An Evening of Dreams
There is no better time to find a cure for diabetes.
By Tom Karlya
March 2009 — Once upon a time there was a man. This man believed in his heart that one day, people would find a cure for diabetes. One day the man found himself in a land that could only be described as magical. It was only for this one night, but the memories will be with the man forever.
The name of this enchanted place was called the Love and Hope Royal Ball to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. Not just any ball, but an incredible evening where the crowd became electrified when over a million dollars was raised - and an additional gift of 1.5 million was received! - all to help find a cure for diabetes.
The first person he came across was Ms. Sonja Zuckerman, the Lifetime Chairman who started this event some 35 years ago. She looked more like a queen. She eloquently welcomed everyone to take part and implored them to donate and help children and adults who wanted to find a cure for diabetes.
The next person he came across in this wondrous land was Charlie Rizzo and his wife. Charlie started a dinner in New York that has raised over 24 million dollars since 1983, all for diabetes research. But it was not the money why the man was so in awe of Mr. and Mrs. Rizzo, it was the fact that after so many years of trying to find a cure for diabetes, they have the same energy, the same drive and the same determination as when they first started, in fact even more so. Ask Charlie about burn out and he'll say, "Burnout? How can anyone burn out before their child is cured?" A lesson for us all.
Well it was getting late and the man was enjoying himself, but then the following opportunity came along and a picture had to be taken. The man on the left is Bob Pearlman. (In fair disclosure he is the man's boss.) That said however, ask yourself how in this environment, in this economic downturn, in the constant upheaval of those who head organizations particularly in the nonprofit sector; has this one man not only helped grow this organization but after sixteen years he still sits as the Foundation's CEO with higher goals than ever before? Surely the goals are realistic in this financial environment but ambitious nonetheless. Never once has anyone heard him say anything seeking credit. He doesn't believe in it being any less than an entire team effort. He understands the value of both the volunteer and the employee like none other in this business. Teamwork defines the credit and the results.
The man on the right is Dr. Camillo Ricordi. He promised to find a cure for the man's daughter and also for your loved ones and not one other person on this earth has ever made that promise! Not ONE! His passion and knowledge are of unparallel proportion in the diabetes field. His peers around the world praise him and at the same time, he stops to listen to parents whenever they approach him. He defines tireless and personifies everything any one parent could wish for when it comes to searching for a cure.
As the man strolled through the magical evening, he could only stare at those in the room as he met leader after leader in the diabetes research world. He even came along Dr. Norma Kenyon. Dr. Kenyon has been in the battle against diabetes for some time. Never did she think how personal it would become until her very own daughter would be diagnosed with diabetes. She lectures across the world as not only a top scientist but a mother who literally looks for the diabetes cure everyday with an absolute personal passion.
The magic continued as a very special guest arrived. The international chairman of this incredible evening was Barry Gibb. He performed for the guests and the crowd was very actively involved vocally as well as dancing to just a few of his many, many hits. Hearing this mega-star sing makes no one wonder why he has sold over 100 million records. He is magical and has been active in raising money to help find a cure for diabetes for some time. He invited a very special friend to join him this evening and for the first time ever, he and superstar Olivia Newton John were together on stage. Surely it was just too much to handle - why would this man be so fortunate to be here on this night to witness this magic?
Well as if that was enough. Imagine if by some bizarre chance one could be given the opportunity to thank Barry for his wonderful kindness. Imagine to be given the opportunity for some one-to-one time to thank him for taking the time to make a difference and to thank him for allowing the opportunity to take us one step closer for a cure. That would only happen in a dream right?
Sometimes dreams can come true, and Barry could not have been more gracious. He told the man that he was only happy he could make a small difference in the ongoing mission to find a cure for diabetes. And one day there will be a day without diabetes.
The man was in constant wonderment weeks after the event witnessing so many people in one room changing the world, not just this night but every day. Feeling unworthy to even be with them, he found himself in the middle of them speaking to each as if a friend.
By now you know, I was that man and involved only for one reason: 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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