Featured Blogger: November 9
Tom Karlya, Diabetes Dad
My Diabetes Six in recognition of D-Blog Day 2010
1. Don’t Do Nothing. I have been saying it for years. More people need to be involved in causes against diabetes. Whatever it may be that will get you going; raising money for a cure; educating the so many who need it, whatever is important to you but do not sit idly by and wait for someone else. Get involved today. Diabetes is a 24/7/365 battle, no one went to war for 3 weeks and went home. We have to battle for as long as it takes. I know; everyone is busy. Everyone has to take care of their child, pay bills, and live life. Ask yourself, “How is it that so many important people are involved in diabetes causes?” The answer; they did not find the time, they made the time. No one wrote a book or did a story about someone who was ‘going’ to do something. How about you?
2. Kids with diabetes are just kids. To the school personnel, the relatives, the reps, the insurance companies, the drug stores, the Docs, the CDEs, those who are funding sources, and yes even us parents; our kids are amazing in how they deal with their diabetes. Their childhoods stolen, they do everything they can to get back to what they were used to. Diabetes will not allow them all the way back but it seems there is a row of people who also get in their way as they try. Yes there is much help needed during their journey but always remember…..they are still kids. (Having a problem with that?---beg, borrow, or steal your way to get to the CWD FFL conference every year in Florida. www.Childrenwithdiabetes.com )
3. Wherever you spend your time supporting; never stop asking questions and never stop making sure they know why they are in existence and more important; why they were started. We’re at the Diabetes Research Institute (www.diabetesresearch.org ) because the science and the way we go about it, is an open book to anyone who is involved. Our volunteers challenge us daily and we either are; or we are not. If we were not, there would be a whole list of people moving somewhere else. But this is where we have decided to be; if you have no place; I would suggest here. If you are active with another organization, that’s GREAT! You are involved; always challenge your organization to stay the course of its mission, whatever it is. You have the right, ask questions. We will all win.
4. I will burn out when my children have that luxury. I’m amazed at the number of people who were involved in so many areas of diabetes (education, raising funds etc.) when their children were young but as they grew up they drifted away. There are always reasons but quite frankly, “I’m burned out” does not make the list. When the job is done, are our marching orders as parents and relatives in the name of those we love.
5. Respect people who do not go about ‘it’ (whatever it means) the same way you do. Different is not necessarily wrong and the way you choose to do ‘it’ may not be the only way.
6. Last, but certainly not least is to those who have diabetes. If you think the world is collapsing because you have diabetes, I cannot answer as if I had it because I don’t. I can tell you that the choices you make and the daily battles you have inspire me to try to change this world, for you. You amaze me with your drive to get back to what it was like when you did not have this disease. That drive is doing what you can to feel good so you can face another day. Don’t let anyone compare your disease to anyone else’s because everyone has to face what they have. I don’t have it but if giving it to me would have stopped just one young person from getting it; I would take it in an instant, because you mean that much to me. Please do not give up on you. I have the faith that you can change the world with a loud bang or with a steady and quiet approach. The change can be the world around you or living a life that has you in the best control because you will feel better. We, who do not have it, will never completely understand what it is like to have it but as our children; we do know the desire to take it on ourselves. Why? Because we love you. You are everything to us as parents. You are our heroes. We know we can be a pain in the ass to each other sometimes; we could do that even without diabetes. And when it just gets too much sometimes; all we can do is hold you and encourage you and look for that one day that our work has paid off and it has been reversed. I swear to you; we will only stop—when you can.