My Wish List
The birthday wishes of a diabetes dad.
By Tom Karlya
April 2008 — I turned 50 on May 5th and as my inferno-laced cake was being walked in, I was told to make a wish. "What did you wish?" My wish has been the same for the last 16 birthdays and will be the same for the next 60. But with my birthday last month and Father's Day next month I asked myself, "What would I like?" So here is my wish list, in no particular order, and feel free to chime in anytime.
1. I want a cure for diabetes for Kaitlyn and for everyone else so they don't have to think about it in ways we could never imagine. For example, being high or low before a test or having a dressmaker create a pouch in a wedding dress to hold an insulin pump, it just isn't fair. I would love for some multi-zillionaire to offer 50 million dollars to the person or group who thinks of a way for people with type 1 to have manageable blood sugars and insulin dispensed without the individual having to be involved in a way other than watching it happen.
2. I want JDRF and ADA to merge to become a huge powerhouse with incredible lobbying power for public money and a concentrated effort on both education and research. If this cannot happen (and it won't), I want to see real collaboration on the research side so the duplication and wasted resources give way to more focused approaches.
3. I want JDRF to find a CEO who "gets it." Their revolving door is a joke in the diabetes community. This organization is losing ground and don't point to increased revenue and say I'm wrong - get out there and visit your chapters. The international office is out of touch with their volunteer base. If they don't get it back soon, they will wake up one day and it will be too late.
4. I would like the IDF to realize what they started. Six months have gone and I have not heard a word out of them for this year---planning for November should be a year round event. The momentum was good, the organization, and implementation could have been better, but this is the year that decides if you really have the juice to make an awareness impact. Six months to go! Raise millions. Raise awareness. THINK BIG!
5. I would like someone to give Ron Raab's Insulin for Life every dime the man needs.
6. I would like the Diabetes Education and Camping Association to be given 2 million dollars to advance their great work.
7. I would like someone to realize that Audrey Finkelstein should be President of the United States (if you don't know who she is, go find out).
8. I would like my friends Marko and Kim to find 2 weeks to go away together, just the two of them. Life hasn't been kind to them and yet they just keep going and keep giving.
9. I would like the media to stop telling the world that tying up your stomach in some ghastly artificial fashion is a cure for diabetes.
10. I would also like the media to let me know when there is something worthwhile happening in the research work. Telling a story about something being done on two sheep up on the moon is helping no one.
11. I understand that a cure is not something that can be purchased off a shelf, but shouldn't something more be moving out there. Does Denise Faustman have something or not? Someone give her the money to find out. If you're not funding her, my question is, "Do you have a better idea which way to go?"
12. If you utilize volunteers, when is the last time you made them feel special? When is the last time you said thank you? Do you just assume they will be around to help you the next time they're needed? Some say volunteers are the backbone of every organization. I say they are the heartbeat, and when you don't have that, all the backbone in the world is worth nothing. Remember your volunteers.
13. I want every child in the world to experience CWD's Friends for Life in the summer. They will know for the rest of there lives, THEY ARE NOT ALONE. Whatever it takes … GO!
14. I want Crystal Jackson to be knighted by the Queen of England because there is nothing big enough here in the United States to say thank you to this woman. Again, if you don't know who she is—find out.
15. I want Kelly Close to be cloned, because the world needs more than one.
16. And while you're at it, clone Fran Kaufman also because the world needs 10 of her.
17. And while the machine is running—cloning 5 Richard Rubins wouldn't hurt either.
18. I want to meet ‘hollythered' and her family. Everyone needs to be inspired.
19. I want dLife to move to a major network. Something this good should be seen by everyone.
20. I want Gary Hall to win another gold medal in this summer's Olympics-- Kids need to keep seeing Gary's greatness.
21. I want the world to hear Nicole Johnson sing again. Has there really been a more dedicated soldier to the cause anywhere? Someone write the girl a song and let her run with it - she's an untapped talent. Tough to beat that beauty that goes right to her heart, but just wait until you hear her sing—she's the real deal. Tell her I sent you.
Well I'm sure there's more but I have many more years left to do my wishing…oh…wait I do have that one more. It's been the same for the last 16 years.
I want a cure for my Kaitlyn. This is what matters to me most. I want a cure for my Kaitlyn. I'm a Diabetes dad.
Read More of Tom's Articles.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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