My third Lisa Award goes to South Florida Walgreen's Pharmacist Greg Upham. Greg's passion to make difference in the lives of people with diabetes is not only commendable, it's downright awe-inspiring. Greg is a trailblazer who has implemented programs long before they were accepted as "fashionable," and long before many understood that helping those with diabetes in new and innovative ways was also a good business platform. Greg's passion is unyielding, his thirst for knowledge is is unending, and his efforts are tireless. He not only represents the power of one, he is a one-man human generator powerful enough to light a city. Thankfully for those who have been influenced by Greg's efforts, that city is the diabetes community.
My fourth Lisa Award goes to David Panzirer of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. In addition to being one of the trustees of the Trust, David is dad to Morgan, who was diagnosed in March of 2007 with type 1 diabetes. I have never met David and, being a father to two children diagnosed (one at age 2 in 1992 and the second at age 13 in 2009), I would one day hope to meet him to say thank you. As I lecture around this country, I constantly hear his name and generosity attached to type 1 outreach, research, systems, and/or technology. He chooses recipients with a methodology of having an eye toward the prize of changing the lives of people with diabetes. Many people given the opportunity to utilize a good deal of money at their discretion have fallen short at their attempts due either to greed or to not understanding the problems needing to be rectified. Those of us with children battling the disease should be extremely grateful for David's commitment to making a difference in the type 1 diabetes world. His drive and passion are truly fine examples of the man's "power of one" in making a difference. And should we never meet, David, from one dad to another — Thanks.
My fifth recipient of a Lisa Award is Scott Johnson. And out of every Lisa Award I have given out over the years, Scott stands alone as the closest to exemplifying what Lisa did in her life. Lisa would have loved Scott because the most incredible thing about Scott is what he and Lisa shared. And that is the fact that they shared their own selves, not even understanding the impact they would have in helping others. They did/do it just because it needs to be done. Now that may not seem like a big deal, but let me tell you that to constantly lay it out there, the good, the bad, and the real, is a very frightening thing to do. On Scott's Diabetes, we see someone who allows a glimpse into his life where he shares his struggles, his successes, and everything in between. When you meet Scott you cannot help but be touched by how humble he is and his incredible gift of listening to you. I truly have never met anyone who can listen as well as Scott does. He connects with you immediately. He has helped so many by being real. Lisa never did what she did for any other reason than to help someone else. Scott Johnson is the exact same, and the world is surely a better place because of it.
So these are my Lisa Award choices this year. Five incredible people who, with the power of one, change the world they touch every day.
I'm a Diabetes Dad.
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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