When it Happens…..Is There Anyone Who Can Help?

blue candleCould anyone imagine a loss so huge?  I cannot.  Being part of this community we see it too often, don’t we?

Even once, is too much.

Is it happening more often or is it the fact that we are electronically connected that we find out about it……..sometimes instantaneously it seems?

One of the most incredible women I know is Michelle Page Alswager.  I have discussed her heroic action many times.  The loss of her beloved son has made her an expert in a category that no one should ever be asked to particpate…….ever. 

Being Michelle, she has incredibly reached out to those who have been in this horrific tragedy because she knows.   She knows all too well.  And yet, selflessly, she reaches out.

As we move forward I want you to know that should you hear that someone is in need, there is a group that can help (if any help would do).  There is a group of parents who have all had this most incredibly painful sacrifice who support others as only they can understand.

Should you hear of anyone in the process of dealing with this tragedy, please reach out to me and I will do all I can to connect them with Michelle or someone from this group.  I will not contact them myself.  And if any others who read this post want to volunteer to be contacted directly, they will let us know but I did not want to volunteer them.

I’m always amazed how connected this diabetes community is worldwide and how people take their experiences to help others……..no matter the personal cost.

This was not an easy column to write; but I KNOW this most incredible, select group of people; who have made themselves available for the worst possible moment in time.  Being part of this community, you should know also.

May no one ever have to reach out to them; but they are there.  They absolutely never wanted to be there either; and God Bless each and every one of them for opening up to their experiences and opening up their hearts as the rest of us never could. 

Any words I could say to this group would only sound like rhetoric, but thank you for being there for those who only you can understand; you all humble us to our knees.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Group of People Who Go Almost Unnoticed…..BUT They Shouldn’t….Let Them Know!!!!

SupportWe are very quick to let people know about a great doctor or researcher.  We are very quick to let people know of a great person at the organization or foundation we support.  We find a great diabetes educator and of course we let others know.  As well we should.

But there is a huge group of people who usually go unnoticed that I would like us take pause and say thanks.  These people are always there.  Perhaps we think, “it’s there job’, and it is, but they are also there all the time and if they do not do what they do than those who receive all the praise, well they wouldn’t be good at what they do..

It is all of those people who work in the supporting roles. The administrative assistants, receptionists, file clerks, and everyone else who may never see or we see but we forget their smiling face is the first person we see when arriving. 

Their advice and/or work, their direction, and their very manner sets the tone to so much that we deal with when visiting.

These people are there and do we ever even notice them?  Well we should.  Who is ‘that’ person at the office you visit that you know you would miss if they were not there.  Tell us about them but more importantly, tell them ‘thanks’ next time you see them because they play a pivotal role in your well-being or in the well-being of your child.

Let them know it.

I am a diabetes dad

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

Newtown, Ct. Tragedy: We, at Least, have Somewhere to Turn.

What do we do now?

Anger.  Much anger.  Debate.  Much debate.

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy I find myself reading many, many posts.  Mental illness, gun control, school safety.   What do we do now?

I’m not someone who would even think of myself as a professional or an expert but it seems to me that these discussions are attempts to somehow erase the indelible horrors that have painted pained images into our minds.

After spending 30 hours in the midst of the horrors of 9-11; it took me years to be able not to see the images that were burned in my mind every time I shut my eyes.  The nightmares and visuals happen from time to time to  this day eleven years later.  I remember the days following that event and how I tried to somehow to “make sense’ of it all.

I came to the realization, with help, that we cannot make sense of it all.  In fact, hard as we may, we cannot make sense of ANY of it.  Because none of it makes any sense.  What we can do is become more aware of our world and what is important.

We cannot control that which is thrust upon us by someone else’s actions.  My friend Moira stated in a post recently that (paraphrased) we the diabetes community are very aware of dealing with tragic events.  This is not a comparison to anything else except to state that we in the diabetes community have invested our hearts, our pains, our fears, our joys, and so much more in the community we belong; the diabetes community.  And it is almost as if we are more prepared for……..well much more than many others who do not know what we go through, and do not know about community until it is needed so badly.

So when everything started happening, I sought out those who are in my community.   Those I turn to everyday.  I was not disappointed.  SO many perspectives and what I learned from our community is to not try to find sense in anything, but rather; those we hold close…hold just a tad closer.  Notice the fresh air.  Notice the sound, the music, the love which surrounds all of us.  The DOC allows us a place to turn.

It has been what has gotten us through before, and what will get us through again today, and what will also be there for us tomorrow; when it unfortunately will be needed again.

In the diabetes community, we do, have each other.  I am grateful for that.

I am a diabetesdad.

A Community……Our Community…..Comes Together.

Community: defined as a  group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.

As I watched the tragic events of the last few days the word ‘community’ has been stated so many times.  We all belong to various definitions of the word community, don’t we?  Probably the strongest community I belong to is this, the diabetes community. 

As I watched the people in Newtown, Connecticut come together for strength and consolation of each other I started to think about our diabetes community.  What makes us part of this community, what draws us together, is the very same thing that all of us could do without and would love never to have had enter in the first place; but we are here now.

We, probably more than many others, understand the need to come together for support, for answers, for consolation, and yes sometimes even to mourn.  We are part of something bigger than us, something that makes us laugh, makes us angry, makes turn to when needed…….we are a community.

I went to various people’s sites today and just read some of the posts.  What a variety of emotional posts from happiness at a local bar, to celebrating an anniversary, to the frustrations of what do with a particular diabetes management tool, to frustration at a school; to the pain we are feeling about the tragic events of yesterday; all with many, many comments to support and uphold the person writing the post.

We ARE the diabetes community.  In some cases we live many miles away from each; we have different religious, political and other views; we piss each other off from time to time but when needed we are here for each other…….we are dedicated to each other.  We are a community.

I so appreciate all of you and I just did not want to wait to tell you.  I want to tell you that today.  You all mean the world to me and I would be lost without this, a place none of us wanted but are here now to be there for each other……..a community.

I am a diabetesdad

A mad as hell tragedy…we can all help. Read, do, & share.

It’s not enough. You have to get mad; so mad that you do something.

Dammit I’m angry as hell. You get mad too. Please read.

Meri and Ryan Schuhmacher with their 4 young boys (teens and below in age) were just like any other couple; you, me, or even your friends and/or relatives, they’re a family. Meri is the type of woman who somehow always finds a blessed light in the darkness of things that happen in this world. She is a fabulous writer and her “OurDiabeticLife.com” is about as refreshing and real as it gets.

Did I forget to tell you that 3 of her 4 boys also live with T1 diabetes every day? Figure it this way 24/7/365X3.

Six months ago she revealed to the world that her husband would be battling a rare form of brain cancer and to say the fight was valiant would be an understatement. With 3 kids living with type 1 diabetes, fighting valiantly is a way of life for the Schuhmacher Family.

I saw them in July and you could tell it was a struggle but Ryan had a smile to give and his family around him at the Children with Diabetes conference in Orlando Florida.

Ryan lost his battle over the weekend. Just like that, six months apart, total upheaval of a family. That should make me angry at life. That should make you angry too. Meri wouldn’t want that and truly, it’s not in my make up; but make no mistake—I’m real angry. I’m asking you to get angry too.

Diabetes, Cancer, MS, Alzheimer’s, Autism, and so many more diseases that strike a chord with one of us, or all of us, are always asking for money. Camps, hospices, hospitals, and educational institutions are all also constantly asking for money. And it is understandable, times are tough. Money is needed for extremely important issues.

Recently a woman was bullied on a bus and the world thought it was horrendous and raised $702,384 for this woman. That was fabulous.

This is horrendous also.
Think about this: a woman with 4 young boys and 3 of them with type one diabetes, and not only is the love of her life gone, but so is the family’s source of income. Meri must now ‘go it alone’. Medical bills from Ryan’s cancer battles, three boys with diabetes, daily living with a house and all that goes into running it and the food bills for 4 growing boys; plus so much more—-you get the picture.

A site that was started to help with Ryan’s medical bills is now the financial lifeboat for the Schuhmacher Family’s enormous expenses. Life has completely bullied Meri and I’m asking you to be angry right along with so many others and angry enough to care. Meri will move forward in life because….well….that is Meri. She is a proud woman and a great mother. We can impact the future of this family. Let’s do it……together.


By clicking the above link is a way every single cent will make a difference to a family in need, both now and for years to come. If you have $5, it will make a difference. If you can give more, please do so. Give because you are doing okay, give because your kids are okay, give because you want to see your money actually help a family and make a difference, give because that is what we all do when someone needs our help; this help is needed more than you will ever know. Please, give.

PLEASE–give today and share this blog somewhere else. We’re all God’s creatures, even when we’re mad as hell. Thank you. I’m a Diabetes Dad.