NEED YOUR HELP TODAY………Summer Camps???…..Help Others…..What Do You Know?

CampOkay, I need your help.  Because I do not know from personal experience; I seek your input today.  It is May 2nd and families are getting ready to send their child(ren) to camp.  Our kids did not attend summer camp, or by time Kaitlyn did–she did as a counselor–but it surely is a topic THAT MUST be addressed.

Kindly share your experience going to diabetes camp for the first time, or every summer; having diabetes and going to a non-diabetes camp—what tidbits can you add?  Not going away to camp but a day camp—what do you know?

One of my favorite people on this living earth is Shelly Yeager.  Few people have the love deep within her heart for our young people than Shelly.  Her work at The Barton Camp, the Diabetes Education and Camping Association, and more recently with Young Leaders in IDF also has made her a powerhouse of knowledge.  Camps can be such a huge asset to any family dealing with diabetes and Shelly taught me that over the years.  The amount of education that is poured into these camps is just incredible. And…..they’re a load of fun.

You can learn a good deal by going to the site of the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (they have a camp locator by state) but I also believe that some great advice from others adding their own personal experiences will be a huge help as well.

What did your kids like about it, what did you do to get them ready, were you in contact with your kids while they were away–and how did you deal with that aspect, how can one get financial assistance in attending, did you weigh sleep-over vs. day camp?????   Our friends overseas….share what you know also; where should people turn for help in your country?   All just some questions that need answers and could help others.

And PLEASE feel free to tell us about a camp you love (and add their link); this is all information that people might be able to use.

Please hit reply and give your comments on this site because this article is sent and read all over and not just on the FB page you may have seen it; so please add your advice, comments, and pearls of wisdom right here for others to see.

Camps—-the season is open!

I am a diabetes dad.

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

We Will All Need Help at Some Time…..A Story that Will Warm Your Heart.

Girls softballIt will happen.  No matter how good we think we are, no matter how hard we work at it, there will come a time that you will need help along the way.  Bet on it.  If not yet, it will happen.  Because everything we deal with is life, and life is every thing we deal with on a daily basis.

I have included a video today (I like to do that) and it is only about two minutes long.  It is one of the ultimate situations when someone accepts help from a an incredibly unexpected source.  It is a reflection of how the human spirit should be in dealing with one another.

Let it serve as a reminder of two things.  One, that people can surprise you at any given time and two, when someone offers you help………take it.  Because sometimes a helping hand is there, but we just don’t notice it.

I saw this video a few years ago.  interesting that participants are long graduated into life, but on this day, on this date in time; they created something that they will never forget; a lesson for all of us.

Click the picture above to see a short video of one incredible group of young ladies.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Calls We Make on the Phone, about Someone Special.

TJ FiremanThe phone.

You know, the call.

You know, the amount of times that you pick it up and it feels like a million pounds.  The weight of calling a loved one to deliver the bad news   You remember it; “Mom, Dad, we are at the hospital, she has type one diabetes.”  Or the call with even worse news.  Remember those?

Well today I am reminding you to remember the opposite occasions.  The times you were so excited that you could not dial the phone.  You were smiling so hard that your face hurt.  You were giddy, a song in your heart; the earth could not be more beautiful.  Cell phone or old-time-rotary phone, it did not matter—–you oozed joy.

Today is such a reminder of such a day.  Our first-born arrived 27 years ago this date.  Thomas James entered the world and our lives would be enriched and changed forever.   A father could not be prouder of his kids, and each of ours has incredible strengths.

I have often stated that my kids are far from perfect, just like their dad.  But they provide us with such incredible joy.  We always look to teach our children, to be the mentor; many times—-they teach us.

My son is fiercely dedicated.  If you are not his friend, you’ll know that but if you are, he will be there for you at every turn.  He has taught me the meaning of absolute friendship.  He has a group of guys and girls that have a bond of which I have never experienced before.  Most are in the fire department with him, perhaps that has something to do with it.

They are as silly as they are serious and they enjoy each other beyond measure.  I truly love TJ’s friends.  “Hey Mr. K”, is the sound I love to hear from them each time I see them.

He has a very protective side to him as well.  He has, on more than one occasion,  stood up for others and his family in ways that one would need to experience to fully understand; rather than me try to explain.

I, me, personally never owned a pet until I was a father; and watching TJ’s love for animals has taught me a great deal.  Why, me the man who would never own a dog, now has two.

I have written many times about the way TJ and his colleagues approach firefighting.  He was part of a group that I will always call “Tony’s boys”—a mentor who once said to me, “Tom, my boys go in and come out of fires.  I will always have their backs.”  And the entire time he taught them, outside of a few scratches, he was true to his word.

Tony’s boys turned into fine young men who are a tightly knit group that will be there for each other in all things good and evil.  They are men; faults and all: but there for each other.  There is also a strong bond with all of his friends which of course include women as well, but it is this group of guys he has known all of his life that I have watched grow right along side of him.  They all play a role within society, and this does not surprise me.  Military, EMS, Police, Fire Department, Linemen, Post office and more—–they connect and watch over all of us.

I write a lot about diabetes.  It has changed our lives and impacted us beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined.  When my younger two children were diagnosed; along with Jill, someone else was there thorough all of it also.  A lot of attention is given to our children with diabetes; we tried to do what we could to balance those scales with TJ, who does not.  It’s tough to be ‘the child without diabetes’ in the attention category within a family unit.

He is 27 today.  He bears my first and last name.  I am so proud of him and everything he does.  Happy Birthday son.  I love you bunches.

“Hi mom, dad……it’s a boy.  We had a boy.  Thomas James and we will probably call him TJ.  Yes, mom and baby are doing great.  Yes, he weighed………………………….”

Ahhhhh………the phone.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

What is your FAVORITE Diabetes Word or Phrase?

diabadassWhat is your favorite diabetes phrase or word?  You know the one you saw and made you say, now that says it all.  One of my favorites…….and it may be taken as a tad crude by some, I guess and I apologize in advance, but I just love the word “diabadass”.

It is an edgy word that tells you the person is taking no defeat, grabbing diabetes and dealing with it and is taking no prisoners when it comes to diabetes.   I just love it.   And PLEASE if there is ONE PERSON who deserves the credit for this word—please stand up and take a bow.  🙂

One word. One phrase.  Over the years, what has been your favorite and if need be; please explain why.

But share it with us.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


“Mommy, Why Am I Different?”……..THE Question We Get Asked.

DifferentWe have all heard THAT phrase at one time or another.  “Why can’t I be like other kids?”  It goes through us like a sword, doesn’t it?  Sometimes it is followed by tears, sometimes a hug, we stay strong.

We die a little on the inside also, don’t we?

We have addressed this issue two ways over the years. The first is that Kaitlyn was not ‘excluded’ from ANYthing.  We made sure that if her classmates did something, so did she.  Usually we were asked this question (which was not a lot by any means but certainly it was asked and certainly tears were shed)  during a blood check or a shot (before pump days).  When we were asked, we went through all of the things that Kaitlyn did, just like the other kids.


We would always add an incident that made us laughed together also.  And we would give her a little tickle and say “…..remember when we laughed at when daddy wore those silly Easter Bunny ears with you?  Remember that picture.”

She would smile and we would close by saying; “…it is very important that you get to do these things just like everyone else.  And we have to manage your diabetes (we used that word, manage–from day one so she would know it.  We explained each time until she grasped it, what it meant.) so we can do what you can to try to make sure you don’t feel groggy like when you are low.   The phrase changed as she got older.

Over the years, we heard that people used different phrases; ‘God made you sweeter than the rest” and other phrases.  If it works for you that is fine but know that at some point, you have to start educating your child.  We decided to do it from ‘the get-go’.  We also pointed out that people are all different for many reasons; but after a while it was clear to us that we could not reference diabetes like the color of ones hair being different from others.  So we decided to always make it about choices and that to do all of the exciting things that life had in store for her, she needed to make sure her diabetes was managed.

We made it about a choice she would have to make.  And she did.   We would ask her if she wanted to continue to help us manage her diabetes so she could also continue doing what all the other kids were doing.  And this worked most of the time.

When it was a day that was just too much; we held her.  It did make it a bit easier because I too have been dealing with a chronic disease since my teens.  It is not the same as diabetes but I have to carry my meds with me at all times.  So it was easier to say; “Just like daddy always has his meds you need to make sure you have yours with you.”  This helped a lot also.

It was very important that our tone was always such that was an explanation.  Not a big fuss and a major deal,  IMPORTANT but something to deal with and take care, and move on to the busy day ahead.  When she was interviewed when she was 9 while the news station was following her when she went on the pump, she said something that, again, would change my life.  During the interview she said, “I have diabetes, diabetes is not who I am.”

It was at that moment I knew we were doing something right.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Everyone is “Doing the Mr. Awesome” in Honor of an Incredible Child………You Can Too.

Jimmy Mr. AwesomeUnless you have been somewhere else for the last few days, and NOT online, you have been missing one of the truest forms of viral online frenzies, ever.  It’s awesome.

Or to be more correct; Mr. Awesome.

Mr. Awesome is an online campaign in honor of North Miami’s Calder Sloan, a 7-year-old human-dynamo who lost his life very recently when a faulty light in their family swimming pool electrocuted him.  His father’s nickname for him was Mr. Awesome.  Calder created a self-portrait and after his death; the photo has gone viral….very, very viral.  Now I do not believe that “Mr. Awesome” had diabetes and the world we live in is not always about diabetes…..but I do know that this community, our community, likes to help;  so here is the chance to do something good.

My friends Luca and his wife Tammy are good friends of the family and I promised them I would help continue the word.  Here is what you do:  You print out the picture and take a selfie with the picture included and post it on Luca’s FB page at:
or you can also use #MrAwesome on all forms of online outreach.

This family is being extremely comforted by this effort and his family is using the loss to help others understand the loss and to help Calder’s school.  His father’s incredible interview is below and he speaks of Calder and his success in changing the world as something “…Calder is, not was….”

Mr. Awesome Here is a copy of Calder’s self-portrait.  Print it out, take a picture, and post it on Luca’s page or use the hashtag.  This is a simple one…..let’s help this family during this incredible time of grief.

I am a diabetes dad.

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