The John and Paul of Naples Florida……Music to our Diabetes Ears.

john-and-paulI read something by Paul McCartney recently that really struck me.  He was talking of the many things written about the conflict between he and John Lennon.  He stated that inasmuch as it was true (most of it, depending on who is doing the reporting—far be it for media to get any of it incorrectly, right?), it was also a time he and John were very close.  Sir McCartney stated, “So much has been talked about in terms of the conflict and so forth. All that conflict, that’s true……But when you look at this particular period, John and I were very close.  We were working together well.  We loved the band, and we loved each other…..”

My take away as i read this quote was that despite differences, people can thrive. People can accomplish great things.  People CAN WORK together well.  In  the diabetes community, there are no two people truer heroes in this regard than Joe and Tami Balavage.

Joe and Tami have a child with T1D.   They found their niche in their battle when they created their nonprofit organization, Help a Diabetic Child. This organization has many hats and the list is long when it comes to those who had no supplies who were given the ‘stop-gap’ amount of supplies until they could become established in some sort of ling term help.  But this is only part of what they do.  This organization may be very small, but their reach is incredibly long.

Joe and Tami are geniuses at bringing many powerful people together around a table for one goal.  In the Beatles’ case the goal was great music.  In Joe and Tami’s lives—it is the welfare of all those with diabetes.

For the second year in a row, the community of Naples, Florida will be treated to an incredible conference to be held at the YMCA in the heart of town.  We (the DRI) have been asked to be part of the committee and we also have been asked to speak (Wendy Peacock will be there also to share her journey along with her team—-REALLY a great story to hear).  There will be great information and very knowledgeable experts sharing in the day.

What is most impressive is that anybody who has anything to do with diabetes in this community has been invited to sit around this table.  In this community, there are many….I MEAN MANY huge community medical centers and organizations involved with this event.  Joe and Tami are incredibly versed in keeping everyone focused on what is important, the patient. They have carved a pathway for each player (and there are ‘biggies’ at this table) involved to not only get something out of the day, but to be driven by the patient’s’ welfare more than anything else.  Not an easy task.

Tami and Joe are quiet-type people.  But they are also tireless in their efforts to have this entire community involved, ‘because those with diabetes deserve it.’  They are fierce in their belief, as Paul and John were, to make incredible music.  And the community has embraced this belief, working together in perfect harmony.

Many people are doing incredible things to make this the best community diabetes conference, ever.  If you are in the Naples, Florida area—-spread the word about the Naples Diabetes Conference.  Last year over 300 people attended, it WILL SELL WELL so register early—-it’s the best $10 you will ever spend (including CME’s for the professionals for the same $10).

Joe and Tami will be the first ones to deflect all that is being done to the planning committee and that is so typical of their style.  But make no mistake about, to the their community and the cloudy world of diabetes, because of Joe and Tami’s efforts, The Naples Diabetes Conference will surely see that; “Here Comes the Sun“.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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