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’.

Sometimes a Princess (or Prince) is Right Next to Us.

Ball MaryI know some very special people.

I hate diabetes and everything about it. The journey, though, has allowed us the honor to have crossed paths with some of the most incredible people in the world.  People who care.  People who give.  And quite frankly, people who love.

These people understand diabetes.  Some volunteer their time.  Some are involved professionally.  Some do both.  They are doers, not merely those who talk the talk; they definitely walk the walk.

They have but one goal; so the people who have diabetes, or a loved one with diabetes, are given the same opportunity as everyone else to gain everything they can out of life.  They learn and share; they share and make people laugh; they care and make people think.

They challenge those who have diabetes in their household to stretch one more foot to get the ‘upper-hand’ on diabetes.  Their hearts are as big and as full of gold as there can be. 

They just do.

The problem with my week at CWD is I had to say goodbye to so many of them.  Back home we all have the one, two, and/or three special people who really help us in this journey but for a whole week I was with about 250 (that is correct, 250).  Every place I turned, someone else giving their time, their expertise, their smile to someone else.

In the picture is Mary.  Mary is just the perfect person to represent the attitude of so many
who try their hardest to make a difference every day.  Whether someone has diabetes or has a sibling with diabetes, has a child with diabetes, or even has diabetes; so many choose to help.  Mary, like so many, are tops in their field with degrees and experience beyond comprehension.

What says it all is what Mary has written in her bio when she is at CWD, You can spot her at the conferences-she’s the one with the trail of kids behind her!

No matter where you are; be very appreciative of those people who give—-we would be lost without them.

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’.

We Are Lost Without Each Other. Period!!!

CWD HandsA common thread is woven among us.  None of us asked to be here, but we are; no one asked us to be part; but we include ourselves; no one asked us to stay, but we have no choice.

We stay because we need to learn; we learn because we need to help our kids with the best tools available; and we share because we love.  It is diabetes and, now, with residence in our world we must decide what to do with it.

For the last week I have been at the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference in Orlando and I have once again (for the millionth time) been reminded how much we mean to each other as a diabetes community.  Thousands are here but I know that this is all but one off-shoot of the diabetes community.

Many will go back to be part of their hospital support groups; DRI, JDRF, and/or ADA group of friends; or connecting online–it all does not really matter.  We are joined by diabetes.  It is a common enemy of which makes allies of us all. 

We need each other.

SO many people had so many GREAT things to share this week in Orlando but it is the singular voice of our children that resonates with me; “We need each other”.  From all walks of life, from throughout the United States and beyond, we are one voice.  We are families with diabetes.

You did not need to be here to know that but if ever you are given the opportunity to experience 3000+ people all on the same page; it is a pretty amazing experience.  Each wrist band on the hands in the picture represents a significant part of this conference.  But in the end it is up to us to make the decision that “today it starts; a new day to make a difference in my life, our life, and the world around us.” 

People leave here empowered to take on the world again. 

And it is a world worth taking on.  The opportunities are endless; the people are all around us are ready to help; the support is always within grasp either personally or online; this is diabetes–and we—-well we; Are. Friends. For. Life.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

A World Without CWD FFL? What Does That Mean to YOU?

CWDLogoThis headline caused one of two reactions when you saw it; “WHAT!!!!!  What is going on?”  or you said to yourself “What does CWD mean?”

Well my answer pertains to both groups.  The meaning of the headline for those who know what CWD means is to imagine what your life would be without it.  And there is a reason I am asking you to do that which I will explain in a minute.

To those who do not know; CWD is the Children with Diabetes and the FFL is their Friends for Life Conference held annually in Orlando Florida. 

As I start to get myself ready to head to this year’s CWD FFL conference, I find myself imagining what my life would be like if this great group of people were not in my life.  Not just the people who lead this organization, but the people I have met over the years who have become real treasures.  The people who are friends since the frist ‘get together’ in 2000 and the many I have met since.

Plain truth is; I can’t imagine.  There is not an aspect of diabetes in our household that has not been impacted by things we have learned and people we have met.  There is no substitution for meeting, and being with, people from all around the country who are going through what we are going through.

Those who know need no explanation; those that don’t understand, try as they may, just never will.  They can’t.  To be with over 3000 people who all ‘get it’ is a pretty amazing feeling.

I have called upon and been called upon so many times that I could never count.  We do because we know what it is like to be at a certain point in our lives.  We have learned, loved, lost, hurt, educated, laughed, observed, balanced, enjoyed, challenged, and even cried a few tears together.

My saying has always been to beg, borrow, or steal BUT GET to this conference.  You can learn more by clicking here.  Some really inspirational people will be presenting and attending this year, click the link and find out.  CWD FFL deals with the ENTIRE family dynamic; both collectively and individually.

I still like the mom’s response who stated she thought it would be this very impersonal large conference but it was completely the opposite.  I suggest you get down there…..you will be glad you did….spend some time on the pages learning about it.

Each year I think of the tens of thousands of people who have attended this conference and how they have shared the fact that their lives have been changed.  I am one of those people.

I am proud to say that I am a CWD dad.  Find out for yourself what that means and hopefully we will meet this year in Orlando.

I am a diabetes dad.

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