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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How to Bring Attention to Diabetes Causes……I’m Throwing My Hat in the Ring!

candidatesIt has been said, oh I don’t know, a million times; that we need to figure out something to do to bring attention to what living with diabetes is all about……, I had an idea.  If you are inclined to think that one of our presidential candidates is the right choice for you……PLEASE feel free to vote for the person you want.



If you are one of the voices who has made it clear that you are going into the polls and handwriting a candidate’s name (personally I have heard many from Mickey Mouse to George Washington)……I have decided to throw my hat into the ring.

Imagine……..election night……the newscaster…..

“Good evening we have a winner but also pollsters are trying to figure out who is ‘DiabetesDad’ and why did he receive over a million handwritten votes at the polls.”


Should I win, I will most certainly have a platform that is hugely diabetes related.
But I will not win.



Imagine the amount of press if a significant amount of people did just that……..

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

NEWSBREAK: Patient Notification about Cybersecurity of OneTouch® Ping Insulin Delivery System

This was sent to me by Animas and I share it with you.  I BELIEVE this is more of an informative advisory than anything else………oh yeah; and welcome to 2016

October 4, 2016
Important Information about the cybersecurity of your OneTouch® Ping® Insulin Infusion Pump
Dear Valued Animas® OneTouch® Ping® Pump User,
Since 2008, the OneTouch® Ping® insulin pump system has been helping people with diabetes perform at their best, and we are committed to providing our customers with safe and reliable products. We have been notified of a cybersecurity issue with the OneTouch® Ping®, specifically that a person could potentially gain unauthorized access to the pump through its unencrypted radio frequency communication system.

We want you to know that Animas has investigated this issue and has worked with the appropriate regulatory authorities and security experts, as we are always evaluating ways to further ensure patient safety and security. We also want to assure you that the probability of unauthorized access to the One Touch® Ping® System is extremely low. It would require technical expertise, sophisticated equipment and proximity to the pump, as the OneTouch Ping® system is not connected to the internet or to any external network. In addition, the system has multiple safeguards to protect its integrity and prevent unauthorized action.

If you are concerned about unauthorized access for any reason, the pump’s radio frequency feature can be turned off, which is explained in Chapter 2 of Section III of the OneTouch® Ping® Owner’s Booklet. However, turning off this feature means that the pump and meter will no longer communicate and blood glucose readings will need to be entered manually on the pump.

If you choose to use the meter remote feature, another option for protection is to program the OneTouch® Ping® pump to limit the amount of bolus insulin that can be delivered. Bolus deliveries can be limited through a number of customizable settings (maximum bolus amount, 2-hour amount, and total daily dose).

Any attempt to exceed or override these settings will trigger a pump alarm and prevent bolus insulin delivery. For more information, please see Chapter 10 of Section I of the OneTouch® Ping® Owner’s Booklet. We also suggest turning on the Vibrating Alert feature of the OneTouch® Ping® System, as described in Chapter 4 of Section I. This notifies the user that a bolus dose is being initiated by the meter remote, which gives the patient the option of canceling the bolus.

The bolus delivery alert and the customizable limits on bolus insulin can only be enabled on the pump and cannot be altered by the meter remote. This is also true of basal insulin. We also remind you that any insulin delivery and the source of the delivery (pump or meter remote) are recorded in the pump history, so you can review the bolus dosing. The OneTouch® Ping® System continues to be safe and effective for helping you manage your diabetes.

If you have any questions, please contact Animas Customer Technical Support at or 1-877-937-7867.

Sincerely, Animas Corporation 965 Chesterbrook Boulevard Wayne, PA 19087

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

Well Now You Know? Because THIS IS Important! Jeeeeez Lousie!

brad-angelinaAs I was heading down the hallway of the airport, I could not help but notice the entire rack of magazines, when I took this picture.  Each and every one had the break-up of ‘The Pitt Family’ on their front cover.

Now I’m not going to comment on the actual break-up except to say, there is a reason that they adorn the cover of every magazine on the rack at ‘The Hudson Store’ at Fort Lauderdale Airport and that reason is because people will read it.

Read it?????…….they crave it.  One woman in front of me had 4 different magazines.

This is a great lesson for all of us, the next time we want to know why the world-at-large does not care about diabetes; or what is new; or what your child goes through; or how desperate we want a cure or anything else diabetes-related….the above picture is your answer.

We have left the world of news.  Don’t believe me?  Look at this election coverage.  Are we seeing headlines about Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump having anything to do with REAL news?  We have tumbled into the grasps of sensationalism as I have never seen before.  Headlines are more about making one ‘gasp’ as they are about making news.
If person “X” does something ‘reportedly’ horrendous, we are spoon-fed the garbage and we lap it up like a desert-thirsty dog.

Well, maybe not ‘we’ as a whole.

And you watch… sure as this makes the headline, The Kardashians will do all they can to get themselves back on the covers….watch.  It’s all pretty silly, don’t you think? Now I’m not suggesting that you do something really silly to get the word out about your fundraising event, or an initiative that’s important to you in the constant efforts to educate the world around us….but this is just a reminder on what people REALLY care about.  If they didn’t, they wouldn’t publish it…would they?

Don’t you feel so much more enlightened?  Enjoy your week.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

The Eagle and the Fishing Pole…….and Diabetes, and Us

eagle-and-the-fishing-poleI love to fish.   I mean I LOVE to fish.  On the rare occasion I go for the big fish, we eat some of what we catch. I usually ‘catch and release’ much smaller fish….2-7 pound bass.  When we moved off Long Island and to South Carolina, we moved to a house that has a lake in our back yard, with much woods and forest across the lake.  God’s landscape.  Peaceful.

For me, it’s this side of heaven.  Usually when I finish work, around 7:30ish, but before dark; I spend 30-40 minutes casting outside.  I find it hugely relaxing. HUGELY relaxing.

For the past two weeks I have had company as I fished; a bald Eagle.   The female was with me for a few days and the male joined in.  Majestic, they are; to watch; to observe. Tonight as I was fishing, I realized something.  The Eagle was fishing too.  He sits on a high perch for hours….and hours.  He starts at about 4 pm…and just sits.  I come out at 7:30, and he is still sitting.  Much more patience than I will ever have.

As I cast my fishing line I notice that about every 45 minutes or so; he swoops down closer to the water and then back up on his perch about 60 feet off the top of the water, on a tree limb. We both sit and wait.  He swoops, I cast.  He is observing and I’m looking; both of us at many different angles from where we stand/perch.

The focus for us both are the fish.  But we go about it differently.  Completely differently but we both spend most of our time focusing on our fish.  The trees do not ridicule us because we do things differently, neither do the frogs, nor the grass, nor anything else in the world around us—–we fish and life goes on.

It’s nice that way.

As far as I am concerned……as a community we need to continually bolster any sort of advancement that happens in our world.  Our focus are those living with diabetes; those we love.

If anything makes their life better our community needs to rejoice in it.  I stated a thousand times, the original pumps were the size of astronauts’ back packs. Advancement.  All needs to start someplace and all need support moving forward. Whether management tools, or research advancements…….we need to applaud loudly at what is being done for our loved ones.  Because if we do not….who will?

For over 24 years I have watched so many incredible advancements come and enter our lives; I have seen advancements fail–and break our hearts……but the spirit; THAT SPIRIT that knows we must continue.

Maybe you catch with a simple fishing rod; maybe you catch fish as majestic as an Eagle.  But the important thing IS TO FISH.  Focused on the work you find important with not enough time for negative energy because honestly……..we all have too much important fishing to do on our own.  It would serve this community well to celebrate when anything new and exciting comes along.  Makes fishing a lot easier and a lot more rewarding.

The Eagle and the fishing pole……..think about it.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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NEWSBREAK: Medtronic’s Hybrid Closed Loop NOW FDA Approved.

medtronic-hybridclosedloopsystemExactly as reported from Med Page today
‘Bionic Pancreas’ OK’d
First-ever approval for a closed loop insulin delivery system
·         by John Gever 
Managing Editor, MedPage Today
WASHINGTON — A closed-loop insulin delivery system, combining a continuous glucose monitoring device with an insulin pump, was approved for U.S. marketing Wednesday, the FDA announced.
Medtronic’s MinMed 670G hybrid system is the first such device to be approved, the agency said. It is indicated for patients age 14 and older with type 1 diabetes requiring at least 8 units of insulin daily.
“This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin,” said Jeffrey Shuren, MD, JD, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement announcing the decision.
A required post-marketing study will examine how well the product works in “real-world settings,” the agency noted.
The system delivers basal insulin in amounts adjusted according to blood glucose levels detected with the continuous monitor, with “little or no input from the user,” the FDA said. Glucose levels are measured every 5 minutes.
Patients still need to manually request postprandial insulin doses to cope with carbohydrates eaten at meals, the agency noted.
Data from a trial with 123 participants underpinned the approval. Patients used it for 3 months; no serious adverse events such as severe hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis were seen.
Nevertheless, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can still occur with the device, the FDA said. Skin irritation at the site of the infusion patch is also possible.
Medtronic is currently testing the system in children 7-13 years old with an eye toward securing approval in that age group.
—end article

WOW!!!!!  A new age in management devices has begun……amen and AMEN!!!!
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.