With the death recently of Doris Roberts, I reflected on not only just my meeting and working with her in diabetes causes; but with Peter Boyle and with many more in my life who chose to be involved. Much thanks to the show’s Creator Phil Rosenthal, a friend from my Hofstra days, for caring so much. I enjoyed working with them and they were not only incredible, they were professional and a delight to work with. And they are now, both, gone. A loss to the entertainment world and beyond.
But our mission remains, doesn’t it? I feel almost as if I owe it to them to work harder; as if in their honor, but not only just their honor. But many others as well. It cannot and will not be ‘up to celebrities’ to achieve our goals; that task is ours to reach.
I have heard it said many, many, times. At committee meetings, at event meetings, in the diabetes community and really across the board. It goes something like this; “To be successful, we must ‘get a celebrity’ for the awareness of XYZ.”
First of all, God Bless all the celebrities who take the time from their busy schedules to take part in giving back, no matter what the charity. It’s always GREAT to have a name representing any organization. In the diabetes world we have certainly had our share. Some REALLY BIG names.
But if I said; Dollars Against Diabetes (D.A.D.s Day/DRI), Walk to Cure Diabetes (JDRF), Tour de Cure (ADA) you would most likely know those names instantly. These events have raised, in excess, of a billion dollars across the globe. But here’s the thing, they did not gain recognition by celebrity involvement; they gained recognition by YOUR involvement. You see in as much as celebrity status is nice to point to and say look who is involved; it’s the grass-roots efforts of the people impacted that make the difference……..people like you!
So when we read about another child dying from undiagnosed T1D, and we get angry; AGAIN—-do we actually do anything? Maybe the folks at http://autoimmunediabetesalliance.org/ are onto something we all should jump on for this November 14th 2016; World Diabetes Day. Imagine if 1000 people signed up to post 100 flyers in their community. Imagine if these posters were in a location that were seen by just 1000 people in the course of the time they are hung in a library, a school, a supermarket etc.?
Do the math yet?
That would result in 100 million people seeing the message—-1/3 the US population.
Scouting troops, service organizations, school activity groups—–just print out 100 posters and get them up on or around; but by November 14th. You can go to the website above; they have great posters and so do:
If you have a site with posters and you are not listed—-PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD YOURS. There’s no monopoly on advocacy.
I enjoyed working with the celebrities over my tenure in this journey. Many of them. But still to this day the biggest and best way to get the word out is by us, getting the word out.
If I get enough feed back on this idea, I will reach out to the autoimmune diabetes alliance group to see if we can create a way for everyone to post where they will be running with this idea, wherever in the world. It was their idea in the first place; and it’s a GREAT idea.
This November 14th; Operation: No More Missed Diagnosis of T1D……………..maybe we can even get a celebrity spokesperson? You In?
I am a diabetes dad.
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0 thoughts on “Great People Help Our Cause; Diabetes—But it’s Still our Road to Pave!”
Judi Vieira says:
Well put, Tom. If everyone would put egos and their “having to be right” state of mind aside, and respect each other and work together, so much good could be accomplished. So many have left the DOC and the awareness fight because of the discord. This has to change. Thank you for acknowledging the groups, above, that are truly in this for ALL the right reasons. Thank you.
There may be more—-and they are welcome to share what they are doing. This is not about being ‘the next new’ anything…..this is about getting the job done—-whatever is important to you. I applaud anyone who is in this fight. To me, the battle has always been against diabetes; everything else is a big expense to energy that could be better utilized elsewhere.
In it to end it.
Betsy Ray says:
Good article Tom!
My group also works to change public and provider mis-perceptions about all Diabetes to stop the stigma associated with the disease and to create Unity (therefore a large voice) amongst the Diabetes Community and support from the non-Diabetes Community.
We are partnered with TestOneDrop and “UP Rising Against DKA”. (United Parents/People) is the coalition we started for any individual to join us in preventing DKA misdiagnosis.
As a T1D of 50 years I speak directly from the trench when I say that it’s the people who have succeeded with diabetes over the long haul who really are the hero’s and have the ability to give info to others about what needs to happen to bring change to the environment.
I am currently working to start a circle campaign to bring people to their state capitols on November 14 in every state across the U.S. in blue and form a non-violent voice about diabetes much like a political rally.
Any change starts with a basic Bill of Diabetes Rights and we are formulating this because there has to be a direction which can then utilize the vast passion and energy of the Diabetes Community to drive the messages home in a larger cultural crowd.
You are right about celebrities… and here is another point to that. Celebrities by nature are typically young, and in the first 20 years of diagnosis if they are visible in today’s market. They have not stood the test of time. Just like our personal definition of normal as people with Diabetes we also need to reframe our personal hero’s to not only include those who challenge current thinking (young celebrities) but those who have succeeded and are still actively working on change. The person’s who have T1D and are able to pass on their wisdom teachings are invaluable as well because no matter our differences or what we are taught by others they can show us the way.
Sounds aggressive…..I like it. As an FYI….there are many Diabetes ‘Bill of Rights’ or Diabetes Bill of Rights in existence “out there” by name; from schools to patients etc. It sounds like your ideas are going to be larger in scope. I think THAT is fabulous. So your attempts do not just get mixed in with what is out there already being called “Bill of Diabetes Rights”—-if I may suggest—-think of a better, more inclusive and broader name for your project. A uniqueness. Something not being used now so when people refer to it, it immediately has its own identity; and is as no other has done before. Leave no chance. Two cents from the peanut gallery. It all sounds so exciting….best of luck with it.
Betsy Ray says:
We already have one (see above) and it is both specific and very much being used now… because we created it… we are simply growing. The message is not a new one… we are simply going to carry it in an effective way and accurately educate it to a broader audience.