Thursday, November 4, 2010

Diabetes Celebrities

From the ADA's suggestions: 
Thursday, November 4: Diabetes Celebrities – From rock stars like Bret Michaels to professional athletes like Jay Cutler, people with diabetes are showing how diabetes has not stopped them. Who’s your favorite diabetes celebrity?

Wow, that's a tough one.  I know of a celebrity who has done diabetes a disservice by claiming to be "cured" because he lost some weight and watches what he eat.  He was not cured.  There is no cure for diabetes at this time!  We call that a diabetic under tight control.

Who do I admire for being honest with their disease and actually doing the diabetes community a service?  I've actually been thinking about this and I honestly can't think of one celebrity who stands out in my mind.  However, there is a boy I met last year at an ADA Step Out event that comes to mind.  His name is Jared. When I met him last fall he was 13 yrs old and in his first year with Type 1 diabetes.  I came by myself to that walk and he was there with his family. 

I don't know if it was our Red Strider hats or what, but somehow I clicked with this young man.  We started to talk about our diabetes.  We talked a lot during our three mile walk.  About the challenges of counting carbs.  Oh the look on his face when he said to me, "Someone who understands that it's about carbs and not calories!"  Although we have different types of diabetes and with that comes different challenges, we also had a lot in common.  We were both still fairly new diabetics (less than a year for him and just over a year for me).  We both found counting carbs to be a big challenge.  We both also had a goal of raising money to find a cure. 

Unfortunately Jared and I didn't keep in touch.  I still think about him often, wondering how he's doing.  Not just with his diabetes, but life in general.  It's people like Jared that stand out as celebrities in the fight against diabetes in my mind.

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