Celebrities Should Help with Diabetes Causes…….Uhm……They DO!!!!!!!

Vip Clip Art and Stock Illustrations. 4,576 Vip EPS illustrations and ...When people help us, it should never be forgotten. 

I have often read comments from people in the diabetes community about how they wish people, celebrities, would do more to help.  The truth of the matter is that there are quite a few. 

Of course we always believe that our diabetes concerns should be front and center but it is a big world out there and only limited space for so many causes.  Let’s take a look at just some, and a BIG ONLY some, of the celebrities and how they have helped in various causes.  Without question, the leading celebrity voice for diabetes causes is Mary Tyler Moore. 
(In all of the examples below, click the picture to see the short video.)Commercial MTM

Ms. Moore’s efforts on behalf of the JDRF span the decades but she was not alone in assisting diabetes causes and there have been many.  Ever see this one with Sandra Oh, Nicole Johnson, and Brett Michaels to name a few.
test don't guess

Are there any Ray Romano Fans out there?

And for you boxing fans; Sugar Ray Leonard.
Sugar Ray Leonard Helps Knock Out Juvenile Diabetes | Type 1 Diabetes ...

He not only did this PSA for the DRI (actual website is www.DiabetesResearch.org) but also did them for JDRF.

And music sensation, Nick Jonas, did much work for many organizations, here is his PSA spot for the American Diabetes Association along with Jay Cutler’s spot as well.
Nick Jonas PSA

jay cutler football
Many celebrities from sports and entertainment attend events on our behalf, testify before congress, lend their names and their time to attend events, donate money (many times without any fanfare), and even perform, as is the case tonight in Miami where music icon Barry Gibb will be singing some of his top hits from the Bee Gees at the DRIF’s Love and Hope Ball for almost 800 people.

This is but a sampling (and surely not a complete) of an ever-growing list that includes others like Ray Allen and his family, Olympian Gary Hall and Kris Freeman, other football greats Kendall Simmons and Vince Wilfork, race car driver Charlie Kimball and there are many, many more of which I have not forgotten, but only used a sampling to show that so many DO INDEED care; and help. Feel free to add anyone you want to mention as a reminder to everyone else.

We surely would love for many more stories in the news and the media to center around diabetes and surely we would like the list to grow, and the stories be more plentiful, but we should also recognize that many do much.

And we all surely appreciate it………don’t we?

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’.

Limited Only By Imagination……..Our Kids!!!!!!

CWD1334I love sunrises and sunsets.   While I was attending Hofstra University, I would sit atop the tall dorms and watch the eastern and western skies.  It was so relaxing for me.

The sunrises.  Oh my oh my I have stated on so many occasions that no one makes more mistakes than I do in this thing called diabetes.  It is not a phrase of rhetoric, it is a fact.  I try not having to learn things more than once, but not always successfully.  The cool thing about sunrises; it’s a new day. 

I have always lived by the point that a new day means new opportunities.  Both my job (working at the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation), and where I volunteer (CWD, writings, advocacy, etc), allows me the absolute incredible opportunity of something new happening every day.  A new initiative, meeting new people, discussing ideas with people who want to help, and people with ‘skin in the game’ just like us. 

The Monday mistakes turn into Tuesday’s new beginnings.

I hear from teenagers with diabetes so often how different they feel.  How they are told that things cannot be accomplished because of their diabetes. I’m told the same by many parents who also fear that heir kids cannot do as others.  I tell them that it is a lie.  The world is for them to grab and they must make the decision to go out there and get it. 

CWD1346I received two pictures recently.  The hockey player is Sarah who is 15 and diagnosed at age 11; the other is Kelly who is also 15 and diagnosed at age 3. The two photos are absolutely incredible. I LOVE Sarah’s determination ‘along the boards’ and I LOVE Kelly’s face of determination.  Karate and playing hockey for goodness sakes.  Do either of them look like they are not ‘able’ to do anything?

And they can.  All of our kids can.  And many do.

Their parents sent me their pictures which I used in my slide presentation at my CWD Keynote address along with over 50 other kids who have diabetes and are not afraid, and they shouldn’t be.  They inspire us all each and every day that as sure as the sun rises, they are ready to take on the world.  Numerous parents thanked me for the inspiration they needed to see in other kids to remind them that limits are in our minds only.  But of course the thank you goes to the parents who shared the incredible photos of their wonderful kids.

The sunsets.  A glass of wine, perhaps, and just looking at the sun setting in the west is always relaxing to me.  Long Island has beautiful sunsets and as the day ends it serves as a reminder of what the day held.  What went well, what didn’t; and what to change tomorrow to move on.

Moving on is another crucial aspect to dealing with diabetes.  When we think, “….duh!, why did I do that?…..what was I thinking?…….”  Of course those who do not have diabetes in their household can also have these revelations but when there is so much on our plates, and so much more to balance when it comes to diabetes, I’m always grateful for daily beginnings and endings to continue onward.

Like sunrises and sunsets.

Sunrise

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Why Would This Woman Do What She Did??? A Video That Will Drive you to Your Knees.

Sandra StraussEmotional.

Do you get emotional?

Sandy is beautiful and in fact, when she smiles, she is downright breath-taking.  She’s the type of person that, upon entrance into a room, it becomes electric.

She does not ‘say hello’, she hugs you because she ‘means’ hello.  She speaks four languages, and she will share with you that she is a speaker, writer, marketing specialist and a girl who just wants to change the world.

About being the underdog, she writes:  I see underdogs as people with a burning desire to make a mark – who remain committed and undeterred in spite of the odds stacked against them, and who exhibit an indomitable spirit that inspires others. Underdogs have the boldness and tenacity to pursue a goal wholeheartedly, and deserve all the help and support they can get!

She also has T1 diabetes.  When I saw the video that I have included below, I not only cried, but I had to share it with you.  It is of one of the most gruelling undertakings a person can put themselves through.  It is called Tough Mudder which is described as hardcore events in a 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. 

What!!!!!!

Sandy tells you why she attempts it at the end of the video and it will pierce your heart.  You have to watch it to see if she completes it.   She was not alone in this undertaking and her whole team was made up of people with T1 Diabetes.

This is a video of my friend Sandy Struss. Enjoy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VeEoIlUkTw

“….just a girl who wants to change the world.”  Indeed, beautiful.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

There Was a ‘Back Then’, Before……..Who Would Live Like That????????

Back in timeBefore.

Heavens; what did we do ‘before’?

When I was at dLife, Richard found his way into our forums and chats and once I became a regular in the online community Richard would always ‘pop in’ here and there adding his golden nuggets of incredible information.  You see Richard has been living with diabetes for 67 years.  That’s right, 67!

This week, while at the Children with DIabetes Friends for Life Conference he had a ’first timers’ ribbon on.  Now being in his seventies, the man still looks to educate himself and be part of the diabetes community; doing something for the first time after having diabetes for 67 years.  If that doesn’t humble you, nothing will.

After meeting Richard, I was thinking on the plane ride home from Orlando; what it must have been like living with diabetes when Richard was a young boy.

I know all of the changes that have occurred since Kaitlyn was diagnosed 21 years ago and there have been so many more since Richard was diagnosed during the 1940s.  It makes me wonder what in heaven’s name we all did before……..before……..SO MUCH!

Imagine our world without devices like pumps, fast-reading glucometers, small needles, CGMs; Imagine our world without CWD, JDRF, DRI, The Diabetes Advocates, The Diabetes Hands Foundation, and so many other areas; Imagine our world without Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest; Imagine our world not connected and not being able to be with each other in the many ways available to us.

Imagine.

We now live in an instantaneous world which readily is available to supply and share information.  Our meters are the fastest they have ever been, and there is even discussions of things like the Bionic Pancreas and the BioHub; words that did not even exist 5 years ago, much less sixty-seven.

The world is forever changing and changing at a pace that on one hand does not seem fast enough but in another; faster than anyone could ever imagine.

When people like Richard were testing urine in a test tube 40 years ago, what would they have said when told that someday you will have something that will dispense insulin automatically?

We are now living in the fastest world of ‘now’ becoming ‘before’ than any other time in our history.  Just a shame that it is all not fast enough……isn’t it?

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A GIANT Steps Down: Bob Pearlman President & CEO of the DRIF

CWD 2011 Bob P and TomIt is with huge mixed emotions I share the following news.  Below is the press release as stated by the DRIF.

My boss, my mentor, and my friend—-there is not one single parent or person with diabetes who should not be grateful for the work Bob has done over the past 20 years..

I will write more in the near future but for now I say best of everything Bob, you surely deserve it.

We will stay driven.  We will stay focused.  We are in it to end it.

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation President and CEO Robert A. Pearlman Stepping Down After 20 Years

HOLLYWOOD, Florida — May 20, 2013 – After successfully leading the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) for two decades, Robert A. Pearlman, 67, of Boca Raton, FL, announced that he will be stepping down from his position as president and CEO effective June 30, 2013.

Mr. Pearlman was recruited to the DRI Foundation in 1993, after a 25-year career in the fundraising field, to increase funding for the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami, the sole beneficiary of its support. During his tenure, the Foundation and the DRI experienced exponential growth, developing into one of the premier diabetes organizations and a recognized world-leader in cure-focused diabetes research.

Under his leadership, the DRIF has raised approximately $300 million dollars and, in the process, became the largest contributor to the University of Miami in its history. Mr. Pearlman presided over three consecutive five-year campaigns which increased fundraising more than 15 percent per year. When Mr. Pearlman steps down at the end of this fiscal year, the annual campaign will close 13 percent over this year’s goal and up 34 percent over last year.

“We thank and honor Bob for his tremendous service for the last 20 years. He built the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation into a world-class institution and has made a tremendous impact on shortening our timeline toward the discovery of a cure for diabetes,” said Harold G. Doran, Jr., chairman of the DRIF’s National Board of Directors. “Bob is leaving us in a strong and exciting position to move toward our goal of a cure and continue our momentum after unveiling the DRI BioHub earlier this year.”

“It has been an incredible privilege and personally gratifying for me to have led the DRI Foundation for the last 20 years and to have worked side by side with Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of the DRI. I’ve been surrounded by an incredible team at both the Institute and Foundation, many of whom have been at the organization even longer than me. I’m confident that with this team in place the mission to cure diabetes will be achieved,” said Mr. Pearlman.

DRI Foundation Chief Operating Officer Deborah Chodrow will become acting president and CEO on July 1, 2013. She will serve in this capacity as the organization conducts a national search for a permanent successor. Mr. Pearlman will remain a consultant to the Foundation for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition for his successor.
Complete link:
http://www.diabetesresearch.org/DRIF-President-and-CEO-Robert-A-Pearlman-Steps-Down-After-20-Years

I am a diabetes dad.

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

What One Person Does For Your Kids…….Amazing!

Blair County 2013It’s so hard to describe.

There are people who are very busy.  There are people who have too many things on their plate.  There are people who ‘would if they could’…..and then there is Lisa Treese.

Lisa Treese has had hardships in her life.  She is also a mom to three rapidly growing boys who each have their own interests.  She works.  She is a community advocate.  She has a son with type 1 diabetes.  She has a husband, good friends, a home, pets, and an extremely active life.  Lisa has a thousand excuses ‘not to be involved’, but she has one good reason to act.

Lisa also lives by; “I don’t do nothing.”

This weekend I had the privilege, no; the honor of traveling to Blair County Pennsylvania for what I still consider to be the absolute blue print of a DRI Diabetes Diplomat project.

One woman with a dream which has resulted in a community of also, ‘not doing nothing’.  The annual Blair County Pennsylvania Walk was a wonderful day that will result (they have another event happening this month as well) with over $30,000 for diabetes research.  She organizes, writes the letters, makes the calls, calls the shots, reaches out to families, reaches out to friends, and creates one heck-of-an-event. 

I always have fun with Lisa as we watch the hundreds of people arriving and I state the quote she said to me years ago when she started, “No one will ever come”.  Well that turns out to be wrong every year and was wrong this year as hundreds and hundreds of people came this weekend with dark clouds.  And they kept coming.  

They cheered in the rain.  They walked in the rain.  And as soon as the walk was over, the sun came out and many of the people stayed for the fun and the food.  And they participated in a walk event that is truly unlike any other.  Why?  Because Lisa knows every single team and child with diabetes that attends the event. 

She greets all of them.  She asks how they are doing.  She introduces that person with this person because they might help each other.   She is a born communicator.  She cares.  She is one of the most incredible people I know.  She does it all for one reason, to find a cure for her son.

People do things.  People do great things.  Many people do things to help the DRI and the goal to cure diabetes forever.  They do their homework.  They support the work of
Dr. Ricordi, and his team, because they believe in the concept of ‘in it to end it’ just as the researchers at the DRI believe it.

I have said it a thousand times, the best part of what I do is meeting the people around the world who want to help and live by the belief that ‘diabetes just will not do’ in their lives.  They do more.  They do not just talk; they act.

Lisa Treese does it with an energy, with a smile, with a compassion but also with one fiercely incredible drive for success. 

Anytime I need a lift, I go to the Blair County DIabetes FB Walk Page.   They are all wonderful people who do so much to make this day such a memorable day.  Lisa would be the first person to say she does not do it alone;  that she has an army of people who help her accomplish this goal.

She would be right. 

But one person needs to stand up and say, “I can do this.”  And does just that.  In this case that person is Lisa Treese; an incredible driving force making a difference for her child, and yours.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Big Corporate Giant………Made up of People; Just Like You and Me.

BillboardAt the end of the day, it’s about people.

On many occassions I hear and/or read about this company or that company and the ‘big bad’ machine that operates in the daily business pages.  I want to share something  today about a big company made up of……..well………people, many having a tie-in with diabetes, just like you and me.

Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, relatives, and/or friends that have been impacted by diabetes.  They work for Walgreens in South Florida.  If you have a loved one with diabetes and a cure interests you, so will this story.

This is year number three that the employees of Walgreens in South Florida, (south of Port St. Lucie to the Florida Keyes) have joined together to create the Walk with Walgreens to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).  This year their combined totals will top 1 million dollars.  For my loved ones and for yours.

This is not a DRI walk and Walgreens has a big presence; this is different than anything else out there.  This is their walk.  They organize it, they run it, they donate money to the DRI.  They make the signs.  They recruite their employees.  They encourage families with diabetes, whether part of the Walgreens family or not, to be involved.  They have 3,842 things on their plate in running their stores; yet they find the time, much of it THEIR OWN time, to make this walk a success.

Tomorrow approximatelt 8-10,000 people will be at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami and at Traditions Square in Port St. Lucie.  In addition to those who will donate money, and in addition to the many wonderful family teams that will be participating; the work and the pride of the Walgreens employees to ‘get this right’ has been remarkable.  I wish you could have attended the meetings or been on the countless calls for the last ten months and heard the dedication in the voices of all of those who have chipped in to make this walk successful.

We, as an organization, could have NEVER accomplished this feat alone.  I know walks.  I have been part of creating the biggest ones in existence for diabetes since our journey began, when Kaitlyn was diagnosed in 1992, and it is hugely labor intensive.  It’s a lot of work.  It’s A LOT OF WORK.

Tomorrow will be a fabulous day for people with diabetes.  I have purposely not mentioned names because to do so, I know I would leave someone out, someone who was as fabulous as the next person.  I do not want to do that because EVERYONE played a vital role from Walgreens, from the DRI, from families who formed teams, and from a whole list of incredible sponsors.

I need to mention one person though, he is the type of man who is the quickest on deflecting any credit to others.  His name is Roy Ripak and he sits at the top of the Walgreens Corporate ladder for all of the Walgreens Stores in South Florida.

He has a business to run.  He has a big business to run.  Yet he finds the time to tackle this monumental job.  Interesting thing about Mr. Ripak is that we are only one of many charities in the area who benefit from his nature of giving back.  He is tireless in helping others.

Yet diabetes is personal to him, as it is to many others in the Walgreens world of employees, as it is to many of us.  Diabetes does not care where you work or what you do; and it needs to be stopped.  Now cynics can chime in and say Walgreens makes boatloads of money from people with diabetes and that is a true statement. 

But I have come to know the PEOPLE at Walgreens in South Florida.  I have seen them work hard, sweat, plan, organize, and even shed tears over what diabetes is about and what this Walk with Walgreens to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute has become.  Walgreens is made up of people.  People who care about people with diabetes; you, your kids, my kids, their associates, and all those who live with diabetes.

Tomorrow, walks will take place in two corners of South Florida; Miami and Port St. Lucie.  Amazing events with fun, food, celebrities, health fairs, family teams, music, corporate teams, incredible sponsors like Neutrogena Sun Care, Listerine, Zyrtec, Pepsi, Coke, Clear Channel, Multirace, The Miami Dolphins, and so many, many more.  And of course Walgreens will be there and so will the DRI.  On this day we will all meet……..

……….at the corner of Happy and Healthy.  Thank you Walgreens.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

On the Road….Many Entities Help Us…..They Don’t ‘Have to’.

MiamiMy friend and mentor, Charlie Rizzo, once stated to me that he had to do what he does. I have written before about his tireless efforts in the world of diabetes and since his daughter was diagnosed he has never once lost that fire to find a cure.

I thought of those words today.  I am on the road, which I am a lot.  The traveling is always hard on everyone in my house.   I love what I do and the travel is part of it.  When I was an actor and in New York working people used to say how wonderful it must be.  I enjoyed that too but like anything, I knew that it was my job.  I came to work and did my role and went home.  I never thought of it as wonderful but always knew I was fortunate to be where I was in life.

It is the same with travel.  It is a necessity with my job and because I know that it brings me to meet wonderful people who do great things, this too is a fortunate side despite all of the plane, trains, hotels and automobiles.

Today I am in Miami meeting with some of the folks from Walgreens.  Walgreens is a great big company.  They do not ‘HAVE TO’ do anything.  Not just for the DRI, but the diabetes community as an entire entity is very fortunate to have a company who chooses to help out.  

There are many, many charities out there and Walgreens is a good friend to not only the DRI, but the JDRF, ADA, and other diabetes organizations as well.  We are all lucky that they ‘choose’ to help all of us.  On April 20th of this year they will run their annual Walk with Walgreens to benefit the DRI.  It is a huge event in both Port St. Lucie and at the Sun Life Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins).

There is no ‘one day’ that we stop and say thank you to the so many people, companies, schools, and a whole list of others who have no ties to diabetes that do great things for us.  They donate money, time, products, and other resources because someone got their attention and they chose to help out.  Let us know some of the places you work with and have been very generous to your efforts?

Sure I know, it is part of the corporate world to give back and I know that much money is spent inside their stores and it makes for the ‘warm and fuzzy’ side of the corporate world to help.  But remember that every entity you work with has ‘floor-to-ceiling-proposals’ from thousands of  charities asking for help.  For some reason they are involved with you because you asked them.  It’s never wrong to say, every now and again, thank you for helping us.  Remember, they don’t have to ‘this’, but because of our love for our kids, we do.  Call them up or drop a line and just say, ‘thanks’.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Information as Promised: Dr. Camillo Ricordi’s Live Webinar

CamilloI stated that I would supply the information about Dr. Camillo Ricordi’s live webcast when it was available.

Without editorial or comment I would like to inform you that on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 from 12 noon – 1:00 PM USA Eastern Standard Time; Dr. Camillo Ricordi, DRI Scientific Director, will host a live webinar to discuss the vision and strategy about the DRI BioHub.

He will be joined by Cherie Stabler, Ph.D. Director DRI Tissue Engineering Lab and DRIF President and CEO Robert Pearlman.

After short presentations; Q&A will take place.

You must register first and you can click here to do so:  REGISTER

At the time you register you will have an opportunity to suggest a question.

It has been suggested that anyone wishing to register do so in a timely manner.

I am a diabetes dad.

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