so much diabetes clatter,
So many were still wondering what was the matter.
Away to the news wires we ran in a flash,
Devices getting hacked might it all crash.

As costs continue to rise on everyone’s supply,
So many wonder how they’ll get by.
D-bloggers continue to write of these capers,
It certainly can’t be left to all the newspapers.

Why many wrote on test strips and accurate numbers,
Who made the decisions on these stupid blunders?
To those with diabetes these really are not funny,
You’re playing with lives; it’s not about money.

As parents search for the docs and schools that really do care,
So much about this disease just doesn’t seem fair.
But as we turn and realize the continual fear,
I have some wishes for so many this year.

When you look outside at the fresh fallen snow,
Or out at the sea where cold you don’t know,
Think of those who inspire and soon you’ll see,
Those things have changed in the past and will continue to be.

Innovations like getting supplies to those in foreign lands,
There is AADE, IDF, and a Foundation of Hands.
There were great ideas to help our kids grow,
Even promising news from Ed Damiano.

We work very hard for a managed d-life to be,
And there is much help like CWD.
There was JDRF continuing in closing the loop,
And the ADA’s Stop Diabetes is still really a scoop.

There was TCOYD and programs were pooled,
And DRI’s BioHub news became very fueled.
There are so many camps that continue to say,
Spend a week with us for an even better today.

From Faustman, ViaCyte more news than ever before,
And stopping missed diagnosis will be the next score.
So as the year ends and criticisms comes quick,
Good things will come, and not all from St. Nick.

So listen carefully as you think of all that is run,
There is so much more work that needs to be done.
Don’t leave it to others; it’ll be just a few,
“Don’t do nothing” is what you really must do.

And if you think you’re done, tired, and feeling sort of sore,
Think of your loved one with diabetes, it’ll make you do more.
And if not for you, it will be for their sake,
We will stop it all when they get a break.

And then, in a twinkling, one day we’ll hear on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
And the only thing needed is Santa’s toy bag for sure,
When diabetes is gone because of a cure.

So we will all continue to work, the ‘where’ is up to you,
But you have to make the decision on something you’ll do.
And one day we’ll scream and exclaim, “diabetes is out of sight,”
The Happiest Christmas ever, and to all a good-night!

I am a diabetes dad.

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


It’s a Classic Tale We Have All Heard………….But Have We Listened?

Scrooge Carrying Tiny Tim in A Christmas CarolDo you think the majority of the people involved in this diabetes world choose not to be involved in diabetes causes?  Do you believe hat more people are interested in living their life with diabetes and that, in itself, is enough of a sacrifice to ask any one person; or one family?

I have stated before that compared to the number of people who are impacted by diabetes, and this includes immediate family members, there probably is just a small amount that choose to be active; and I will include those who are in the online community.

From a numbers stand-point, if there are almost 30 million people with diabetes and we add just a two-person-per-family exponential concern; that states an army of about 90 million people who have diabetes or have an immediate loved one dealing with it, are out there.  That’s a lot of people.

If you look at the entire online community and every diabetes organization you can think of, what is the number of people we are talking about…….4,5,6 million people tops?  So if six million people choose to be active in any sort of cause, advocacy, fund-raising initiatives…….where are the other 84 million?  And let’s be real generous and say 10 million are active, where are the other 80 million people?

So what does that tell us?  I believe that everyone makes their own choices.  Everyone decides what to do or what not to do……it’s their choice.  So if my numbers are anywhere near correct, is it safe to say that most people who battle T1 or T2 diabetes (and their loved ones) are more interested in just being acclimated into……well……life; and not to become any sort of advocate?

And the bigger question is are they wrong to feel that way?  Since this is the holiday season, is Scrooge’s comment a fair one from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol when he states; “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s.  Mine occupies me constantly.”

Is it enough to only be concerned with one’s own business?

When Marley’s ghost visit’s Scrooge, he reminds him that ‘mankind’ is/was their business and more time should be taken with the welfare of that same mankind.   It’s a true statement to think that, yes, our business of diabetes does occupy us constantly.  In fact, in some cases it is safe to say that we are almost consumed by the ‘diabetes’ around us.  But the question still remains, “If we do not help ‘ourselves’…..who, for goodness sake, will”?

I was having a conversation with someone recently, someone who is not ‘really’ impacted by diabetes.  They stated, “Have you looked online, ever, at the diabetes community….never have I seen so much bickering with people who should be of support to each other.”


There are many things you can do to help others.  There are many things you can do to help yourself while you help others.  But the simple truth is if you choose to do nothing, nothing will get done.  How much or how little you do is your call but know this; if we as a community do not uplift each other and support each other, we are destined to implode.

Perhaps we should just start with realizing there are differences in belief, management, styles, concerns, abilities; and start with a respect that the person we are speaking with is in the same battle as everyone else; even if they choose to do battle differently than us.  Maybe we should hold each other up a little more in support, as oppose to knocking each other down.  What on earth does that gain?  It’s not a matter of one winning but more of a realization that when that happens, we all lose.  And believe me when I tell you that the world outside of our inner diabetes circle………..sees it.

Scrooge also said, “We’ve been no worse than the next man, or no better if it comes to that.”   We can live like Scrooge lived, if we choose to, as well.  It’s our choice.  But also know that when he did not believe in those around him and refused to change his ways; three ghosts appeared to him to show him why he should.

I would rather not be visited by anyone when I sleep, much less three ghosts, how about you?

We might be better off not waiting for that to happen and to live with the attitude of ‘the little lame boy’ (notice the person living with something insidious is the same one to remind us) Tiny Tim, who chose to live life thinking of others and hoping that “God Bless us; God Bless us Everyone” should be the rule of the day.

Methinks he has a point.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Here’s a Secret About Our Kids………….A Secret You Probably WELL KNOW Already.

You-Are-the-Greatest-BalloonIt has been an incredible week.  So much has happened and I’m truly blessed with just…..so much good.  I guess the biggest news is that Kaitlyn graduated from University from Rochester’s Intensified Nursing Program…….Cum Laude no less.

She had received her undergraduate degree from Stony Brook and worked for two years and also was an EMT—-much of this has been written about before.  She does a lot.  Kaitlyn has never given 99% to ANYthing she has ever done——it’s 110% or…….none.  She is the new RN BSN in the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology and Adolescent Medicine at Strong Hospital in Rochester…..THIS was a good week.

I have stated it a million times, our kids do everything in life with an asterisk.  They achieve everything in life with an asterisk.  And only we, as parents, know exactly what that asterisk represents.  Sometimes I think our kids with diabetes do not even know what that asterisk is because they just ‘get on with their lives’ whereas we, as parents, watch from a mile up.  We see everything.  We know EXACTLY what they go through.  We know exactly the road they take.  We know the struggles.  We know the perseverance.  We know the tears.  We know the frustrations.

SO when something really good happens, we get THAT MUCH MORE excited than most parents….because we know.  Deep down inside, we know that others who do not have the challenges of living with an insidious disease do not achieve success in the same way our kids do.  When our kids succeed it is exponentially that much more powerful……..to us.

We could never share that with those who do not understand because……well….they would not understand.  It’s ‘just’ diabetes…….right?  But we know.  I do not have to explain to you all what I am feeling because you know it too.  A high mark on a test, a goal on the soccer field, graduating law school, or becoming a nurse who will now help others live as she lives…….with diabetes.  You understand that……don’t you?

So good news in our house.  And in a house that has diabetes in it, success is always just a little sweeter.  And that pun is deeply intended…….because we know……don’t we?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Today is THE LAST DAY to Get a Letter from Santa……Your Kids will LOVE IT!!!!!!

Santa wants youTIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR THIS, THE FIFTH YEAR!!!!!!–get your child’s personal letter from Santa today–last day is midnight tonight….and help fund diabetes research at the DRI.
For details click the link below:

“She got her letter today-it was absolutely fabulous!! SUPER impressed with all of the details and the fact that you guys talked about her YouTube T1 Diva videos! J LOVE IT!!!!!”

It must be done by midnight tonight (Tuesday).

I am a diabetes dad.

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



“She got her letter today-it was absolutely fabulous!! SUPER impressed with all of the details and the fact that you guys talked about her YouTube T1 Diva videos! J LOVE IT!!!!!”

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR THIS, THE FIFTH YEAR!!!!!!–get your child’s personal letter from Santa today–last day is the 15th (tomorrow)….and help fund diabetes research at the DRI.

But it must be done by midnight tomorrow (Tuesday).

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Death and Missed Dx….Are you Angry Enough To DO Something Today? Something REAL Easy.

T1D pixThere has been much happening in the arena of spreading awareness of the missed Diagnosis of type one diabetes; but it is not fast enough…..is it?  When I read of Tyson, my heart broke—-more needs to be done.  I will be presenting a fuller, more detailed, report next week on what has been happening.  But I have a resource for ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DO SOMETHING NOW—IMMEDIATELY.

IF YOU ARE ANGRY AT THIS, and many of you surely made it clear that you are—-are you mad enough to Just Don’t DO Nothing….are you mad enough to try to make a difference….NOW.

I have been fortunate to work with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) recently and Donna, their Executive Director and Sarah, their Certified Diabetes Educator; have really embraced us working together to make a difference in this battle.  I was even given the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at their Annual National Conference to share the importance of what so many of us are trying to do.  The School Nurse attendees were overwhelmed at the information.

Recently NASN included in their weekly update, in the “Nurses Tool Box” section (sent out to 33,000 members) a letter.   A letter which nurses should send home with any child coming into their office with flu/virus like symptoms.  We can all help this effort by printing a few copies out and giving them to the school nurse in schools in your area.  (see the link below)

This letter will make a difference.

Present copies of this letter to your school nurse and ask them if they saw this National Association of School Nurse’s sanctioned letter to be sent home with any child with flu/virus like symptoms; and ask them to keep a few copies in their desk and to use them.  Again, make copies and hand them to any school in your area——this impact can be real and it can be immediate!!!!!!  Here is a copy of the letter:
NASN Document School Nurse Letter

If we all did this in the upcoming week, we would immediately reach hundreds of thousands of kids.  Imagine saving just one family the heartache of what so many know all too well.  Imagine saving one life.  How mad are you?  Are you mad enough?  What will you do?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


NEWSBREAK: YES it Happened Again, Teen Dies from Undiagnosed T1D in DKA

Tyson IrbyI have stated it before and will state it again as long as there is breath in me; when Kycie, Reegan, and David passed away from undiagnosed T1D while in DKA (there is a link at the end of this story defining DKA)–they were not the first, and unfortunately they will not be the last.  This is not a topic that I enjoy writing about, but as many know—-it’s a driving force in any spare time I have.

David Irby was a teenager and I am going to copy and paste the exact opening from reports from the station that broke the news from KOLO News, the ABC affiliate in Reno, Nevada.
RENO, NV – The symptoms were just like the flu: sore throat, body aches, and nausea. But when Damonte Ranch High School senior Tyson Irby got sick a few weeks ago, he never got better. Within days he died of a disease no one knew he had. This wasn’t some mysterious disease, it was undiagnosed Type I Diabetes.

“He was just a great kid. High on life, just happy,” said Anthony Irby, Tyson’s father. “He was just full of life. He was happy, he was athletic. He just never seemed like he had bad days. Not a complainer.” 

Tyson Irby was a relatively healthy kid. He’d have your normal flu or cold every year, but who doesn’t? That’s why when he came down with flu-like symptoms last month, his parents thought nothing of it.

There are some fact-checking I still need to do in the story, and am checking on it presently.  But the result is the same.  Another child is gone because we did not know.  For those working on this subject matter, pass this story on to whoever you are working with…..there will be a swell of activity surrounding this story and it will slow down again.

I remind all of us, for as long as I have been working on this trying to make something happen, it will not be the last time and unless we all do something about it, the tide will not change.  DO NOT let this flurry of pain and anguish go without trying to do something.

<SIGH> This truly has to stop.

There are some people who are now doing things, if you are friends with them ask them what they are doing; they will share…..they are doing GREAT things to change this and you can too.  There is no monopoly on advocating this…..ask, get out there and do something with whomever you want.  If we do not do it, who on earth will.  If you need ideas, send me a message.

This is MORE THAN so sad, THIS IS SO AVOIDABLE.  People need to BE SURE they do not have T1D……..get involved, PLEASE.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

DKA Defined




An Event to Remind Us of The Sweetest Music in the World.

empire programHer name is Debbie, and she volunteers her time.  When I asked her what her favorite way to volunteer, she answered simply, “I sing.”

But Debbie’s way of singing is a dream for most others you see, Debbie sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (MTC).  At any given time, they pull into town after taking up three airplanes, 11 buses, and 200 rooms to house the singers and musicians—-all volunteer—-mega-known singing group. Their precision and talent is known world-wide; they are, in essence, the best at what they do.  They work, rehearse and perform.

Sometimes the music is ‘still wet’; meaning the sheet music they receive is barely dry when they start their rehearsals.  Of everything the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (MTC) is known to be, Debbie shares that her favorite is the way they uplift people. She has shared the stage with so many celebrities and this year, their holiday concert on public TV, will be no less as spectacular as the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be joined by the Muppets.

Debbie’s eyes twinkle when she shares, “Oh they were just wonderful.  Very professional.  And their mission, like ours, is to lift spirits as well”. Thus was my flight this morning at 5:00 am after getting home late from a black tie event in New York City…….but not just any black tie event, one that lifts spirits as Debbie shared of her beloved, Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  By doing something extremely positive and uplifting.

When almost 800 people are in the room together, you can bet your life that there was ‘much rehearsal’ in making sure everything went without a hitch.  The Unlock the Cure Empire Ball was about to begin. It can be pretty noisy when you get this many people in the same room at the same time.  But just as the conductor begins the 360 voices of the MTC, and the room silences; so too did this event come to a complete hush as one of the honorees, Carl Kuehner III spoke of his nephew, Matthew.

Matthew is a wonderful young boy who has had diabetes for some time, even at his young age.  He does not like it when he leaves a room and comes back in and people stare at him as if he is different, knowing he was out checking a blood sugar or dosing insulin.  His uncle shares how, once, there was a fire drill at school.  After all of the students exited the building Matthew began to panic and ran back into the building after exiting, knowing that he had left his diabetes supplies in the building, “No child should have to live that way”, Carl shares.

He’s right, no one should have to live that way.

The tears in the room showed that many agreed. When it’s safe and common to say, “I don’t believe in a cure, why bother?”, those involved in orchestrating this incredible evening believe completely otherwise and quite frankly, we should all take note.

You see Peter DiCapua, the Chairman of the event and this year’s Life Time Achievement Award Recipient (it will bear his name moving forward) does not have a direct family connection to diabetes.  Yet for over thirty years he has been involved with this event in a leadership position because he has seen the devastation of diabetes through his many friends who DO LIVE with this disease.  We, who do have loved ones, should follow Peter’s lead; WE OWE our children nothing less.

Peter takes the numerous honorees down to  the DRI each year to tour it, to listen, to ask questions, and to believe; as he does.  Peter has an incredible business mind and all those participating in the New York City-largest-of-its-kind Real Estate Black-Tie event which has been around over 30 year and has raised over 35 million dollars, well…..they take this VERY seriously. They search all over to make sure they are involved in one of the best places to invest their money to find a cure.

As my dear friend Charlie Rizzo ( a founder of this event) taught me a long time ago, I have to do what I do, it’s for my children.  Others do not HAVE TO be involved at all, but  they choose to.  I also am biased toward the DRI; I have never said otherwise.  I have searched long and hard also and would leave in a New York minute if I thought some-place else was worth the incredible effort of so many.

So many surely smarter than I, and surely able to donate where they choose, and yet, after their search, they support the work of the DRI. As Bill Sotomayor, another honoree stated to the captive audience, “I sat where you sat for years, and when I saw this magnificent place and witnessed the passion of those at the DRI; there is no other words but…….life changing.”

A magnificent event.

It’s important that WE ALL FIND a place we believe in.  Us here.  You perhaps somewhere else, and it’s ALL GOOD.  Just Don’t DO Nothing…..right? And a reminder from people who do not live our diabetes world day-in-and-day-out like we do.  A group who chose TO DO something.  A night to humble any man, and surely this writer was one of them.  A group who want to support a cure for your child and mine.  As Peter closed his comments he stated, “The only thing that would make me happier, is the day that what we seek is found, and we unlock that cure.”

And THAT attitude, my dear friends, will always be music to our ears.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


The United Nations of the Diabetes World……A Group of Masters at What They Do!!!!

DECA Group shot 2015Oh sure, we all know about diabetes camps.  You know; camps where kids have a lot of fun and learn about diabetes  Sure we all know about diabetes camps

But do we?

When you think of a diabetes camp, do you have the slightest idea how much work goes into planning one of these incredible programs of outreach?  If you think it’s just loads of fun where once an hour they get together to check blood sugars…….well….you would be grossly mistaken.

I spent some time recently with the directors of camps from almost twenty different countries bought together by the Diabetes Education & Camping Association (DECA).  Many were people with diabetes and/or parents.  One woman, Jacqui from New Zealand, touched my heart as she spoke of her child diagnosed with T1D while in DKA.  She realized that she needed to do more and gives much of her time into the ‘camping world’.  Her passion drives a country.  Everyone had/has a story

As they shared their songs from the different camps in the language of their homelands; people from Japan, Brazil and Portugal were just as excited to learn songs from Haiti, Paraguay, and Fiji.  You would think this ‘language divide’ would keep these groups apart from each other and, yet, is the commonality of diabetes and being children that over-rides everything else.

Their thirst for more knowledge is only surpassed by what they already know.  The art of presenting, staff training, fund-raising, the newest in diabetes ‘stuff’, how to ‘positively’ impact a child’s diabetes management, and so much more; and all taught and learned……. to what end?  So your child….YOUR CHILD has the best possible experience when they attend camp.

But DO NOT be mistaken, this is not merely planning for camps of the elite and the rich, this is planning for camps everywhere.  How to create a camp in Haiti, like Pam is doing, with complete devotion and with enough energy to fuel a generator.  When you speak to her, the focus is razor-sharp surpassed by her heart’s dedication.  The commonality of all in this group is that diabetes will just not do; not do as much in Argentina as in Brazil as in Tanzania as in New Jersey.  This group chooses to “Not do Nothing’, and they are masters.

Diabetes and the destruction that can be caused physically as well as emotionally is the universal language of this group.  And even more is the lesson how to live a positive and a healthy life with diabetes for everyone in every country  and THAT is the universal goal of this group.

I could not help but think, as I observed, that each of these camps is an entity on to itself.  They have to raise funds for their camp, they have to stand alone.  Across the globe, literally, they apply for grants and seek donations to help keep them in operation.  And, yet, here they are in one room.  The successful ones showing how and why they are successful for the others to learn.  The ones less successful (for now) asking keen and powerful questions to better themselves.

The give-and-take is flawless.  For so long powerful fundraising has been existing and there was an “oh sure, camps are important” attitude; as an after thought almost……perhaps.  What I witnessed was actually something that everyone needs to know; this group has mastered, absolutely mastered; the common denominator for the world.

For all organizations to learn that joining together for a common cause, our children, trumps everything else.  And no one group is better at taking absolute and separate entities that could actually be considered competitive in the way they seek money and seek involvement; then what I saw in DECA’s conference this last weekend.  And I have been around a long time.

Perhaps that ‘after thought’ group and their process needs to become the template for many, many others.  They have much to teach to not only their own members, but to the world around them……..if only the choice would be made by those outside this incredible group, to listen.  What I do know, without a shred of doubt is that DECA would be willing to share like no other.  They are not interested in their own existence or even survival as much as they are spending every second of their spare time…………..learning how to reach our kids.

If the focus is on our kids and/or those living with diabetes, they believe all else will follow and they have been living this way for years…….maybe it’s about time many more listen to those who have a proven formula of the success in sharing ideas and ideals as colleagues; and not staying isolated in silos as competitors.

“Day-O” or the ‘Banana Boat Song”  is not only one of the most known camping songs of all time but the song has a purpose; to teach commonality, togetherness, team spirit, and provide lifetime memories to those who share in the activity.   Maybe our diabetes community needs to be taught to sing together more often.   The commonality is always and fiercely our children; DECA knows that, their camps know that……..do the rest of us?

I am a diabetes dad.

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