Happy Valentine’s Day. Those who know, know they have my heart. But the islet cell picture in the shape of the heart, that I posted today, was discovered by one of the Researchers at the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and given to the world to use. That simple gesture of sharing with the world is indicative of the reason that out of all the entities out there, that I could give my energy, my heart will always belong to the DRI.
Those who know me also know that I am very supportive of many entities, organizations, and projects. My mantra of ‘don’t do nothing’ is well-known in the diabetes community. I respect whatever anyone else chooses to support. Recently a good friend asked me, “Why do feel so strongly about the DRI?”
Years ago, when DRI was really just beginning, I was approached by a colleague at a conference who was a regional director in the Florida area. Jennifer approached me and stated that she knew many people from the Long Island area were looking at the DRI and asking a million questions. “What do you do? How do you stop them?” I smiled at Jennifer, who was also a mom to a child with T1, and I said, “Jennifer, I tell them to go.”
My thought has always been that we need to continue to look for the answers we seek, never to be so connected to a place that if another one doing a better job comes along, that you would not look to FIND THE ANSWER. In our life, the single most important factor in our lives is to find a cure for our two children. Second, a close second, is to have the knowledge of everything out there to keep our kids healthy. But the leader is a cure.
There is not one single entity our there more dedicated to finding a cure than the DRI. To this day I have never seen or been introduced to anything like it. Yes, I work here. But I have worked at other diabetes-central places before and I would change again if someone showed me a better place to be. The scientific findings at the DRI are known throughoutthe world. What they have been part of has changed the diabetes world of research like no other place. And it continues today.
I know there are scientists out there doing work that is capturing the imaginations and the hopes of many. I know most of them and some could be very helpful. When someone says to me, “what about so-and-so” my answer is always the same; “Go and ask them if they would be willing to work with others, to share, to speed up their results, if it is no, then don’t waste your time.”
I learned that from the DRI. The DRI shares with centers all around the world in a collaborative effort second to none. It is this effort of sharing and connecting, as well as the brilliance of the findings that keep me here. But if you know some place better please let me know. But they must pass the litmus test: Is the science real; do they collaborate; do they share; is it on the pathway for a cure.
Now I also know there are those out there saying we need to put a timeline on the scientists to find a cure. Not so. Does anyone remember the decade for a cure in the 90’s; the battle-cry was that a cure would be found by the end of the 90s but that came with a PR slant only; and much of the real science out there was not even being entertained for funding. So be careful on timelines…..been there, done that….and it broke my heart. DIligent? Absolutely. Focused? Absolutely.
The DRI is a group of scientists that share with each other, share with the world, and whether you have a million dollars or run an event that raised $50; you are part of the DRI Family. Each person is as crucial a step on the pathway as the scientists themselves.
It is no secret to anyone that Lisa Treese is without a doubt one of my favorite people on this living earth. She is a mom who does what she can. She was not happy with what she saw in her community and she searched, and she searched, and she searched and how lucky for the DRI that she gives so much time and effort. I will never forget when Lisa and her mom toured the DRI and her mom called me afterwards and said to me, “That was staged, right. I cannot believe that is how they treat everyone who visits and tours the DRI.” It is how we treat every one—simply put, one is, or is not. The DRI is.
It is also no secret that another favorite person on this earth is Bonnie Inserra and her family. They have worked hard in life and they share generously with both their time and their support. You see, these two women, myself, like so many more have ‘touched and seen the DRI in action’. All work diligently for one reason, to turn out the lights because the job is done.
That is why I share with you on this Valentines Day, that when it comes to diabetes, my heart belongs to the DRI. If you want to be updated on research, I do not want you to change anything in your lives, but if you want to stay updated on worldwide happenings in diabetes research I urge you to become a DRI Insider by clicking here.
There will be a cure for diabetes, I’m sure of it. And the DRI will be part of it. For me that is worth giving both my soul and my heart. Happy Valentines Day.
I am a diabetes dad.