NEWSBREAK: T1D Hero to Make History This Weekend in Talledega

ryan-reed-carIt’s not only his unquenchable thirst to succeed;  it’s not only his drive to win; it’s not even his incredible relationship with the folks at Lilly Diabetes that keeps so many pulling for him—-it’s the way; at every turn (pun intended) Ryan Reed grabs the spotlight by the ears and points it at himself for, but, one reason.  In his words, “….not only to drive…..but more importantly, the opportunity to encourage and educate people who are living with diabetes and  those who care for them.  We will continue to share the message about diabetes awareness……”

Inspirational.  Educational.  Directly, with humility and charm.

THIS is why Ryan Reed is a hero…….big time.  And every time I’m with him, and his family, I feel like I’m just a friend of his mom’s—-because, you see, that’s how the Reeds make you feel; like you are part of their family.

But make no mistake about it, when Ryan climbs into that #16 car with the words LILLY DIABETES on the hood in big letters——-IT-IS-ALL-BUSINESS.  And that business will take Ryan Reed this weekend to a place that no one has ever gone before as he makes history as the ONLY DRIVER actively managing diabetes to race at the Sprint Cup Level.

This, a young man who was told just five years ago after his diagnosis of T1D, that he would never race again.  To Ryan, his mom, his dad……THAT was just unacceptable. And Ryan takes every chance he can to take the opportunity so kids know what he has learned; diabetes should stop them………………from nothing.

He doesn’t just say it…….he lives it…………and at 200 plus miles per hour.

After an incredibly close call last week…..Ryan has rebounded, ONCE AGAIN, to show the world that his diabetes IS NOT WHO he is.

The leading team of racing, Roush Fenway Racing has just signed a multi-year renewal agreement for Ryan to continue with them behind the wheel…..and now, in addition to the Xfinity Series; he is entering the NASCAR SPRINT SERIES.

He not only took the Xfinity Race in Daytona just over a year ago, not only qualified for the 2016 inaugural Xfinity Series Chase, now he enters the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well.  Race car driving is, indeed, like dancing with a buzz saw.  Ryan is at a trajectory of success which inspires everyone living with diabetes and a whole bunch of us who don’t.  Breathtaking to say the least.

Best of luck to Ryan, his family and to Lilly Diabetes who is the driving engine (pun intended again) to making it all happen as Ryan’s Sponsor.

WOW…………………..Start your engines indeed!!!!!!!!

I am a DiabetesDad.
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NEWSBREAK: Did You Cry Over Reegan, Kycie and Others—–a $1,000,000 Group Helping!!!!!

blue-candle-smokeThe blue candle.  Lit so many times, and I would dare say the most amount of times, has been when the diagnosis of diabetes was missed.  We have talked about it a million times.

We have also talked about the idea of corporate America backing diabetes causes. Well now the two things we have wished for; stopping kids from dying—and corporate America being part in the diabetes community are on a main roadway to become one……and this diabetes cause needs out help.

You may know some things about but what I am pretty sure the masses DO NOT know is that I have been in the room with Tom and Sarah (a mom to a T1D) from this organization, I have seen anger in their faces and tears in their eyes.
And through all of that Sarah has stated to me;  “We pledge to help make a difference in this battle”.

With an awareness campaign that we could have only dreamed of, they are going into organizations state-by-state with other moms, with an awareness campaign we could have only dreamed of when we started this battle.  With their membership, their ‘funky’-sort-of-style, their celebrity connections, they are utilizing everything they have to make amazing inroads. Sarah, was, and has been, true to her word. is working diligently to end this; but it takes a lot.

And now they are positioned to be given 1 million dollars from Revlon.
But they need out help.  They have pledged to continue this fight and it can get expensive.  We wanted corporations to be involved…..well went out and is trying to get them involved BIG TIME.  There is this competition challenge thrown out by Revlon called The Revlon, Love is on, One Million Dollar Challenge.  Over 100 charities are vying for 1 million dollars….whoever raises the most amount of money by time this contest ends this in the next week is given 1 million dollars by Revlon.

It looks like, right now, our friends at Beyond Type1 are third in this race with over $313,000 raised—–and they are not far behind number one which is at about $360,000. Let’s help Beyond Type 1 continue to help our battle against the missed diagnosis of T1D.  Posters, outreach, printing all costs money—-they have put celebs behind this effort as well…..they are really trying to help, lets help them as they are already knee-deep in the efforts of making sure not one more child dies from this disease not being diagnosed.

Their efforts have been monumental.

Did you light a blue candle?  Did you cry?  DId you get angry?  If many people give a little, BeyondType1 will catch up and become the number one spot.  I get it; we are all involved with many wonderful organizations; but if ever this effort meant something and tugged at your heart, please find a few bucks to help them—–we all talk about it ALL THE TIME why is not the diabetes community involved ‘in something like that”?  Well now a member of our diabetes community is not INVOLVED IN SOMETHING LIKE THAT, they are positioned to win the entire thing with our help.  Let’s give and help an organization that so wants to eradicate kids dying from missed diagnosis.  You cared enough to cry, please care enough to give.

Let’s extinguish the blue candle on missed diagnosis of T1D.  BUT IT IS OVER THIS WEEK SO PLEASE GIVE TODAY.   Thank you for caring about the voices who cannot speak for themselves.
Click here to donate to them, this effort, and to gain more information.

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


Why Do All Big Pharma Diabetes Commercials ONLY Sell Something……I Have an Idea…….

big-pharmaDoes it not seem like 1 in every 5 commercials these days is about some sort of diabetes med?  Is it just me?   This is America and surely any and all companies are free to do what they want with their money………..but…….


I have a suggestions for all those who take to the airwaves hawking their wares.  Maybe not a suggestion, maybe more like an ask,  Why not take just 10% of your airtime and offer it for some sort of diabetes education.  Here are a few ideas:
>Differences in T1 and T2
>Kids with diabetes…..are still just kids (bullying)
>We need a cure
>Highlight an organization (DRI, JDRF, ADA, Beyond Type 1, dPac, Diabetes Sisters, Hands Foundation, Help a Diabetic Child, Divabetic—all different-all good…..and THAT is just the tip of the iceberg)
>Different management options
>Where to get help
>……and the list can go on.

Imagine doing this….you surely can take the last 5 seconds of the spot….”This ad was paid for by XYZ Company…….because we care about the people we serve.”  We, in this diabetes community spend BILLIONS of dollars each year buying products—-should they now be able to give back, shouldn’t they WANT TO give back to those who support their product?


To all of you:—-I challenge you to find the name of a CEO of the any diabetes companies out there…..and send this to them.  If they need help, I will gladly help them.
Why not I say, why not?
I am a DiabetesDad.
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Are Rising Insulin Prices REALLY the Fault of Just/Primarily the Insulin Companies?

insulin-genericEarly on in my career, I was fortunate enough to be on the staff of the highest ranking official in my town.  My town was bigger than 11 states so it was a pretty large area. During a new snow, a constituent called because they had seen plows but no sanders (trucks with sand)  in the area.  “Karlya, look into this and get back to me”, were my orders from the boss.

So I did.  And we sent a sander.  The man obtained the personal phone number to my boss and he called again, and again, and again.  Each time I was called in to look into it.  “Boss, we sent the sander there three times, and I’m going to tell him we can do no more.”  Reluctantly the elected official agreed.

Four days after the snowfall, and when it was warmer and much melted, the man called my boss again and said, “We need a street sweeper here, there is sand all over my road.”

Can’t make this stuff up folks.

Sometimes, when there’s a lot of noise, the answer nor the actual problem, may be laying on the top for all to see and/or know.  I’m known to look at things from different angles and I may be a lone voice in this; but with the much chatter being passed around online—are we SURE that the rising cost of insulin is solely based upon the insulin companies themselves?

Look I have zero allegiance to any insulin company but I have been looking around a lot lately, and inasmuch as there is blame to go around—if all of the efforts are going toward the one entity WE THINK is the problem…..we better be sure THAT THEY INDEED are the problem, or there will be a whole lotta wasted energy.

I have discussed this before. I think rising cost can be based on quite a few factors, and owning the market is but a one.  How much is the insurance company charging to be on a specific tier, and on a preferred tier with the many, many insurance companies; if THAT is the case?  How much is the insurance company ‘mark-up’ because many times, the price you pay at point of purchase has many more factors than just the cost of the product.  How much does the retail store/mail order mark up the cost?  With so many insurance companies, there are quite few aspects WITHIN each insurance company and now multiply it but the FULL NUMBER of insurance companies; and do the same with the retailers.  With only (really) 3 major insulin companies it surely is easiest to say, “Hey, you three, listen to us.”

I say there is much more than that involved.

There is another factor here as well, with more ‘players’ in the process, it becomes easier and easier to for companies to tell us, “What are you looking at me for, it is not my decision?”  SO we as the patient/consumer are left to just keep going around in a circle.

There is also the factor that we demand much from our diabetes supply companies.   Quicker, smaller, more efficient, waterproof and the list goes on and on; how much cost of each product goes into the development of new products—-products we demand and scream about every chance we get.  Does cutting the cost impact that at all?

I get it….in the end it is passed on to us…..but we better know the giant we are fighting.

SO this article today is more a question and I REALLY WELCOME any and all comments.  Are we so sure that cost driven by the insulin companies is the only, or perhaps even THE MAIN reason, that insulin prices have skyrocketed?  Because if we are not sure, and we want our advocacy efforts to hold water, as we enlist the help from the government, congress, the FDA and many, many watchdogs——we better be pretty dang sure or it will all be for naught if the people we get around the able to discuss this…….are not the correct people around the table to discuss this.  Food for thought and ALL comments welcome.

I am a DiabetesDad.
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This is a Picture of a Pretty Smart Bird……Teaching us a Lesson in Life.

bird-carAre you waiting?  Is something out there and you are waiting for it to come to you?  You know, you might be waiting for a very long time.  Take a look at the bird in the picture, wanna know what that bird is doing?  I came across the bird while I was driving for a great deal of distance recently.  The bird was not alone.  I was able to get this one picture of this one bird, but many more were around.

I needed gas and almost as soon as I pulled off the highway and pulled into the gas station right off the exit ramp, this small group of birds congregated right in front of my car.  When I got out they scattered.  I got a cup of coffee and paid for my gas.  As I walked to my car I could not believe what I saw…..the birds were flying from the ground to the grill of my car.  Back and forth.  It is as if they knew dinner was waiting for them now attached to the grill of the cars coming off the speeding highway.  Kind of incredible, and a tad icky also; I guess.

Now who was the first bird that thought of that?  Instead of saying, “Hey let’s go fishing.” do they say, “Hey let’s go grilling at the Kangaroo Gas Station by the highway?”  But the lesson is learned here.

…and the lesson?

Doesn’t look like they ARE WAITING for anything… looks like they are GOING OUT and getting what they want.  No one is going to knock on your door and say, “Here it is”. I don’t care if it is a dream of yours or if it is trying to find out the best management tools for your child’s diabetes……go out and get what ever it is that you want/need.  And if you have obstacles, smash right through them.

This is your race with you in it—and it’s not about anyone else in the race… is about you.  As my friend Jay Hewitt (Iron Man extraordinaire) states, “How bad do you want it?”  Only you can make ‘it’ happen in your life.

Don’t be the bird in the tree waiting for the bug to come along to have a morsel of food, get out to the gas station and eat til your heart is content……it’s your call.

I am a DiabetesDad.
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The John and Paul of Naples Florida……Music to our Diabetes Ears.

john-and-paulI read something by Paul McCartney recently that really struck me.  He was talking of the many things written about the conflict between he and John Lennon.  He stated that inasmuch as it was true (most of it, depending on who is doing the reporting—far be it for media to get any of it incorrectly, right?), it was also a time he and John were very close.  Sir McCartney stated, “So much has been talked about in terms of the conflict and so forth. All that conflict, that’s true……But when you look at this particular period, John and I were very close.  We were working together well.  We loved the band, and we loved each other…..”

My take away as i read this quote was that despite differences, people can thrive. People can accomplish great things.  People CAN WORK together well.  In  the diabetes community, there are no two people truer heroes in this regard than Joe and Tami Balavage.

Joe and Tami have a child with T1D.   They found their niche in their battle when they created their nonprofit organization, Help a Diabetic Child. This organization has many hats and the list is long when it comes to those who had no supplies who were given the ‘stop-gap’ amount of supplies until they could become established in some sort of ling term help.  But this is only part of what they do.  This organization may be very small, but their reach is incredibly long.

Joe and Tami are geniuses at bringing many powerful people together around a table for one goal.  In the Beatles’ case the goal was great music.  In Joe and Tami’s lives—it is the welfare of all those with diabetes.

For the second year in a row, the community of Naples, Florida will be treated to an incredible conference to be held at the YMCA in the heart of town.  We (the DRI) have been asked to be part of the committee and we also have been asked to speak (Wendy Peacock will be there also to share her journey along with her team—-REALLY a great story to hear).  There will be great information and very knowledgeable experts sharing in the day.

What is most impressive is that anybody who has anything to do with diabetes in this community has been invited to sit around this table.  In this community, there are many….I MEAN MANY huge community medical centers and organizations involved with this event.  Joe and Tami are incredibly versed in keeping everyone focused on what is important, the patient. They have carved a pathway for each player (and there are ‘biggies’ at this table) involved to not only get something out of the day, but to be driven by the patient’s’ welfare more than anything else.  Not an easy task.

Tami and Joe are quiet-type people.  But they are also tireless in their efforts to have this entire community involved, ‘because those with diabetes deserve it.’  They are fierce in their belief, as Paul and John were, to make incredible music.  And the community has embraced this belief, working together in perfect harmony.

Many people are doing incredible things to make this the best community diabetes conference, ever.  If you are in the Naples, Florida area—-spread the word about the Naples Diabetes Conference.  Last year over 300 people attended, it WILL SELL WELL so register early—-it’s the best $10 you will ever spend (including CME’s for the professionals for the same $10).

Joe and Tami will be the first ones to deflect all that is being done to the planning committee and that is so typical of their style.  But make no mistake about, to the their community and the cloudy world of diabetes, because of Joe and Tami’s efforts, The Naples Diabetes Conference will surely see that; “Here Comes the Sun“.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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How to Bring Attention to Diabetes Causes……I’m Throwing My Hat in the Ring!

candidatesIt has been said, oh I don’t know, a million times; that we need to figure out something to do to bring attention to what living with diabetes is all about……, I had an idea.  If you are inclined to think that one of our presidential candidates is the right choice for you……PLEASE feel free to vote for the person you want.



If you are one of the voices who has made it clear that you are going into the polls and handwriting a candidate’s name (personally I have heard many from Mickey Mouse to George Washington)……I have decided to throw my hat into the ring.

Imagine……..election night……the newscaster…..

“Good evening we have a winner but also pollsters are trying to figure out who is ‘DiabetesDad’ and why did he receive over a million handwritten votes at the polls.”


Should I win, I will most certainly have a platform that is hugely diabetes related.
But I will not win.



Imagine the amount of press if a significant amount of people did just that……..

I am a DiabetesDad.
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NEWSBREAK: Patient Notification about Cybersecurity of OneTouch® Ping Insulin Delivery System

This was sent to me by Animas and I share it with you.  I BELIEVE this is more of an informative advisory than anything else………oh yeah; and welcome to 2016

October 4, 2016
Important Information about the cybersecurity of your OneTouch® Ping® Insulin Infusion Pump
Dear Valued Animas® OneTouch® Ping® Pump User,
Since 2008, the OneTouch® Ping® insulin pump system has been helping people with diabetes perform at their best, and we are committed to providing our customers with safe and reliable products. We have been notified of a cybersecurity issue with the OneTouch® Ping®, specifically that a person could potentially gain unauthorized access to the pump through its unencrypted radio frequency communication system.

We want you to know that Animas has investigated this issue and has worked with the appropriate regulatory authorities and security experts, as we are always evaluating ways to further ensure patient safety and security. We also want to assure you that the probability of unauthorized access to the One Touch® Ping® System is extremely low. It would require technical expertise, sophisticated equipment and proximity to the pump, as the OneTouch Ping® system is not connected to the internet or to any external network. In addition, the system has multiple safeguards to protect its integrity and prevent unauthorized action.

If you are concerned about unauthorized access for any reason, the pump’s radio frequency feature can be turned off, which is explained in Chapter 2 of Section III of the OneTouch® Ping® Owner’s Booklet. However, turning off this feature means that the pump and meter will no longer communicate and blood glucose readings will need to be entered manually on the pump.

If you choose to use the meter remote feature, another option for protection is to program the OneTouch® Ping® pump to limit the amount of bolus insulin that can be delivered. Bolus deliveries can be limited through a number of customizable settings (maximum bolus amount, 2-hour amount, and total daily dose).

Any attempt to exceed or override these settings will trigger a pump alarm and prevent bolus insulin delivery. For more information, please see Chapter 10 of Section I of the OneTouch® Ping® Owner’s Booklet. We also suggest turning on the Vibrating Alert feature of the OneTouch® Ping® System, as described in Chapter 4 of Section I. This notifies the user that a bolus dose is being initiated by the meter remote, which gives the patient the option of canceling the bolus.

The bolus delivery alert and the customizable limits on bolus insulin can only be enabled on the pump and cannot be altered by the meter remote. This is also true of basal insulin. We also remind you that any insulin delivery and the source of the delivery (pump or meter remote) are recorded in the pump history, so you can review the bolus dosing. The OneTouch® Ping® System continues to be safe and effective for helping you manage your diabetes.

If you have any questions, please contact Animas Customer Technical Support at or 1-877-937-7867.

Sincerely, Animas Corporation 965 Chesterbrook Boulevard Wayne, PA 19087

I am a DiabetesDad.
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Well Now You Know? Because THIS IS Important! Jeeeeez Lousie!

brad-angelinaAs I was heading down the hallway of the airport, I could not help but notice the entire rack of magazines, when I took this picture.  Each and every one had the break-up of ‘The Pitt Family’ on their front cover.

Now I’m not going to comment on the actual break-up except to say, there is a reason that they adorn the cover of every magazine on the rack at ‘The Hudson Store’ at Fort Lauderdale Airport and that reason is because people will read it.

Read it?????…….they crave it.  One woman in front of me had 4 different magazines.

This is a great lesson for all of us, the next time we want to know why the world-at-large does not care about diabetes; or what is new; or what your child goes through; or how desperate we want a cure or anything else diabetes-related….the above picture is your answer.

We have left the world of news.  Don’t believe me?  Look at this election coverage.  Are we seeing headlines about Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump having anything to do with REAL news?  We have tumbled into the grasps of sensationalism as I have never seen before.  Headlines are more about making one ‘gasp’ as they are about making news.
If person “X” does something ‘reportedly’ horrendous, we are spoon-fed the garbage and we lap it up like a desert-thirsty dog.

Well, maybe not ‘we’ as a whole.

And you watch… sure as this makes the headline, The Kardashians will do all they can to get themselves back on the covers….watch.  It’s all pretty silly, don’t you think? Now I’m not suggesting that you do something really silly to get the word out about your fundraising event, or an initiative that’s important to you in the constant efforts to educate the world around us….but this is just a reminder on what people REALLY care about.  If they didn’t, they wouldn’t publish it…would they?

Don’t you feel so much more enlightened?  Enjoy your week.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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The Eagle and the Fishing Pole…….and Diabetes, and Us

eagle-and-the-fishing-poleI love to fish.   I mean I LOVE to fish.  On the rare occasion I go for the big fish, we eat some of what we catch. I usually ‘catch and release’ much smaller fish….2-7 pound bass.  When we moved off Long Island and to South Carolina, we moved to a house that has a lake in our back yard, with much woods and forest across the lake.  God’s landscape.  Peaceful.

For me, it’s this side of heaven.  Usually when I finish work, around 7:30ish, but before dark; I spend 30-40 minutes casting outside.  I find it hugely relaxing. HUGELY relaxing.

For the past two weeks I have had company as I fished; a bald Eagle.   The female was with me for a few days and the male joined in.  Majestic, they are; to watch; to observe. Tonight as I was fishing, I realized something.  The Eagle was fishing too.  He sits on a high perch for hours….and hours.  He starts at about 4 pm…and just sits.  I come out at 7:30, and he is still sitting.  Much more patience than I will ever have.

As I cast my fishing line I notice that about every 45 minutes or so; he swoops down closer to the water and then back up on his perch about 60 feet off the top of the water, on a tree limb. We both sit and wait.  He swoops, I cast.  He is observing and I’m looking; both of us at many different angles from where we stand/perch.

The focus for us both are the fish.  But we go about it differently.  Completely differently but we both spend most of our time focusing on our fish.  The trees do not ridicule us because we do things differently, neither do the frogs, nor the grass, nor anything else in the world around us—–we fish and life goes on.

It’s nice that way.

As far as I am concerned……as a community we need to continually bolster any sort of advancement that happens in our world.  Our focus are those living with diabetes; those we love.

If anything makes their life better our community needs to rejoice in it.  I stated a thousand times, the original pumps were the size of astronauts’ back packs. Advancement.  All needs to start someplace and all need support moving forward. Whether management tools, or research advancements…….we need to applaud loudly at what is being done for our loved ones.  Because if we do not….who will?

For over 24 years I have watched so many incredible advancements come and enter our lives; I have seen advancements fail–and break our hearts……but the spirit; THAT SPIRIT that knows we must continue.

Maybe you catch with a simple fishing rod; maybe you catch fish as majestic as an Eagle.  But the important thing IS TO FISH.  Focused on the work you find important with not enough time for negative energy because honestly……..we all have too much important fishing to do on our own.  It would serve this community well to celebrate when anything new and exciting comes along.  Makes fishing a lot easier and a lot more rewarding.

The Eagle and the fishing pole……..think about it.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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