NEWSBREAK: No One was Better for Diabetes Causes than Mary….RIP

MaryI wish I could say I was a friend of Mary Tyler Moore’s, she surely made you feel that way.  There was a time when she, or her beloved husband Robert, and I would pass and a ‘hello’ was stated.  We knew of each other in the same battle.  She wrote a wonderful inscription in her book when she sent it to me to thank me on a specific project we worked on together and I will cherish it forever.

She THANKED me. Really?  Like I could ever be on par with what she had done over the years.  We worked together on fundraising, Washington DC advocating, and when it came to ANYTHING diabetes…..rest assured Mary was there in full force……how lucky was I to have just a little piece of life with this incredible woman.

It’s not often one gets to work with an icon, with a person who has her character-genetic pool somewhere in almost every comedic character to appear on TV—she was not the best—she was the best of the best and she did it—-while battling diabetes.

I have stated it before, and will always feel the same, no one in the celebrity world came close to do for the world of diabetes than what Mary Tyler Moore accomplished with JDRF.  Her efforts were tireless over the years.  She would attend events, meet with elected officials, testify before congress and yet, it was when she met those who lived like her….with diabetes, that I will remember most.  The time she took to speak to them and relate to them, to tell them they would be okay…..that is the Mary I will remember most.

Every organization under the sun wishes they had a spokesperson the caliber of Mary Tyler Moore.  Her connection with JDRF (and what was then JDF) was, and is, legendary.  She loved the JDRF and the people involved with the organization.  How fortunate they are, and were, to have Mary as part of their family.   My heart goes out to the many who worked with her at the JDRF, especially Karen Brownlee, who worked with Mary for years as the Liaison between the JDRF and Mary’s ‘people’.

Mary had but one goal when it came to diabetes….to bring to the attention of the world the battle of diabetes and how important it is to one day cure it.  How important it is to handle it.  Perhaps if she meant something to you, you can give a donation to JDRF in her memory (or to YOUR favorite organization). Mary would want it done that way.  I did.  It’s the least I could do for the woman who taught me to fight diabetes with as much fierceness as possible and at the same time; try to turn the world on with a smile…..which no one did better than Mary Tyler Moore

Rest in Peace friend, and thank you.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’

A Group in Myrtle Beach, SC, Reminds Us All Why We Ever Started.

Walk Myrtle Beach 1Yeah, it’s a walk.  Or a Walkathon.  A walk to…..  A walk for…..You know…….a walk.

But do you really know?  Do we REALLY know?

The ultimate ‘grassroots’ event is the walkathon.  Created, according to some accounts, by the March of Dimes Organization a million years ago.  Walks do not JUST happen.  They are hugely labor intensive.  When I landed in South Carolina on Wednesday, the JDRF Nation (which I understand to be, like a third-party event) group of volunteers organized a walk at the Pelican Stadium in Myrtle Beach South Carolina to benefit the JDRF on the following Saturday……why not I thought.  I went.  Boy was I glad I did.

No major staff time spent on this event—-it was all volunteers.  Kaitlyn’s Crusaders; Madi’s Dream….to Live for a Cure; Lynden’s LifeGuards, Sophie’s Squad, Violet’s Petals, Skippy the LadyBug were just some of the team names.  People impacted by diabetes.  People who wanted to do something, anything, to feel like they are making a difference.

The event was organized by Bonnie Mills.  A mom.  But not a mom to a child with diabetes.  She works for Sanofi.  She has seen diabetes for over 20 years. She has seen a lot.  She wanted to do more.  She does not have to do it and I’m sure, perhaps, her boss might even wonder…..why Bonnie does so much.  But to these parents, there is no question that Bonnie is the driving force behind this event……..and to me; that does makes good business sense.

But this is an event way beyond business.   This is an event that runs on adrenaline and passion.  Parents who told me it would be great if a cure could be found.  As Bonnie put it, “100 people or 1000 people, the spirit is awesome.” And she was right, it was.  It is.

From the prizes, to the group ‘All That’ who appeared on America’s Got Talent, to Raina who sang the National Anthem, to the American Legion Honor Guard, to Spiderman and Arial….but most of all…..to the kids.  The kids who live with diabetes who want a cure.  When you become involved for any length of time, you may forget how important these-type walks really are.

Not just for the money raised, but for being together as one unit who want to stand up and say, “…..diabetes will not stop us from anything.”  John, Kailyn’s dad tells her everyday that she can do anything, Madi states, “I have diabetes and I can do a lot of things”……..indeed.

One shirt had a bible verse on the back stating, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you”, from the book of Isaiah and as someone from the team shared with me, “We’ve got this.”….yes, I believe you do.

If you need to remember what this ‘finding a cure thing’ is all about; or if you have been at this for a long time and think hoping for a cure is not worth the energy…….stop at a walk on a weekend.  In a stadium for a baseball team called the Pelicans, I found a group of people reminding all of us what ALL OF THIS FUND RAISING is all about……………it was, is, and has always been about the kids who need to have hope to hold on to.  That, like a walk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; begins with just one step.

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

We ‘Need’……REALLY????…….uhm……Come Back from Over the Rainbow

ozI have heard this statement a million times.  “We need…..”  In reference to the diabetes community; we need a really good spokesperson; we need an ice bucket-type challenge, and other things…we need…we need….we need……….uhm……..not really.

We need to pull the weight ourselves……..all of us.

Mary Tyler Moore has given tirelessly of her entire career to the message of diabetes through the JDRF.  We can argue the fact that she is probably in ‘the top 3 category’ women EVER to be on television.  She did countless public service announcements which aired, she did countless trips to JDRF functions and private meetings (I was even privileged to be with her on one of them), she did a countless amount of trips to talk to elected officials…..never has there been a better public figure than Mary Tyler Moore in ‘speaking diabetes’.  The JDRF, NO—we; in the DOC—are lucky to have had her and her messages for so long.  Someone so tireless, and yet, the message still needs to be heard.  Did the world ‘get it’?   So is the answer ‘just’ a great spokesperson?

The JDRF and ADA walks and rides are the best in the world.  THE BEST.  They get countless amounts of people and raise millions—-MILLIONS of dollars.  Ever go to an event that has a fund-a-grant—well you can thank a woman in Seattle named Deniz (JDRF long-time employee) and the Benaroya Family of Seattle for starting that stroke of genius a million years ago.  So is the answer ‘just’ doing a NEW event?

Years ago you never even heard of the JDF (JDRF)…and the ADA was mostly a group of physicians and you might have heard of walk in October.  To be honest, even in my professional life at the DRIF, I am glad that these organizations are what they are with the people behind them because I was here in 1992……..and let me tell you something….at THAT time there REALLY was no understanding about diabetes.  These two organizations set the bar and opened the door for many smaller organizations and educational opportunities………and off we went.

A difference between T1 and T2???????…….back when??????……seriously?????……people never even heard of the disease much less discussions about better understanding.

Are we done yet.  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

But before we are so quick to say that nothing has been done…….let me assure you with almost 23 years at this at full speed I agree with what Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz; “……. if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! …”

Many organizations have been created over the years with GREAT focus and if ever there is not a perfect synergy between you and a group……find another; they’re out there.  It’s easy to just say, “we need….” and be done with it.   I’m here to tell you that “we need” is alive and well and more than that ‘we need’ is here now.  Add to all of this the DOC, we have one helluva powerhouse.

If you are not plugged-in somewhere—get plugged-in somewhere.  Yes we always need new spokespeople and new ideas, but let’s not forget what is here right now.  Be the addition to what is here now before re-inventing the wheel–change them up to make them better, and add as needed. There is still nothing so exciting as seeing 8,000 people the morning of an event.  I know, I see it every year at one of our walk-event with Walgreens and the DRI at Miami Marlins Stadium.  If you are active in these type of events with JDRF and ADA—you see it too.  It is shown ALL OVER the world…..Is there ANYTHING like it…….really?

They say there are almost 30 million people out there with diabetes (T1 and T2) and add the multiple of 3 other family members and the number comes to 120 million people have, or have a direct connection, to diabetes.  And if you are interested in just T1D, that same number is about 8 million with/with-direct-connections…….are there 8 million people in the epicenter of events around the country?  Not even close.

Without going into detail, in my immediate family we are directly impacted (or have been) by MS, Cystic Fibrosis, Alzheimer’s, and Autism–the organizations surrounding these events have shared (in part) over the years of the huge success in the diabetes world.  They see it more than we do.  They cannot even fathom having two humongous organizations like the JDRF and the ADA  both surviving and flourishing side-by-side; not even to mention major research centers like Barbara Davis, Joslin, and the DRI all also being in the mix.  Now add CWD, Camps, DECA, The Diabetes Scholars Foundation, and many, many more with specific and different missions.  We need…………what…….I ask?

So what am I saying?  As Dorothy stated, we have in our backyard EVERYTHING we need to succeed, and or be heard.  I think we need to figure out how to get those who ‘do nothing’ involved…..either that or just understand WHAT we do have.

More to do?????  Absolutely.

But “we need…..” must be replaced with; ‘put me to work…..’ because heaven knows we have what is needed……..every entity mentioned just needs more workers/volunteers/donors……there is nothing too small; and they will all welcome any and all help you can give.  I have said it forever, “Don’t Do Nothing”………………and don’t.

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

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’.

 

Diabetes Jeopardy Answer #25 for D-Month: No one has Been a Better, or Longer Tenured Spokesperson for Diabetes, than this Woman who Turned the World On with Her Smile

Mary tYler Moore…..and the answer is, who is Mary Tyler Moore.

We can argue the point whether or not Ms. Moore is the greatest TV and/or Female TV personality of all time; but she stands alone when it comes to spokesperson in the world of diabetes.  I can tell you from meeting her many times and actually spending a few hours with her when she joined me in a ‘an ask’ from a major donor and the announcement that followed when I was with the JDRF; that she was always and in all ways 1000% focused on her mission with the JDF (JDRF) and with diabetes causes (among others).

One must remember that this woman was/is sought after by every form of media and every talk show at any given time.  And when it came to diabetes; the amount of time she gave, when asked, was remarkable.  In many cases when you say diabetes to someone outside the diabetes community, it is not uncommon to hear, “Oh the one that Mary Tyler Moore” is active in.

And how; ‘yes’ she is.

Despite dealing with T1D herself, Ms. Moore threw herself completely into a role that would lift the visibility of diabetes in this world as none other before or since.  From a public face, to presenting high honors, to speaking at events, to leading the charge in Washington D.C. and even being involved with ‘asks’ for money from private donors, Mary Tyler Moore set the bar for celebrity involvement in an organization; and how fortunate are all of us in this diabetes community?

Changing the world with that million dollar smile, was only the beginning.

Below is just a brief segment from Mary’s Bio—click this link to read so much more from her BIO at IMDB
After trying her hand at movies for a few years, Moore decided, a bit reluctantly, to return to TV, but on her terms. The result was “Mary Tyler Moore” (1970), which was produced by MTM Enterprises, a company she had formed with Tinker, and which later went on to produce scores of other television programs. Moore starred as “Mary Richards”, who moves to Minneapolis/St. Paul on the heels of a failed relationship. Mary finds work at the news room of WJM-TV, whose news program is the lowest-rated in the city, and establishes fast friendships with her colleagues and her neighbors. The show was a commercial and critical success and for years was a fixture of CBS television’s unbeatable Saturday night line-up. Moore and Tinker were determined from the start to make the show a cut above the average, and it certainly was – instead of going for a barrage of gags, the humor took longer to develop, and arose out of the interaction between the characters in more realistic situations. It was also one of the earliest TV portrayals of a woman who was happy and successful on her own rather than simply being a man’s wife. “Mary Tyler Moore” (1970) is generally included amongst the finest television programs ever produced in America.

 

For Diabetes Awareness Month:
This month, I will be highlighting someone in the diabetes community.  They may be people you know, or might not know, but they give of themselves to make this world, our world, with diabetes a special place.   I will not get to everyone this month, but it is my hope that perhaps you can be introduced to some of those you may not know.

I’m certainly not the definitive on who should be included….you are.  If you think I should include someone, shoot me an email at tkarlya@drif.org and I will do what I can to include that person as well.  Welcome to diabetes awareness month.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Do Kids with Type 1 Deserve to have a Wish Granted by Organizations?

Magic wandYears ago I had the wonderful experience to help two different families at two different times.  Little Anthony and Kevin both had cancer, incurable cancer.  The results were known and even though both gave a valiant fight and underwent almost every treatment available, eventually the battle was lost.

With each day that went by I witnessed their lives slipping away and even to witness them smile at their weakest moments were enough to brighten a day.  When a fund-raiser was completed and a check was presented I can still to this day hear Little Anthony’s (as his parents called him) voice in my head, “Damn, that’s a lot of money.”

When Rob graduated, I thought of Little Anthony’s family as they were both the same age and surely we have had the wonderful opportunity to witness and enjoy our son, they were not so lucky.

Years after I ran the event for Kevin, a woman stopped me in a 7-11 and she said, “Tom, you may not remember me.  I am Kevin’s mom and you helped us years ago.”  We hugged and she told me what was going on in her life and how much she appreciated all that we did. 

We were never experienced in any such way that compared us to what these families went through.

If you do not know about the so many pediatric cancers, count yourself lucky.  When it’s a terminal, malignant, progressive, and degenerative diagnosis; it is just overwhelming to watch, witness, and share.

I remember someone asking me about one of the organizations that grant a wish for kids with such diseases that Kevin and Little Anthony suffered with and if I thought kids with type 1 diabetes were eligible.

I answered ‘no’ immediately.  I answered no because I felt that if anyone on this earth wanted and/or deserved a wish to be granted; it would be these two little boys and their families.  I’m not comparing diabetes to cancer, and won’t.  But in as much as I completely understand what it is like to have two kids with diabetes, and I know all of the management needed; and know the fears; and just completely understand; I would never think for a moment that what we do on a daily basis was the same life threatening and terminal situation that would warrant a utilization of a granted wish.  Most important is that NO ONE ‘DESERVES’ anything; they are granted at the goodness of the person or organization granting them.

To me, TO ME, it just isn’t.
 
Is diabetes life threatening.  Yes it is.  Is it a life threatening terminal disease with no chance at a quality of life as others have?  No it is not.  

Now one can pick apart the words as life threatening and/or quality of life and try to make it a crystal clear-cut meaning but the truth is—-it isn’t crystal clear.  My kids do not have a life-like kids who do not have diabetes and neither do we as parents.  But we also do not have the same life as those who are literally dying with each day that goes by; they are not growing weaker with each day that goes by; they are not on a time-table that will snuff out their lives in six months.  Yes, I know that IT COULD be snuffed out; but it is not a predictable end.

Again, recently, someone asked me if I thought that our children are ‘deserving’ of a granted wish?  I  found that some parents were quite set in their thought process that an organization should be granting wishes to kids with type one diabetes.  No they shouldn’t.   Why?  Because they said they shouldn’t.

Now before some of you want to hang me; just keep reading until the end.

There is a Board of Directors that have set a criteria for these type of organizations and Make-a-Wish is only one of many such organizations.  But it is clear that if a child does not have a progressive, malignant, and degenerative disease; they do not qualify for a wish.  Quite simply; our kids do not.

There must be a line drawn that allows a gauge to decide who gets a wish and who does not according to the various groups I spoke to preparing for this article.  That line in the sand is not an easy one.  It is drawn because there MUST BE a divide and no matter where THAT DIVIDE is set, someone will asked it to be moved once again.  So most groups draw the line and do not move it.  It is not for a lack of compassion, it is an act of practicality.

Another commonality from the organizations is that there are not enough funds to grant all of the wishes that they would like to grant to those that fit the criteria they have set, much less trying to stretch the parameters to include additional children living with other diseases.

I’m not saying what our children live through is not horrendous, I’m saying organizations have the right to set their own criteria and it should be respected. Almost any group that is created, or has been created, was started because the group felt that the existing organization(s) did not fulfill the need adequately on what they found/deemed to be important.

So if you believe, and believe strongly enough, that children with type 1 diabetes should be allowed to request a ‘granted wish’, I would suggest that you begin such a group.  There are groups that create wishes from a life experience to supplies to clothing.  Why can there not be one for diabetes?  That is question for you to answer.

Kids with diabetes, in most cases, are not adequately considered for a college scholarship based on a disability.  Those that grant these scholarships grant them based on those who have overcome incredible odds; sounds like our kids doesn’t it?  But alas they are not considered in any place that I know of giving scholarships based on overcoming a disability; and feel free to enlighten me if I’m incorrect.

With that in mind, the Diabetes Scholars Foundation was created.  Guess what their number one criteria is?  Yup, you must have type 1 diabetes.  Now they could have spent years trying to get groups and organizations to grant a scholarship; or they could do something about it NOW.  In 2008 they gave 18 scholarships and in 2013 they gave 49.

So the point of my story today is not just about whether kids with type 1 diabetes are deserving of a granted wish; my point is that here is an opportunity to fulfill a need if you think it  is needed strongly enough. 

Years ago there was the American Diabetes Association; Lee Ducat thought there should be more focus from an umbrella organization to fund type one research; and she and her friends created (what is now called the) JDRF.  Barbara Singer and her friends believed that there should be place where actual science was being done solely dedicated to curing type 1 diabetes and they created the Diabetes Research Institute.

So if you think that something is not being done that needs to be done…….make that wish come true.

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 Young Man with Diabetes and His Incredible Story Told by His Mom……Buckle Your Seatbelt, The Ending is a FABULOUS Mind Blower.

Wow 2There is really not much to say except this is one of the most incredible stories about one young man who had an experience that he will remember for the rest of his entire life.

It is a good story and worth the time to read……the ending will blow your mind.

http://www.everydayhighsandlows.com/

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’

 

A TV Icon, in Her Darkest Time…..Teaches Us All Lesson

Valerie Harper MagI was, and still am a huge fan of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I honestly believe that I saw every episode at least 3 times among the original air dates (1970-1977), reruns, and you tube.

Probably more than any other celebrity, Ms. Moore has made no secret of her T1 Diabetes and her devotion to her diabetes charity, JDRF.  She is a hero in every sense and shape of the word.

Being such a fan of the show, it was a huge thrill the times I met with her and worked with her while at the JDF.  Ms. Moore is (and I admit the point could be discussed)  probably in the top 3 or 5 television icons of all time.  So to have met her was as if the show I adored watching; now had an instant, real, live, connection.

One of my favorite characters in the show was always Rhoda Morgenstern.  Her mix of savvy, shoot-from-the-hip-attitude, New York personality, and fabulous great looks made her an instant favorite for me.

I was at the supermarket yesterday and stopped in my tracks when I saw People Magazine’s front cover.

My heart sank.  “What??!!”

I’ve read the article three times and as much as it broke my heart, Ms.Harper has many things to teach us.  I suggest everyone get a copy of  People Magazine and read this article because no matter what Valerie Harper is facing, she, just as our beloved Rhoda, calls it like it is; and also has a few things to say before her life ends.  Even though her disease has NOTHING to do with diabetes; her advice was very real for me as a father who lives in this diabetes world. 

–Don’t let your fear today rob you of a fun life.
–If you’re not here now, where the hell are you?
–My mom always used to say, “If you can learn from it, than do.  If not, forget about it.  That was yesterday.”
–Life is amazing.  Live it to the fullest.  Stay as long as you can.

WOW!  No words could be truer spoken. My thanks to Ms. Harper, her family, and Johnny Dodd of People Magazine for sharing this story. 

Whether diabetes is in your world or not; this is an article that will touch your very soul.  But to the diabetes community, I share the points from TV’s ‘every woman’ as they should be very valuable to all of us.

Valerie Harper states of her relationship with our diabetes hero, Ms. Moore; “I was so comfortable with Mary”; as we are with you Ms. Harper, even in your darkest time—-you found the time to make us comfortable.  May you have peace during this time and thank  you for the reminder what truly is important.

I am a diabetes dad.

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