John Lasseter—Frozen’s ‘Let it Go’ and Elsa, Relates to His Son with T1

Frozen Let it goNOTE ADDED: In some postings it has Anna in the headline—it has been corrected accordingly to be Elsa; which is the correct character.
Tonight on Behind the Scenes Look at  The Story of Frozen on ABC, creator, genius John Lasseter talked candidly about the character of Elsa and how he saw similarities with her feeling alone and different from all others and it was how his son had to feel when he was diagnosed with his type one diabetes (his son was dx in 2001).

Even though the Lasseters have been very open about their son’s diagnosis for years, and have been very supportive of many diabetes organizations, I believe this is the first time he has actually stated any similarities with any Pixar Character and his son with diabetes.  Clearly someone can feel free to add a comment if they know differently.  I actually wrote about Finding Nemo over a year ago; but that was just my observation.  Mr. Lasseter clearly compares Elsa’s ‘secrets’ with those of his son and those with T1 diabetes.

Someone on FB mentioned this recently and I could not find the person who stated it; so if it was you, feel free to step forward.

He further stated that the famous song, Let it Go also had similarities to what his son with T1 must feel in dealing with so much that could be overpowering.  He, like the song, needed to let it go.

When the link from tonight’s show becomes public, I will add it to this column both in the comments and in the text of the article.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Does the First Day of School Feel Like the REAL NEW YEAR’S DAY????

School's openThey are everywhere. Pictures of kids beginning their first day of school.  K through college, every grade in-between, and the first day of school (typically) happening this week with kids ready to go.  I have always felt that this week is more of a new year….well than New Year’s Day.

It is at this time that you look and see just how much your child has grown from last year to this year.  That gawky senior in high school is truly a young man starting in college and that little girl has become a young lady.  The school year has begun.

Rob started his sophomore year in college this year.  Hard to believe that he is that old already. Seems like just yesterday……….well……..you know.

There is such a ‘newness’ when school begins.  The year ahead will be filled with so many opportunities for each child starting out.  Who will excel in studies, or make the team, or audition and be cast in the school musical this year?????  So much for them to do.

Thank you to the so many who posted pictures of children ready to tackle the first day….they all looked fabulous and may this year be an incredible year for them and for you.

My wish for this school years is that my son has a teacher who truly loves the world of computers as much as he does.  Someone who can teach more than one can learn from just what is in a book.  Someone who can share his excitement.  What is the one thing you wish for your child as the school year begins?  Share it with us.  And good luck to all.

School’s Open!!!!!

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Labor Day and Diabetes—-DO You Know the INCREDIBLE Connection?

DRI building construction flagHappy Labor Day.  Or as I like to say ‘happy-and-thanks-to-an-incredible-group-of-people-who-keep-hope-for-a-cure-alive-in-my-eyes-day”.

You see, the idea of Labor Day becoming a legal holiday in the 1880′s to honor the Central Labor Union of New York and New Jersey; which would ‘morph’ into the many divisions of what we now call the AFL-CIO.  It was ‘this celebration of labor’ that became the national holiday we now know as Labor Day.  What does that have to do with diabetes?

A division of that group of the AFL-CIO, (now the) North America’s Building Trades Unions had a connection to a Doctor and a group of families who all started an organization called the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF).  The DRIF’s philosophy was to build a building, a center, where the best minds in the world could come to one place with all phases of research in one building (basic, preclinical, and clinical) so the research could happen all-inclusive, like the Manhattan Project.

What was missing for the DRIF, was that all important building.  Through an arrangement with the building trades, an agreement was reached that not only would they build it, they would collect the money needed to do so, and when completed–donate the entire project to the University of Miami, where it would be incorporated into academia, which was needed to receive competitive grants.

The result of those discussion became the Blueprint for Cure which is the banner name for two crucial initiatives; DADs (Dollars Against Diabetes) and the Labor of Love (LOL) Weekend.  These two initiatives are made up of over 70 events which were run by members of the North American Building Trades Unions to collect money in June (Dad, Father’s Day…get it…cute huh) and a major event weekend each year, all to build this new building focused on curing a diabetes.

How did it all work out?

Well if you look at the picture above you will see an American flag at the top of the building under construction.  Upon completion two things happened; the group of parents offered the friends at the North America’s Building Trades Unions the naming of the building to which their response was, “No thank you.  Just place a plaque at the entrance of the doorway that reads, Built by the hearts and hands of our nation’s building and construction trade union members, whose generosity and craftsmanship knows no bounds.”  It is on the wall as you enter the building.

Indeed.

The second thing that happened was knowing, as we all know too well, the work towards finding a cure is a hugely labor-some endeavor, the same group who raised the money to build the DRI, continues each year to raise funds to help fund the research that occurs in the building they built.  Some forty years and 50+ million dollars thus far; they have become (pun intended) the absolute cornerstone of the DRI’s work.  The DRI could not exist were it not for private donations in addition to the many wonderful grants they receive. If these wonderful men and women of the building trades are the backbone of the building industry in this country, it is crucial to understand that they remain the heart and soul of the incredible efforts in finding a cure for diabetes.

So while Labor Day surely is a wonderful time to celebrate the worker in America, it is also a time for us in the diabetes community to be reminded that an 87,000′ building of hope for all of us stands because of these hands and hearts of the North America’s Building Trades Unions.

God Bless each and every one of them.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

When it Comes to Diabetes……There is NO HUMOR in this matter.

Little boy peeingSay the word ‘pee’ in a group of kids and snickering will surely follow.  Peeing, all need to do it, and we all do it.  When I lecture in grammar school classrooms and I say that constant urination, or peeing, is on ‘the list’ dealing with diabetes; snickering starts.

I hit the snickering dead to rights.  We talk about peeing for a little bit, starting with just a little humor, but saying it enough times and having them say it a few times….and the humor is gone.  It becomes just a word.  It is a just a word….right?

Not to kids with diabetes……it can be a nightmare.  For both males and females.  It needs our attention.

Peeing is no ‘snickering matter’.  As a child gets older and peeing occurring from various levels of blood glucose numbers becomes more than a ‘not snickering’ moment—-it could become trouble.

Leaving the discussion of accidents aside, the psyche of a child who is in a junior high school or high school level and has to raise their hand to use the bathroom can be something that your child will have to deal with, and you should also, in advance.

Going to the bathroom, if it is not already, should be added to your child’s 504 (or other) health plan.  We made sure that each teacher knew that our kids had this right and by raising their hand with the ‘blue pass’ in their hand, we had the teachers understanding to the point that they would just nod to acknowledge that they saw it.  In later years, our kids  could just get up and go and the teachers knew what the situation was……and THAT was ideal.

It’s VERY IMPORTANT for our kids to know that ANYthing dealing with diabetes should never be something to take advantage of whether it be bathroom breaks, cell phones, and in all things with diabetes ‘special treatment’.  Do what is needed, and return to the classroom promptly.  The more your child respects these rules, the more the teachers will understand (in most cases).

Help your child along and make sure each teacher your child encounters in their day has someway of knowing that them getting up to go to the bathroom is okay.
This is something that, many times, does not get considered and it is something your children should not be left to deal with on their own.

Peer pressure is enough……clear the hurdle in advance……your child will be most appreciative.  Discuss it with your child, find out what they need, and work it out.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Is it REALLY Okay to Seek Medical Advice from Other Parents?

Lucy teh doc is inThere was a d-mom who was unable to be with her child who has diabetes.  The child was staying with her grandparents and her meter read ‘high’.  A second reading was taken, and ‘high’ came across again.  She, unable to get to where her child was, asked what should she do, or have the grandparents do?

As I read the responses, one thing jumped out at me and I wanted to open a dialogue to get your input, your feedback, and your advice.  I read 36 comments and in those 36 comments, only 12 stated for the grandparents to call the physician.  And in some cases they stated to try something first and if that did not work, to call the physician.

That was troublesome to me and I wanted to know how you felt?  For someone to come on-line and give about a four sentence synopsis of what her child was going through, it left me to wonder if it is right for the online community to think, without knowing anything about the details of this family, that it is okay to give medical advice?  Is it “universal’ to just start giving the patient water, adjusting an insulin dose, or to have them exercise, or to give advice because it works most of the time?

Is it okay to jump in and give advice based upon the fact that the mom was asking for it?

Is most of the time, every time?  I ask you; is that good enough?

But my day of calling the Doc is ‘yester-year thoughts’ and I wanted to know if it has become where the advice of ‘most of the time’ is a good start to be given by people who do not know your child at all, before the physician is called?  Has ‘my day’ opened to a different thought process because of all of the online communities?

This was not what do you think of a certain meter, or have you encountered ‘such-and-such’ in school and want to know advice; this was a child presently in a medical situation of a meter saying ‘high’ and asking for advice. Would you ask for advice?  Would you give advice other than call someone on the medical team?

It very well may be that it is an accepted practice with the speed of internet connections today but I was just curious if you, as parents, feel that this is okay?  Would/do you take advice from people you do not know, or know peripherally, when it comes to your child?  And I understand that in some cases, the medical team contacted, does not know the child all that well either.  But what is the right call, and that is why I am asking you?

It may be that the overwhelming answer is yes; but I ask the questions so all can learn and all of us can understand.   Your thoughts please?  Thanks.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

I Think We Should have a Hippo named “Hypo”…..Don’t You?

HippoDoes anyone else think of a Hippo when they see the word, or experience a, ”Hypo”.  I think there should be a Hippo named Hypo.  We feel the weight of the world on our shoulders when we are faced with a “Hypo” so the weight on our shoulders is about the same of carrying a ‘Hippo’ around isn’t it?

The stress we feel can be overwhelming at times when it comes to our kids with diabetes, of that we can all agree.  We, as parents, are not only deeply involved with our children and all that needs to be done in the day-to-day management of the disease, but we are also propped upon a perch observing what our children do every day interacting with others, or even being on their own.

When our child has a Hippo (uh….ahhh….er..I mean a Hypo) we tend to them immediately, don’t we.  We take them; off the field, in a corner backstage, or just to the sidelines and treat them.  We do what we have to do and get them back to where they need to be.  Off they go.

And it hits us.  No one else has to do this, our poor child should not have to even deal with this stupid disease?  Why can’t hey be allowed to just play?  Why can’t they be allowed to just do what they want without worrying about this disease?  We ask ourselves this each and every time, don’t we?

But here is the thing that we must realize, because of you…….that’s right—–YOU!!!!!–because of you and the fast acting way you have perfected dealing with your child’s low reaction during activities, in most cases, your child will barely give it a second thought.  When you treat them and they get back on the field as fast as they do, you are like the lightening speed of a ‘pit crew’ of a top-notch race car in a big race.

Your child pulls off to the side and you as a single team of experts doing all of the necessary ‘checks’ to get your child right back out there.  You have it down to a science.  You have perfected it over the years.  You know the focus is to get them ‘back out there’ and you are amazing at it.

But each and every time at night, when you are alone, it hits you and it upsets you.  If you told your child that you were upset, they would tell you to forget about it,  They would give you the “bye” you seek.  They have already moved on from everything dealing with the most recent hypo-reaction to the day they were diagnosed.

“I got it, let’s move on.  I am back in this game of life.” 

They can do that and they would tell you to the same.  Our kids are amazing and they move on each time.  Us? It hits us and we feel as if we are being sat upon by a hippo…..I think we should choose to try to do what our kids would do and give ourselves a “bye”.  Or maybe it is the fact that we take on the weight of everything so they don’t have to, and that is most important to us……that would make sense wouldn’t it?

We are parents and their happiness and their striving for goals THEY WANT…….for now…….that serves as our ‘bye’.   And next time you feel down about it…….you making them succeed is as powerful as it gets and carries more weight in their success………………..than even a hippo.  Remember that…..always.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Reminder about Some Pretty Good “Insurance”.

GeckoRecently I was on business in the state of Florida.  As I left the parking lot, I spent 10 minutes trying to get this (what I thought was) little green gecko off the roof of my car.  There I am talking to the little cutie by telling him to get off or he will be blown into oblivion.

Well he would have none of it.  So I had to be on my way.

As I travelled, I came to my destination and there he was, clinging to the side of the car after a 10 mile trip where at times I was at speeds of 55 miles per hour.  I posted a picture on my FB pages and stated that it was clearly a marketing attempt by a company to get me to switch my car’s insurance company (waste of time I already am a client).

Many people, of course, immediately wrote to tell me that my little friend was not a Gecko but rather a Green Anole.  Okay.  Does a certain insurance company know that?  What I found fascinating about this little guy is the way he held on for the amount of time I was on the road.  It gave me two thoughts.

The first is do we hang on sometimes for dear life just so we are not blown off the vehicle and squished to no end.  Or are we hanging on because it is a really cool ride and we will stay with it as long as we can.  I would like to think that I am holding on because it is an incredible ride.

On my flight home last night, I sat next to a woman who had incredible stories to tell me about her family and her son in California.  I love listening to people and her life was so fascinating from the offices in Manhattan for most of her life, to her movie-writer son who with his wife, just made her a grandmother.  All of it, just fascinated me.

As we talked I shared some things about some of the things that have transpired in our lives and she looked at me and stated that my life sounded so incredibly fascinating.  Really?  As we look back at our lives do we see that we walked through any door that opened, and any one that closed did not stop us from moving forward?  Are we ‘clinging to life’…..or like my new little-gecko (Anole)-friend……just enjoying the ride.

Our lives ARE fascinating and it is important to step back every now and again and realize just how much we have experienced which has increased our knowledge in so many areas.  Even in the ‘ugly’ where we were holding on for ‘dear-life’ we made it through and became stronger.  But at the end of the day, we must enjoy the ride, like my little Gecko (Anole) friend.

How do I know he made that choice….well because at the next stop he was still there as night began.  I looked at him and said, well little fella you surely taught me a lesson today…….how do I know you weren’t just clinging on for dear life?

As the words finished….he walked up the car and posed for me.
20140826_162604 (2)
And proceeded to jump off the car and disappear into near-by grass.

Answer received.  Almost as if to say, “Thanks for the ride pal”.

Moral of the story……..the choice to cling or enjoy can be very close in resemblance some times……choose to enjoy.  That is a choice we can each make.   Take time to look and see it………in the end it will make you stronger.  It will teach each of us how we face each tomorrow…….and THAT’s…….. pretty darn good insurance.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Today is Declared……..A Day of Fluff. Enjoy!

FluffI have decided to declare today…….a day of fluff; you in?

I’m unsure who it is that has the power to declare a day in any such manner but if it is something that everyone wants, why not?  So today is a day of fluff.  You’re welcome.

We are all bogged down with so much.   We have jobs, family, and so many other things that distract us, needs our attention, needs our time, and most of all needs our energy.  Too much ‘stuff’.    Don’t you wish you could have a day that is just for you and really is a day where nothing else matters.

Poof.

Fluff.

Fluff is so cool.  Fluff is the opposite of stuff.  We have so much ‘stuff’ going on that we run morning, noon, and night.  Stuff going on, stuff happening, ….too much ‘stuff’.

Fluff is nothing. Almost like a cloud.  It feels soft, it wraps around you and holds you.  It is gentle.  It is no worries, no pain, no running around, no ‘have-to-do’ anything today because today is a day of fluff.

Take it, enjoy it, because tomorrow you have to get back to your stuff; but today is a declared day…………………..of fluff.

Enjoy.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Take Life with No Regrets…..One Shot at Being Happy…What’s Your Choice?

Live no regretsPeople know nothing about this disease……
We need to do a better job educating the public…….
People have no idea what we, as a family, go through on a daily basis….

Diabetes?   Right.

Answer, No.  I found these comments on other sites dealing with heath issues other than diabetes.  They are out there you know.

I have always felt that no one disease has it better or worse.  We just…….have it and have to deal with it.  Someone once stated that they would rather have diabetes than a disease that can take your life……..my answer was that I know a few parents who would take strong issue with that statement>

No one should live in a defeatist attitude living with diabetes but it is important to understand, or if not understand than realize, that every disease state has issues much like ours in the diabetes community.  We feel misunderstood, an uneducated public, the need for better treatment, and the ultimate desire for a cure.

These feelings, I have found, are fairly universal.

We can spend the time defending why diabetes is better or worse than something else; but really—–what does that accomplish?   If you want to help others, for whatever the reason—I say go for it.  There probably is not a family on this living earth that does not  ‘have something’ that they are dealing with even those who you might think otherwise.

One of the reasons my heart broke over Robin Williams’ actions is that it is very easy to think that the man had it all.  But if you have it all and you’re drowning in depression……you don’t have it all, do you?

I would like to get to the point that even with diabetes in our household, we have it all.  It makes no sense to dwell on all of the pitfalls that come with diabetes…..or any other obstacle for that matter.  When all is said and done, we will have only…….well…..what we have.  I say to make the decision to move forward because the alternative just is not a viable option.

Live life for today.  Live today for all it has.  Live.  And live everything with no regrets……because you can’t change the past anyway—–move forward.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Why is there NO Ice Bucket Challenge for Diabetes?

Dorothy OzUnless you have been on another planet for the last month, you have seen the many, many ice bucket challenges that people around the world are doing to raise funds for ALS.  Bravo, them; I say.  Even with a bit of envy as anyone involved in raising funds can appreciate when something of that magnitude works.

This incredible event has many thinking, should the charity I belong to, do the same?

I’m a  creature of history; to learn from the successes and not to repeat things that have not worked so well.  I study things to see what is the real reason things happen.  Over the years almost every charity does a walkathon and I am not so sure that anyone did so with apologies to the March of Dimes, which was the first of the large-scale walks.  What charities did, though—and here is the lesson; they made the event ‘theirs’.

The JDF (now JDRF) Walk for the Cure (which was the name until changed to Walk to Cure Diabetes) took the same concept of the walk and under the genius of a man named Steve Leonard created an event that literally put JDRF on the map as nothing before.  It was just a walkathon, but Steve added the idea of family teams to make the event a powerhouse.  The lesson: if you do a fund-raiser that is out there already—-make it your own.

The ribbon.  The pink ribbon for Breast Cancer…..they were first, right?  Not so fast.  The people involved in the AIDS movement just might beg to differ with you as their red ribbon may very well have been the first. AIDS Ribbon What the breast cancer folks did, is take that concept to a much larger audience, women; and state something that resonated with them to take it to a larger audience. The lesson: take something that will resonate with those you are involved.  The ribbon is not what was new……making it ‘pink’ and standing behind it in large numbers; perfect.

The rubber bracelet.  “We have to get a bracelet and make it our color and get to everyone we know”.  First?  Nope.  That honor belongs to the now disgraced Lance Armstrong.  Live Strong’s bright yellow bracelet was the first and others copied it; and could it be that the yellow bracelet was only someone else’s MIA metal bracelets from years ago?  Where, for a donation, you received a metal bracelet of a Prisoner of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA) from the Viet Nam era and wore it until their return, or being found?  The more an idea changes, the more they are the same.

So you see, not so new.

Now the ice bucket phenomena?  And it is, just that.  Truth is there have been challenges for many things that go far back but this one was the right event at the right time.  It started with a bunch of guys who wanted to do something for their buddy, a baseball player from BC in New England who was stricken with ALS.  From there the rest is history.

Why/how this happened? Well many will tell you many reasons and I’m sure experts have already begun to try to analyze it so they ‘can teach’ others about it.  It’s my belief that it comes down to utilizing the social media in its finest form and utilizing large numbers of people to spread the word.  Because this young man had many friends—it was not 2 became 4 became 8 became 16; more like 50 became 100 became 200 became 400 and away they went.

Lately, many people have asked why is there nothing like this out there for diabetes.  A bucket of water? NO.  But look around you.  To utilize a wonderful quote by Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ; I know that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire, I’ll never go any further than my own back yard. For if it isn’t there, I never really lost it.

Amen sister.  Before everyone starts to look for THAT NEW ice bucket challenge, I say you do not even have to look further than your own backyard.  What you do have to do—-is get behind it.

Moira McCarthy StanfordMy good friend, diabetes advocate powerhouse, Moira McCarthy went to her many friends online (and I am sure offline also) and raised a good deal of money for the JDRF Ride held recently.  And she was by no means alone and they do the same thing and it raises millions of dollars, nothing to sneeze at by any means.  The power of social media helped that recent event and many other events that JDRF and the ADA organize with large numbers of people.  Those are events you can both participate and get behind.  If someone is doing something and sends you a link; pass it along with a personal note from you.

And if it is something ‘new’ you are looking for, that no one else is doing that is just an idea that an individual does on their own, well Thirteen-year-old Jonathan Berman launched an incredible initiative at the Children with Diabetes Conference this year in early July.  His idea, give a dollar, JUST ONE DOLLAR, to help find a cure for diabetes.  Jonathan’s Power of One has raised over $3,000 thus far to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute.  Stand behind that; share that idea.

And here is one that happens every year that I bet you did not know existed.  Instead of buying a dozen roses, you buy 11 and the price of the twelfth one is donated to the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child to help children who cannot even afford insulin.  Share that idea around Valentine’s day; stand behind that idea.

And there surely are more.

What all of these ideas need……is just a large number of people to stand behind them.  And that IS the us, the diabetes community.

So before one thinks that there is nothing out there and ‘why doesn’t the diabetes’ community get behind something—-I say, THEY ARE OUT THERE.  Support them.  Some have been here already, some are the idea of a child, some are just as unique as an ice bucket.

The lesson here is that if this community, the diabetes community, chooses to stand behind something and give it the push needed—-THAT IDEA WILL BECOME THE NEXT ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE.

I say you do not even have to look beyond your (our) own backyard.  Dumping a bucket of water on someone is surely not new.  What was new is that a group of people got behind that bucket of water and gave it the push needed.

Give something the push needed.

That is my challenge to you…..and you do not even have to get wet doing it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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