We ‘Need’……REALLY????…….uhm……Come Back from Over the Rainbow

ozI have heard this statement a million times.  “We need…..”  In reference to the diabetes community; we need a really good spokesperson; we need an ice bucket-type challenge, and other things…we need…we need….we need……….uhm……..not really.

We need to pull the weight ourselves……..all of us.

Mary Tyler Moore has given tirelessly of her entire career to the message of diabetes through the JDRF.  We can argue the fact that she is probably in ‘the top 3 category’ women EVER to be on television.  She did countless public service announcements which aired, she did countless trips to JDRF functions and private meetings (I was even privileged to be with her on one of them), she did a countless amount of trips to talk to elected officials…..never has there been a better public figure than Mary Tyler Moore in ‘speaking diabetes’.  The JDRF, NO—we; in the DOC—are lucky to have had her and her messages for so long.  Someone so tireless, and yet, the message still needs to be heard.  Did the world ‘get it’?   So is the answer ‘just’ a great spokesperson?

The JDRF and ADA walks and rides are the best in the world.  THE BEST.  They get countless amounts of people and raise millions—-MILLIONS of dollars.  Ever go to an event that has a fund-a-grant—well you can thank a woman in Seattle named Deniz (JDRF long-time employee) and the Benaroya Family of Seattle for starting that stroke of genius a million years ago.  So is the answer ‘just’ doing a NEW event?

Years ago you never even heard of the JDF (JDRF)…and the ADA was mostly a group of physicians and you might have heard of walk in October.  To be honest, even in my professional life at the DRIF, I am glad that these organizations are what they are with the people behind them because I was here in 1992……..and let me tell you something….at THAT time there REALLY was no understanding about diabetes.  These two organizations set the bar and opened the door for many smaller organizations and educational opportunities………and off we went.

A difference between T1 and T2???????…….back when??????……seriously?????……people never even heard of the disease much less discussions about better understanding.

Are we done yet.  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

But before we are so quick to say that nothing has been done…….let me assure you with almost 23 years at this at full speed I agree with what Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz; “……. if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! …”

Many organizations have been created over the years with GREAT focus and if ever there is not a perfect synergy between you and a group……find another; they’re out there.  It’s easy to just say, “we need….” and be done with it.   I’m here to tell you that “we need” is alive and well and more than that ‘we need’ is here now.  Add to all of this the DOC, we have one helluva powerhouse.

If you are not plugged-in somewhere—get plugged-in somewhere.  Yes we always need new spokespeople and new ideas, but let’s not forget what is here right now.  Be the addition to what is here now before re-inventing the wheel–change them up to make them better, and add as needed. There is still nothing so exciting as seeing 8,000 people the morning of an event.  I know, I see it every year at one of our walk-event with Walgreens and the DRI at Miami Marlins Stadium.  If you are active in these type of events with JDRF and ADA—you see it too.  It is shown ALL OVER the world…..Is there ANYTHING like it…….really?

They say there are almost 30 million people out there with diabetes (T1 and T2) and add the multiple of 3 other family members and the number comes to 120 million people have, or have a direct connection, to diabetes.  And if you are interested in just T1D, that same number is about 8 million with/with-direct-connections…….are there 8 million people in the epicenter of events around the country?  Not even close.

Without going into detail, in my immediate family we are directly impacted (or have been) by MS, Cystic Fibrosis, Alzheimer’s, and Autism–the organizations surrounding these events have shared (in part) over the years of the huge success in the diabetes world.  They see it more than we do.  They cannot even fathom having two humongous organizations like the JDRF and the ADA  both surviving and flourishing side-by-side; not even to mention major research centers like Barbara Davis, Joslin, and the DRI all also being in the mix.  Now add CWD, Camps, DECA, The Diabetes Scholars Foundation, and many, many more with specific and different missions.  We need…………what…….I ask?

So what am I saying?  As Dorothy stated, we have in our backyard EVERYTHING we need to succeed, and or be heard.  I think we need to figure out how to get those who ‘do nothing’ involved…..either that or just understand WHAT we do have.

More to do?????  Absolutely.

But “we need…..” must be replaced with; ‘put me to work…..’ because heaven knows we have what is needed……..every entity mentioned just needs more workers/volunteers/donors……there is nothing too small; and they will all welcome any and all help you can give.  I have said it forever, “Don’t Do Nothing”………………and don’t.

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

A Chance to See/Hear an Absolutely Incredible Story……In His Own Words!!!

PR 2014 Part of the ‘year-end-campaign’ for funding the Diabetes Research Institute and in recognition of Diabetes Awareness month, The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) created this video which highlights the story of one of my most respected heroes in this diabetes fight: Michael Otten.  Michael chooses to NOT do NOTHING.  In addition to his huge generosity, his story from 9/11 is unbelievably compelling.

Whether you choose to give or not is your call, but you will truly find his story fascinating…..click the picture above or click here to take you to the DRIF page with Michael’s incredible video…….in his own words.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


A GIANT Steps Down: Bob Pearlman President & CEO of the DRIF

CWD 2011 Bob P and TomIt is with huge mixed emotions I share the following news.  Below is the press release as stated by the DRIF.

My boss, my mentor, and my friend—-there is not one single parent or person with diabetes who should not be grateful for the work Bob has done over the past 20 years..

I will write more in the near future but for now I say best of everything Bob, you surely deserve it.

We will stay driven.  We will stay focused.  We are in it to end it.

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation President and CEO Robert A. Pearlman Stepping Down After 20 Years

HOLLYWOOD, Florida — May 20, 2013 – After successfully leading the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) for two decades, Robert A. Pearlman, 67, of Boca Raton, FL, announced that he will be stepping down from his position as president and CEO effective June 30, 2013.

Mr. Pearlman was recruited to the DRI Foundation in 1993, after a 25-year career in the fundraising field, to increase funding for the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami, the sole beneficiary of its support. During his tenure, the Foundation and the DRI experienced exponential growth, developing into one of the premier diabetes organizations and a recognized world-leader in cure-focused diabetes research.

Under his leadership, the DRIF has raised approximately $300 million dollars and, in the process, became the largest contributor to the University of Miami in its history. Mr. Pearlman presided over three consecutive five-year campaigns which increased fundraising more than 15 percent per year. When Mr. Pearlman steps down at the end of this fiscal year, the annual campaign will close 13 percent over this year’s goal and up 34 percent over last year.

“We thank and honor Bob for his tremendous service for the last 20 years. He built the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation into a world-class institution and has made a tremendous impact on shortening our timeline toward the discovery of a cure for diabetes,” said Harold G. Doran, Jr., chairman of the DRIF’s National Board of Directors. “Bob is leaving us in a strong and exciting position to move toward our goal of a cure and continue our momentum after unveiling the DRI BioHub earlier this year.”

“It has been an incredible privilege and personally gratifying for me to have led the DRI Foundation for the last 20 years and to have worked side by side with Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of the DRI. I’ve been surrounded by an incredible team at both the Institute and Foundation, many of whom have been at the organization even longer than me. I’m confident that with this team in place the mission to cure diabetes will be achieved,” said Mr. Pearlman.

DRI Foundation Chief Operating Officer Deborah Chodrow will become acting president and CEO on July 1, 2013. She will serve in this capacity as the organization conducts a national search for a permanent successor. Mr. Pearlman will remain a consultant to the Foundation for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition for his successor.
Complete link:

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Information as Promised: Dr. Camillo Ricordi’s Live Webinar

CamilloI stated that I would supply the information about Dr. Camillo Ricordi’s live webcast when it was available.

Without editorial or comment I would like to inform you that on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 from 12 noon – 1:00 PM USA Eastern Standard Time; Dr. Camillo Ricordi, DRI Scientific Director, will host a live webinar to discuss the vision and strategy about the DRI BioHub.

He will be joined by Cherie Stabler, Ph.D. Director DRI Tissue Engineering Lab and DRIF President and CEO Robert Pearlman.

After short presentations; Q&A will take place.

You must register first and you can click here to do so:  REGISTER

At the time you register you will have an opportunity to suggest a question.

It has been suggested that anyone wishing to register do so in a timely manner.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

In NYC for 12-12-12……But Not for a Concert……For a Cure!

12-12-12 in New York City.  At a concert?   Nope. 

I found it interesting that just a few blocks away from probably the biggest concert since “We Are the World” joined together to create an album, there was a huge gathering of people together for you (if you have diabetes) and your children (if they have diabetes).  It was a ‘concerted’ effort on 12-12-12 in New york City where a thousand people raised money for a cure.

But this is not just a story of en event that raised well north of one million dollars (that is correct, ^ of $1,000,000) for a cure.  It’s a line that I heard….and I have heard it before.  The founder of this incredible event, Charlie Rizzo (I have written about Charlie, a dad who does not understand the meaning of the words, ‘burned out’) once stated, ‘I have to do this, so many more do not”.

And it is that line regarding the Empire Ball, Unlock the Cure that I need to you to focus on today.  One of the major forces involved with this incredible event (pictured in the middle of the picture with DRIF President and CEO Bob Pearlman on his right and Charlie Rizzo on his left) is a man named Peter DiCapua. 

To my understanding Peter does not have a major connection to diabetes, well he didn’t when he started working on this event years ago.  He does now because of Charlie and the so many more honorees over  the years, and so many more like me; who could never thank him enough for what he does for our loved ones….and for yours.  For those of us who have diabetes in our family, we have to do what we do.  But for someone who does it on the basis of just wanting to make a difference; well that’s pretty special isn’t it?

Peter is an extreme savvy and sharp businessman.  He is an incredible organizer and hugely influential powerhouse for this event.  I was astounded on how many past honorees of this event were in the room last night and have stayed involved because it is important enough.  Peter makes that point clear at every turn. 

One does not merely attend this event, this event becomes part of all who attend.  Peter, just like Charlie Rizzo, will be the first one to deflect any recognition off him to the over 50 others who help organize this event.  But all will agree that it is Peter’s leadership and the way he organizes this event that makes them return each and every year.

Diabetes just will not do.

Peter’s work is all year.  He works on getting the honorees, having them tour the DRI because it is important they truly know what it is they are supporting, and he makes sure the details are ………well……all detailed.

Peter does not have to do this.  Knowing Peter, I am sure he helps others as well.   I’m also sure he has nine million other things that he could be doing also and yet, he has decided that we will one day cure diabetes and he wants to be part.  Not necessarily for himself but for you, for me, and for the millions who wait for themselves or for their kids.

Over 30 million dollars later Peter is still at it.  He doesn’t have  to, but he does.  Aren’t we lucky?  If that doesn’t humble you, nothing will.  Remember that there are others like him in our lives who help us in our journey that do it for the only reason to help.  Need to find holiday spirit, think of those people.

The 12-12-12 concert certainly had their stars, a few blocks away the diabetes community had one of their own………his name is Peter DiCapua; thank you Peter.

I am a diabetesdad.


T.G.I.F. (Thanking Great Individuals Forever)

His efforts are tireless and his reputation well-known not only to his worldwide colleagues but many PWDs and to parents who wait for a cure.  He works in the lab, lectures worldwide and yet, still finds the time to speak to those with a full heart investment interest in finding a cure for diabetes.

 Here he lectures and states on a two-year project to , “……learn how to transform an academic institution into a CURE FOCUSED Machine……”

Because it is that important to him that a cure for diabetes be found.

He has been published in over 600 scientific publications and issued 11 patents, and yet one is struck at seeing their child’s picture on the wall in his office to continually remind him of why he is at this mission day in and day out.

His official title is the Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Microbiology and Immunology, and serves as Scientific Director and Chief Academic Officer of the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute.  What is interesting about that title is it bears the name of a child who lost her battle with diabetes, Stacy Joy Goodman; again an ever reminder of the laser focus he needs to stay.

(Stacy and I spoke, and were together, as she bounced out of my office with the exuberance of a teenager with a lifetime ahead of her; just two days later she would be gone forever)…..her name in this man’s title is as powerful as his scientific findings and says mountains about how important he takes his challenge.

His lives by his own words; “We will cure diabetes, this is not a prediction, it is a promise.”

He is my friend, my colleague, and he (along with his incredible and entire team) represents the hope for my 2 children and why I come to work EVERY DAY for this place

He is Dr. Camillo Ricordi and he is Diabetesdad’s T.G.I.F.  Take a bow Dr. Ricordi.