A Young Man with Diabetes and His Incredible Story Told by His Mom……Buckle Your Seatbelt, The Ending is a FABULOUS Mind Blower.

Wow 2There is really not much to say except this is one of the most incredible stories about one young man who had an experience that he will remember for the rest of his entire life.

It is a good story and worth the time to read……the ending will blow your mind.


I am a diabetes dad.

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On the Road….Many Entities Help Us…..They Don’t ‘Have to’.

MiamiMy friend and mentor, Charlie Rizzo, once stated to me that he had to do what he does. I have written before about his tireless efforts in the world of diabetes and since his daughter was diagnosed he has never once lost that fire to find a cure.

I thought of those words today.  I am on the road, which I am a lot.  The traveling is always hard on everyone in my house.   I love what I do and the travel is part of it.  When I was an actor and in New York working people used to say how wonderful it must be.  I enjoyed that too but like anything, I knew that it was my job.  I came to work and did my role and went home.  I never thought of it as wonderful but always knew I was fortunate to be where I was in life.

It is the same with travel.  It is a necessity with my job and because I know that it brings me to meet wonderful people who do great things, this too is a fortunate side despite all of the plane, trains, hotels and automobiles.

Today I am in Miami meeting with some of the folks from Walgreens.  Walgreens is a great big company.  They do not ‘HAVE TO’ do anything.  Not just for the DRI, but the diabetes community as an entire entity is very fortunate to have a company who chooses to help out.  

There are many, many charities out there and Walgreens is a good friend to not only the DRI, but the JDRF, ADA, and other diabetes organizations as well.  We are all lucky that they ‘choose’ to help all of us.  On April 20th of this year they will run their annual Walk with Walgreens to benefit the DRI.  It is a huge event in both Port St. Lucie and at the Sun Life Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins).

There is no ‘one day’ that we stop and say thank you to the so many people, companies, schools, and a whole list of others who have no ties to diabetes that do great things for us.  They donate money, time, products, and other resources because someone got their attention and they chose to help out.  Let us know some of the places you work with and have been very generous to your efforts?

Sure I know, it is part of the corporate world to give back and I know that much money is spent inside their stores and it makes for the ‘warm and fuzzy’ side of the corporate world to help.  But remember that every entity you work with has ‘floor-to-ceiling-proposals’ from thousands of  charities asking for help.  For some reason they are involved with you because you asked them.  It’s never wrong to say, every now and again, thank you for helping us.  Remember, they don’t have to ‘this’, but because of our love for our kids, we do.  Call them up or drop a line and just say, ‘thanks’.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


A TV Icon, in Her Darkest Time…..Teaches Us All Lesson

Valerie Harper MagI was, and still am a huge fan of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I honestly believe that I saw every episode at least 3 times among the original air dates (1970-1977), reruns, and you tube.

Probably more than any other celebrity, Ms. Moore has made no secret of her T1 Diabetes and her devotion to her diabetes charity, JDRF.  She is a hero in every sense and shape of the word.

Being such a fan of the show, it was a huge thrill the times I met with her and worked with her while at the JDF.  Ms. Moore is (and I admit the point could be discussed)  probably in the top 3 or 5 television icons of all time.  So to have met her was as if the show I adored watching; now had an instant, real, live, connection.

One of my favorite characters in the show was always Rhoda Morgenstern.  Her mix of savvy, shoot-from-the-hip-attitude, New York personality, and fabulous great looks made her an instant favorite for me.

I was at the supermarket yesterday and stopped in my tracks when I saw People Magazine’s front cover.

My heart sank.  “What??!!”

I’ve read the article three times and as much as it broke my heart, Ms.Harper has many things to teach us.  I suggest everyone get a copy of  People Magazine and read this article because no matter what Valerie Harper is facing, she, just as our beloved Rhoda, calls it like it is; and also has a few things to say before her life ends.  Even though her disease has NOTHING to do with diabetes; her advice was very real for me as a father who lives in this diabetes world. 

–Don’t let your fear today rob you of a fun life.
–If you’re not here now, where the hell are you?
–My mom always used to say, “If you can learn from it, than do.  If not, forget about it.  That was yesterday.”
–Life is amazing.  Live it to the fullest.  Stay as long as you can.

WOW!  No words could be truer spoken. My thanks to Ms. Harper, her family, and Johnny Dodd of People Magazine for sharing this story. 

Whether diabetes is in your world or not; this is an article that will touch your very soul.  But to the diabetes community, I share the points from TV’s ‘every woman’ as they should be very valuable to all of us.

Valerie Harper states of her relationship with our diabetes hero, Ms. Moore; “I was so comfortable with Mary”; as we are with you Ms. Harper, even in your darkest time—-you found the time to make us comfortable.  May you have peace during this time and thank  you for the reminder what truly is important.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

JDRF, and The World, Loses a POWERHOUSE. A Tribute.

Carol and Jim IrwinWhen I was a staff person at what was then called the JDF (didn’t know that did you?) I was at a meeting and the woman at the microphone said with that incredible smile; “Lock the doors because no one is getting out until they commit to this.”

That woman was Dame Carol Lurie.  Last night, quietly in her sleep I am informed, the world lost probably the most influential person in making what the JDRF has become to the world today.  She would dispute that, of course, and give the credit elsewhere.

She was strong and the many times I have referred to her and Lee Ducat when I lecture, it is always to show the power of what two moms could do in a world, where they believed; that diabetes just would not do.

I left the JDF, she stayed.  I went to the DRI and it was years later that my son was also diagnosed when I opened  my mail to a note that simply said that although we are on separate paths, our goals would always be the same; our kids.  And I’ll never forget how she signed it, “…see you at the finish line.—C.L.”

She and her husband, Erwin (who also passed a while back), were powerhouses in this world of diabetes.  Long before the internet, social media, and electronic outreach; Carol somehow found a way to connect the corners of the earth as one diabetes voice.  And the voices rose.  The voices were heard.  And changes happened.

So when you think that nothing can get done or be done in this world anymore; think of Dame Carol Lurie–or ‘just-a-mom’ Carol Lurie as she would say.  A mom who just believed that in this world, under her watch, diabetes will just not do.

It is my thought that she and Erwin are in black tie & gown behind the pearly gates dancing together and half way through the evening, she may very well speak to all of the angels and say, “Close those gates and no one leaves until we figure out a way to significantly help those who I have left behind.”  …..and her legacy will continue on.

See you at the finish line my friend.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

What Will Happen in Washington?

Capitol hillThey are on their way to Washington.  Seems that letters went out to the many of 150 children who were chosen as delegtes for the JDRF Children’s Congress.   When I was part of the program we called it the ‘Run Up the Hill’, a great choice on the name now used.

The testimony and the few days from July 8th to July 10th  spent in our Nation’s Capitol will probably be remembered by these kids for the rest of their lives.  They have a job to do and they will do it well.  They will move lives to move mountains.  Nothing is more powerful than hearing directly from children what they life through everyday with diabetes.  The agenda will be set and it will be followed.

There was a record number of applicants this year according to the Children’s Congress website.  There needs to be a limit on how many kids can convene in the halls of Congress and the kids will be well furnished with what they need and will be guided by the JDRF on what can be distributed to the members of Congress.  But it is their voices and their stories that will have the biggest impact.

That said, if you would like to do something and be involved in meeting your congressman either in your hometown or in DC; perhaps everyone can take a page from Elizabeth Gar McCrary who is creating a book of faces and stories to take with her to share with our nation’s elected leaders when she goes to meet with her congressperson.  What a FABULOUS idea.  Magnificent. (JDRF Government Day is set for March 18-19)

The American Diabetes Association will also hold their Call to Congress from March 5th-March 7th this year as well.  Their message will be to ‘Stop Diabetes’ and surely that is a message that needs to be delivered loud and clear.

Here is the ADA Information about their call to congress. The ADA will also train people and let them know exactly how to the biggest impact with the leaders they will be meeting. 

Seems to me that our elected officials need to hear the stories about diabetes and they need to hear it many times.  Find out if you can be part of and join in these incredible initiatives meeting with our congressional leaders and testifying before congress. 

Find out if your congressional leader is part of the diabetes caucus.  I was part of the team that worked to create this in 1995 with the result occurring the following year.  It became the largest caucus on Capitol Hill.  If your Congressperson is not part, ask them to join it because it is THAT important.

There is strength in numbers and a unified voice is one that cannot be shut out or silenced; call these organizations and find out what you can do ‘On the Hill; or even at home if all the slots are filled. 

Say nothing and nothing will surely get done.

I am a diabetes dad

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

A Questions is Asked…..Diabetes Needs More? Do We? Your Thoughts Please.

we need moreOn FB yesterday I read the following question from a parent:

I am tired that everywhere I go there is a support this or support that except for our t1d children and families does anybody feel the same? In the world where we find products all turning pink or a telethon or paper Shamrocks being sold or even a hot air balloon paper cut-out being sold at registers; the question is a good one.  Do we need more?Being with the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF), I often marvel at the outreach capabilities of our colleagues at the ADA and JDRF.  I hear people say to us all the time, “who are you guys?”  “What’s the difference between you and the JDRF; or you and  ADA?”  “We love that you guys are totally focused on a cure and know you are known for collaborating but what is the relationship with the DRIF and other organizations?”  

And there are other diabetes organizations as well that all are constantly looking for assistance and I imagine asked the same questions as we, at the DRIF.  scholarships to those with diabetes, camps, foundations, diabetes centers, offering supplies, other research arenas……….if they all came together under one umbrella I assure you that the world would definitely know who that entity was, but there is not just one entity dealing with diabetes.

Nor should there be.In as much as I’m the first one who states that we all need to continue to strive and find ways to work together; but thinking for one second that all diabetes organizations should work as one is a naive thought at best.  Work together, when needed?….yes; work as one?…no. If you Google ‘diabetes non profit organizations’ you will see 3,130,000 ‘finds’.  That is a lot.Diabetes is a very complex disease with many different aspects; and so are there many areas of diabetes in the nonprofit arena needing support.  Volunteer and financial support of the many different aspects is very important.  People feel it’s important to support the partnering with private companies for better management tools (JDRF), people feel it is important to fund education in schools (ADA), and advocacy in legislative branches (ADA, JDRF), funding for scholarships (Diabetes Scholars Foundation) Funding for Camps (Diabetes Education Camping Association), research for a cure (Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, JDRF, and some by ADA), support of athlete initiatives (Chris Dudley Foundation, RidingOnInsulin.org, Iron Andy Foundation and many more), not even to mention the many organizations that help people aboard (Diabetes Hands Foundation, International Diabetes Federation, Insulin for Life, and LIONS International  to name but a few) and even on the local level there are thousands more non profits helping locally with diabetes assistance.

All of these organizations (and there are many, many more) do great things helping the many aspects of ‘the diabetes world’.  However, there is not a one-singular-all-encompassing diabetes organization.  And it is probably for that reason that one item, like a shamrock does not represent all of the different diabetes interests.

Now it may also mean that same events occur on the same date around the country; it may mean two health fairs occur simultaneously, and you may sometimes feel ‘pulled’ to make decisions on where you spend your time, your energy, and your money.  But you have choices, and the choices are yours.  Go one year to this event, next year to another.  Don’t get frustrated with what is or is not happening or is on conflicting dates; make a choice and run with it.  You will always have another choice to help where YOU WANT to help, when you want to help.

Here is the trade-off.  In as much as there is not just one universal diabetes organization, you have many choices on where you spend your energy.  What is important to you?  I have stated many times to not get involved in one organization OR another; but rather get involved in one organization AND another (and maybe AND another).

So to the woman who asked the original question, and I thank her for asking, I answer this way: we have so many choices out there to help those with diabetes; if there are almost 26 million people with diabetes in this world; and if each person along with two loved ones impacted by diabetes did just one thing to help, over 78 million people would be doing something right now to help in the ‘diabetes movement’.  And further, if each of those people gave (or raised) just 100 dollars annually; it would be more than enough to accomplish every single goal out there.
SO my questions is not; how do we achieve one diabetes organization?; but how do we get more people to help because more do not help; than do.  And THAT IS something we can all do something about, and we can start right now by asking the person in the mirror.  Just ‘don’t do nothing’.

I am a diabetes dad. 

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