What If Insulin Was Not Available at ALL??? To Some it’s a Harsh Reality.

Rose Spare a Rose---Save a childIn today’s climate where any opinion seems to be a wrong opinion……….to someone; would you like to do something to feel just a little better inside?  I think we all could say, “I wish I had a little more.”  “Life would just be a tad easier if…….”  I think we all have said that at some time or another and, perhaps, some even say it today.  What I DO KNOW without a doubt is that there are children in this world who will go to bed tonight and not know if there will be an insulin shot waiting for them tomorrow…….to stay alive

Sort of puts much into perspective doesn’t it?

In 2013, some members of our very own diabetes community came up with a wonderful idea called “Spare a Rose, Save a Child“.  Simply put; this year for Valentines’s Day, spare one rose, give one less, and send the cost of JUST THAT ONE ROSE ($5.00) to help a child get what they need dealing with their diabetes.

Did you know that just $5.00 could be a month of insulin for one child?  Well, it can be.
In fact 1 Rose= $5.00 enough for one month
2 Roses=$10.00 enough for 2 months
3 Roses=$15.00 enough for 3 months
…..and so on.

So think about it.  It’s my opinion that you will feel pretty good about doing so………I ‘m pretty sure that’s an opinion all would be in agreement.  Click here……make a difference. Spare a Rose, Save a Child.

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


Tonight On Our Shewwww……….And HERE they are; The Diabetes Community (Applause, Loud Screaming etc.)

Ed SullivanTo my knowledge, there was never a BOC (Beatles Online Community), was there?  As I watched the tribute of fifty years since the ‘fab four’ appeared on the Ed Sullivan show last night I, along with all of America I’m sure, just marveled at the impact these four from Liverpool had on the world around us.

What was going through their minds as artist after artist paid them tribute last night in a star-studded evening?  How could four human beings actually create the stir, the hype, the excitement, the headlines, and more hoopla than anyone could ever imagine?

To be clear, I believe they were/are beyond a mega talent of which we may never see the likes of again.  When you stop to think that all of this was achieved without the use of one ounce of social media.  None. Zilch.  No Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter photos and messages to spread the word about this unheard of group called the Beatles, it makes one wonder that much more at their success.

In an interview last night, Paul McCartney stated that all four could (and did) stand alone as incredible artists; and when bought together as one, the four created something very different that no one, even they themselves, knew would happen.  A different voice was created.

There is a huge lesson in that message for all of us in the diabetes community.  In the need to create something special, four talented young men joined together.  Paul met John, Paul knew George…..and they were off,  I have stated before that it is quite clear that there are many groups, organizations, camps, foundations, and boards doing wonderful things in the diabetes community. 

All are different and all are very good at what they do.  Very good.

I still believe if there was a successful attempt at just one voice for one message even for one day—-the coming together of every voice would create a new voice of which this world has never seen before.

And imagine what the impact would be in this world of diabetes if people heard just this one voice, asking for whatever it was that we all deemed necessary to change the world—-I guarantee it would produce hit after hit after hit.

Imagine the possibilities!!!!!!!

I know it is just a dream but it surely would be beautiful music, wouldn’t it?  “There are places I remember…………in my life I love them all.”

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Dear Valentine………..A Child’s Life Over a Rose……Is that Okay this Year??????

Rose IDFDear Valentine,

I was pondering whether to give you roses this year and all I kept thinking is; but roses die.  Sure they will look good for a little while, but roses die.

Surely I could find a better way to spend some money than just giving something already cut, and already dying. 

Surely we are both beyond the limit in our sensitivity to diabetes.  The impact in our lives has been earth shattering,  But yet, what we go through is nothing compared to other regions of the world that a diagnosis can also mean a death sentence.  Some countries are THAT FAR behind in caring for their own people.

Roses are pretty, but roses die.

I hope it’s okay with you, Valentine, but this year I’m going to allow the roses meant for you to stay implanted in the ground and donate the money to help a child who is not as lucky as ours.  Every five dollars donated translates to one month of insulin for a child in need.

It’s a simple program called Spare a Rose, Save a Child.  No one should die from not having insulin and the International Diabetes Federation will take our donation and make sure that insulin helps those children in need.  Anyone can do it, just by clicking right here.
Let’s hope others give a simple $5 as well.

A rose does not have to die, and neither should a child.    Please help today.

Happy Valentines Day.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Young Man Taking on Diabetes…….Let Him Know How GREAT HE IS!!!!!!!! Diabetesdad’s Hero of the Day.

IsaiahIsaiah is four years old and was diagnosed three weeks after his first birthday.  Proud mom just shared this photo showing off his new CGM which he put on willingly and ‘without tears’, I am told.  Look at the beautiful and energetic face.  This little man is ready for anything.  Diabetes will stop him from NOTHING!!!!!!

We write so many things about so many issues here on the Diabetes Online Community. On this post–please congratulate Isaiah for taking a step so willingly and bravely.  Whether someone uses a CGM or not is completely a call you can make with your family and medical team. But when made, as in this case, Isaia was ready, willing, and taking it all in stride. 

Mom tells me that Isaiah lives life in a manner where diabetes stops him from nothing…and THAT is why he is Diabetesdad’s Hero of the Day.  Please let this young man know how proud we are of him!!!!!!  Reply on this post with a message to Isaiah.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

“Don’t Ask THAT!!!!!!!!” Really?

Man yellingWhile at LAX airport awaiting my flight home yesterday, a young man in his early twenties (at most) was on-line.  It was clear that one of his arms was different from the other with only three fingers on a shortened arm.

A little girl of about 5 was staring at his hand.  He bent over a little and said:
“What happened to your hand?”

The young lady’s mother quickly tried to hush her and this young man, clearly wiser than his age would suggest, rebuffed the mom immediately.
“No.  Please let her ask.  Now what did you want to know?”
At this point the little girl became cautious and as she looked at her mom she slowly pointed.
“My hand.  Do you want to know about my hand?”
She nodded.

He went on to explain that it was just something that happened but he detailed how cool it was that he was so unique.  His voice was calm and his explanation was wonderful. 

His explanation.

It made me realize how many times over the years I have taken offense to a comment about one of my kids’ diabetes.  I have to think back to see whether I was overly sensitive or not;  but based on the interaction I saw at the airport I might make sure, moving forward, that I am answering the question and not reacting to someone’s lack of knowledge.

Back when, there was a time we knew nothing also.  Food for thought, yes?

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Mom Loses Her Son on this Date…….Her Continued Work Humbles Us All.

Mile 23 JerseyThis is something I wrote over a year ago but I bring back most of it today as a reminder…..not only of the life lost but the power of a woman who refuses to let diabetes win……ever.

Michelle Page Alswager is not new to being involved, she is not new to making a difference, and she certainly is not new to incredible pain.  

 MILE 23.

It stands for February 3rd  (2/3….or 23).  Today.  This date 4 years ago was terror personified in Michelle’s life.  It was on this day Michelle lost her son, Jesse.  Michelle would say that she continues at the pace she does (which is rapid speed and unyielding—stop does not exist), because it keeps Jesse’s name in our eyes, it reminds us who he is.

Mile 23.
You see, Mile 23 is a mile run in silent during any of the incredible bike rides you see happening around the country.  From Death Valley to the NYC-Washington trip, these fabulous bikers raise an enormous amount of money to help diabetes causes; but yet it is Mile 23 that grabs our attention when at each given ride, this mile is done in complete silence.  Just the chains rattling and the wheels spinning in absolute chilling harmony of tribute by groups of two wheelers.

This MILE 23 is a memory mile.  A memory mile  started in honor of the memory of an incredible young man named Jesse.   Jesse passed away due to diabetes on February 3rd, 2010.  His mom, Michelle, has made it a point to make sure that what happened to her family does not happen again.  But it has.  And now “that mile 23 for Jesse” is done for all who have lost this bitter battle of diabetes.

And to those who have had it happen, they have reached out to Michelle and Michelle has been there for them.  She knows.  And unless you have gone through it yourself, you would never understand.  I do not understand; nor would I even begin to relay that I do, I don’t;    …..truthfully…..may I never.

But Michelle has spent almost 4 years re-telling her story and re-motivating others to know that we all cannot stop and should not stop until a cure is found. She is a powerhouse of getting it done.  So at every ride, Mile 23 is reserved for reflection of those who lost the battle but more so; to remind the rest of us the importance of doing what we can.   

Every time I see the number 23, it reminds me of everything Michelle, The Nicholsons and so many others are yelling to us by their utter Mile 23 silence; “……do not stop.  If  we are not stopping–you have no right to stop.”    And they would be 1000% correct, we have no right to stop.  Don’t do nothing.

Michelle stated that she received a two page letter Jesse wrote from one of his teachers.  She received it from teacher after he passed away.  In the letter he said how proud he was of his mom for everything she did in his life.   Because of this letter she states, “….I know he’ll be there, and he’s proud of me.”

Think about that for a moment, please.

He was proud of Michelle, his mom. 

To the so many that redefined the meaning of a simple mile marker–number 23, especially Michelle Page Alswager, we are proud of her too Jesse.  Thank you for lending your mom to the diabetes community and especially to Riding on Insulin where she gives so much of herself..  A labor-of-immeasurable-love that will make sure your voice and memory are never, ever, silenced……as long as we all see, and understand, a mile 23.

And if Michelle does all she does to keep moving; so must we.  For what she does today; yes we owe that to Michelle, and we owe it to Jesse, and we owe it to our own children.  And as long as my hands are able to write, this date will be remembered forever.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Survey said I asked a simple question which was:
Do you feel you get enough support from your partner? If not, what one thing can they do to up their game?

Below I have listed just some of the answers.  If you find this laying around somewhere—it may be for a reason.  Do not get angry, do not get upset, open up and listen.  Diabetes is not easy for anyone; most of all your child.  If you see any comment that might be meant for you; it is not meant to ‘slam you’, try doing something about it for your child’s sake. (Also know that all responses were anonymous).

Here are the responses and I edited them a bit to keep them gender-neutral; that way they can apply in many instances. 

This is what your child’s ‘other parent’ had to say:

I am nervous every time I leave our child in your care overnight without me

Why aren’t you willing to learn, after so many years, even the simplest things about caring for our daughter’s diabetes?

What would you do if something happened to me and you had to take over the care of our child completely?

Thank you for trusting me to manage our son’s diabetes care. I know how much you care about his health, and that you will do whatever it takes to keep him safe, but some jobs require one manager with some support staff!

How can you not be involved in your son’s care…

These nighttime checks aren’t a matter of you not wanting to wake up, so you shut off your alarm and ignore it. These nighttime checks are a matter of life and death for our sweet child who didn’t ask for any of this.

Please offer to take over care for a week to give me a break and to really learn how to take care of your son. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you would be able to take care of your son if something happened to me? Or do you not think about that? I worry about it.

I wish you would help out with the night checks. I am exhausted most of the time and could use a break.

I would really appreciate it if you did 12am & 3am checks at least twice a week so I can get some sleep.

I appreciate that you are trying, but I wish you would learn more about this monster and how we are dealing with it. Showing up at the Endo appointment 4 times a year is really not enough. You’ll feel more included if you put the time in, AND our child will have the benefit of two great minds helping control T1D. 

Please support our child to look after his diabetes when visiting with you. I know as an absent parent you cannot understand the complexities of this condition and I do not expect you to be an expert. Please know that our child knows quite a lot about D, so please talk about it. I know that you don’t want to be ‘told what to do’ by your ex, but this is about keeping our child safe & healthy so please listen. Please phone me if you need any help whilst our child is with you. Please accept that they know more about this than you do and don’t overrule; ask questions and learn.

I wish you would check sugars or give a shot more than once a month!

Please treat us as a team — while I look after our child during the day & usually calculate carbs, I need your help. I don’t need lectures or ‘oops I forgot to ask to test because I was tired’ moments, and neither does our child.

It IS a big deal, it is a life and death deal !!!! Pay attention, and BE the parent.

If you notice supplies are getting low, don’t just tell me, do something about it.

Please try to be aware of what has gone on all day and be patient if your clothes aren’t clean, dishes aren’t washed, and the floors are sticky. If I’ve had a rough day caring for our child, just give me a hug.

Why don’t you take this seriously?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Some Things Occur that are not Unique to Just our Diabetes Community…….Food for Thought.

UniqueTwo events occurred within the last 24 hours that made me take notice.  Judy Martin was found dead in her home; Aaron Rodgers received an award.  Now you may think these two events have nothing to do with diabetes and on the surface they surely do not; but the aftermath very well might.

Ms. Martin was a beloved news anchor here for our local News 12 television station and when her death was reported with the cause yet to be determined, well the social media pages were flooded with people asking why, as well as sending condolences.  People wanted details and people were trying to find out exactly the cause of death ….sound familiar?  As I was reading the posts of her death, I just kept thinking how many times I have read of someone dying in our diabetes community and the posts that follow in social media.

Now I fully understand that parents asking about a death of a child surely has a direct reason to their own lives.  Almost as if to make sure they are doing everything possible making sure their child might be faced with a same fate.  Clearly the reasons for asking are different, but the ask is happening just the same.  People want to know why.  They want to know details.  They are saddened.  Sound familiar?

Aaron Rodgers received the Bart Starr Award this week.  Now surely that has nothing to do with diabetes either but my thoughts notwithstanding went again to the diabetes community for this reason: we are constantly asking, and/or stating that diabetes needs to be in the news more often.  Why was not this fund-raising event covered and/or why was not that conference covered?   Here you have a truly great quarterback receiving an incredible award, with an event attended by a god deal of football players, and it was barely a ‘blip’ in the news.  Sound familiar?

My point in these far-reaching stretches to make a point is simply this; the diabetes community is not so unique in the things we seek and the things that happened are not so unique to only us.  Other things happen to other people and other organizations that are truly parallel to what we see every day.  It was just a thought I had.

Yes we do want more coverage in the media about diabetes and so do others who have an agenda, although different,  as we do.  Yes when someone passes away, people DO want to know details, as we do..

Sometimes we should realize that it’s a big world out there with so much happening and our wants/wishes/desires, as big as they may seem to us, may not be as unique as we think they are.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Bee Gee, and an Incredible Moment which I will Never Forget.

Tom Barry Love and HopeHe is a superstar.  A mega star.  A golden voice, an incredible writer, and a friend fo the Diabetes Research Institute.  He will be performing this year, which he does from time to time, at our Love and Hope Ball next month.

He is getting ready to tour.  He was on Saturday Night live recently.  He is making the circles around the talk show circuit.  He mentions the DRI when he can.  He and his wife, Linda, believe in the mission of the DRI.  He was very close to Marty Kleiman, one of the founding families of the building which stands as a beacon of hope for all of us waiting for a cure of this dreaded disease.

I did not know Marty, I have been told he had incredible drive, a wonderful sense of humor, and the ability to make anyone feel comfortable when he was in a room.  He lost his battle to cancer and his family’s efforts are surely engrained in the fiber and heart of the DRI even today.  His son, and my colleague, Gary is one of the most knowledgeable people I know in the research world—he IS THE go-to person when something comes across my path of which I had not heard about.  Gary has had diabetes for a long, long time.  Yet he still has such a high hopes for a cure.

Some have become cynical about the cure, and that is surely their right.  I know so many have heard of ‘this cure’ for so many years that they have become jaded.  Some have just resigned themselves to the fact that if it comes great, but breathes will not be held waiting for it.  The promise broken too often.  It certainly is understandable.  But I cannot be that way.  Seems, neither can Gary.  Neither can so many more.  There is a reason we believe in the DRI even though so many of us have come from so many different walks of life in our diabetes journey.

It is not only what I have seen myself,  but when I see the DRI through the eyes of so many people who; ask the tough questions, who get involved because they too believe, have toured the building, who understand the science and say, “…the DRI gets it…..”, and so many who lend their talents, their money, and in cases like Barry Gibb; even their well-known and good name to the place that means so much to so many, that continues to inspire me.  Why would they be involved unless this place was so special?  Why would I? 
Many well-known people have inspired me with their incredible work to no end but it was a chance meeting two years ago that also showed me an incredible compassion as well.  Barry’s brother, Robin, was so very ill with cancer.  At the same time, my brother-in-law was also extremely ill with cancer.  Within months of our meeting, both of our loved ones would lose that painful battle.

Through a series of twists and turns, we ended up together back stage.  We talked about the brilliant concert he had just given at the DRI’s Love and Hope Ball.  I thanked him for giving such a great concert.  I said I knew a lot was going in his life and I appreciated his support for all of our kids with diabetes, even though his own family’s health battles were well-known.  He informed how grateful he was to once again be with us.  He also shared that he was surely concerned about his brother and I told him about my brother-in-law, Joel.  We talked a little bit about what we each were going through; and that will stay between he and I.

At the end of the conversation I thanked him, and we hugged.

Yes, hugged.

I have found that for most people, no matter their status in life, the connection of an incredibly shared human moment is something that transcends everything else……even if it just happens to be with one of the greatest icons in music history.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Cure……..Would any Trophy Ever be Big Enough?

Tom NBA TrophyIt is the biggest trophy in all of the NBA.  It’s sterling silver with a 24 karat gold overlay.  It weighs approximately 14.5 pounds and the ball is almost the same size as a regulation basketball.  Each year the award is created for the winner of the NBA Championship by Tiffany and Company.

In the USA, it is the highest award there is in all of basketball.  It is called the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.  Last year’s winner was the Miami Heat, and in fact, they have won it three times. 

I had the honor this week to work with many from that championship team and two very special families.  An event to raise funds for the DRI and the JDRF and an event for the opportunity to help people understand more.

What is most impressive about the Allen and Holtz families, who chaired this event, is their drive to make a difference.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars was raised including a $75,000 custom-made watch along with a pair of sneakers worn in a special championship series by special player which was auctioned.

Tom Sara LebronThe highlight of day for me was not what one might think.  It was impressive to meet some very big names in the NBA, it was impressive to see so many wonderful people doing so much, it was incredible to meet comedian/actor/writer, Chris Spencer, it was an incredible financial success, but it was meeting Ray and Shannon’s son Walker and Javier and Andria Holtz’s son Andrew that highlighted why today was so special.  These two fine young men are the ones dealing with diabetes every day.

Ray Allen makes it very clear that his focus is to want a cure for diabetes. 
Tom and Ray golfAs a fellow d-dad, I believe his sincerity one thousand percent.  He, and his family, are on a mission.  They have made a huge difference thus far, they will continue that trend.  As a d-day I am happy they are involved as much as they choose to be.

When Andrew Holtz spoke at the dinner, the entire crowd was moved.  It was a speech of hope.  It was a speech of being in a room full of heroes.  And to Andrew, it was more than his basketball heroes who came to the event, it was the heroes who came to help in a cause that The Allen Family and The Holtz families believe in.  It was a speech not to tell everyone how tough his life is (which we all know too well what Andrew must deal with) but, rather, how full his life is and how much he wants to see a cure for diabetes.  Being managed is not being cured.

A cure………..all the silver and all the gold in the world could not make a trophy ‘good enough’ to represent what that would look like; but then again, Walker and Andrew and all those we know and love who live with diabetes walking around WITHOUT diabetes…..who would ever need a trophy for that anyway?

I am a diabetes dad.

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