Diabetes Thanksgiving???….Is There Really Anything to be Thankful About????

Happy ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving.

One might think that there is not a whole lot to be thankful for when you have a child, and I have two, with T1 diabetes.  If you felt that way; you would be wrong. If you live that way, I hope you find a way to change it.   I have all of the diabetes-stuff-and-what-it-can-do in a compartment all by itself.  I know it, I realize it, and more than that; my kids know it more than I ever will.  It’s there, and dealt with daily.

That is in compartment one.  I have a whole ‘lotta’ other ‘good’ compartments that I could never imagine life without were it not for diabetes.

I’m very thankful for where I work.  The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation has had 11 years of my life and I wish you could only see the compassion, passion, and drive I see every day.  The DRI truly wants to turn the lights out because they have accomplished what they set out to do….cure diabetes.  THAT can only happen if the people on that course stay focused.  Believe me when I tell you that the focus is ‘razor-sharp’.  Yes, it’s a ton of work but they make it extremely rewarding—I love them all dearly (and they are also fun to be with)……I’m a very lucky man indeed.

I’m hugely thankful for my CWD family.  Jeff Hitchcock and Laura Billetdeaux are responsible for creating something that, literally, has saved the lives of my children and so many others.  They created a venue and an opportunity that bought people in my life that I could never have dreamed would come my way.  From across the United States and around the globe I have friends; my soul has CWD stamped on it.

The Diabetes Advocates (DA) and the Diabetes Online Community (DOC).  This group of people have enriched my life as I watch them every single day just “Don’t do Nothing”.  A cause? They are there.  To help someone in need? They are there.  Put out a call to help? They are there.  Just one example was as I watched A Child’s Cry for Change take shape. Just incredible.  As far back as in 2013, Kelly Kunik and others were on a call as we discussed that diabetes in the media was just not happening as it should.  I never thanked Kelly, and probably should have long ago, because it was that conversation that got me thinking to the fact that we can do more in Getting Diabetes Right.  So thank you Kelly and sorry this has taken so long to acknowledge THAT conversation and the release we did, what seems a life time ago. Even though our initial idea did not gain the traction we all wanted, it got me to thinking and when I put the word out there and Kim May offered her ad agency for the idea of printing posters for all to use—–well, we’ve never looked back.   And now the National Association of School Nurses has taken on the cause of watching for flu-like symptoms that may be DKA.  I’m amazed how that seed has grown.

Believe me when I tell you that is only one—-one of thousands–of ideas the DA and the DOC do EVERY DAY.  From a mom who comes online for advice to taking on full fledge initiatives; the DA and DOC have changed my world and I am so thankful for all of them/you.

I could continue to list people and what they do all across the diabetes landscape.  I could list the wonderful organizations they represent and the GREAT works they do.  I am thankful for all of those who do so much for so many and I’m both awed and humbled at the efforts of advocacy, research, fund-raising, education and more than anything else—-the friendships that are in my life because of this horror show called diabetes.

Last and certainly not least is my family, and extended family and friends.  They have donated when we asked, helped when we asked, and been there through all of this journey.  They have constantly said to me; “what do you need… can I help?”  And it has meant the world to me.  I have stated many times before that my two children could not have a better mother in the world regarding their diabetes……and all three of my kids have been there for each other in a way that leaves me so proud.  I am blessed.

I’m NOT A BIG FAN of  ‘when given lemons one should make lemonade ‘……But I have become what I am; because of those who crossed my path wanting what I want; to have the best tools available for our kids to live full lives and not held back because of diabetes; to have the continued hope that a cure will come in my children’s lifetime; to have a shoulder to cry on and a few laughs over drinks when needed.   And at the end of the day……..well that is much to be thankful for, isn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


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