Posts Tagged ‘American Diabetes Association’

Time Well Spent

October 1, 2013

Saturday September 28th, 2013 – Buffalo Grove, IL

No matter what anyone’s religious beliefs happen to be, there are a few concepts that fit in well across the board in all circumstances. These are not necessarily based in religion at all, but rather common sense principles that should be practiced by everyone who draws breath on this planet.

The Golden Rule is high on top of this list in my opinion. What a fantastic idea, and even more fantastic when it gets carried out. It doesn’t take any religious affiliation to practice this concept, and it’s a mystery to me why more people don’t do it. A wonderful world it would be if they did.

Tithing is another. That means to give at least ten percent of one’s income away to help others. This concept often gets abused on both sides. Givers try to weasel out of it, and takers view it as a bottomless party fund. Discretion needs to be used, but when it is tithing is good for everyone.

My grandfather wasn’t religious at all, but he taught me both of these concepts at an early age. I’m so glad he did, as they have both done me extremely well. The Golden Rule isn’t difficult to practice once one gets into the habit, and I’ve been doing it since childhood. I do slip up once in a while as we all do, but as a whole I think I’ve done pretty well. It has been a priority in my life.

Tithing has also been rewarding to the highest degree, and it’s not always money. Sometimes if I’m running lean I’ll make a point to donate 10% of my time instead. When times are good I will even do both. Giving has become a habit, and I’ve never regretted any time I’ve had the chance.

Today I had the chance to participate in a charity event for the American Diabetes Association. It was a four mile walk in Buffalo Grove, IL and I really had fun. My friend Marc Schultz called to ask if I wanted to walk with him and his family, and of course I said yes. Marc was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2012, the year after I was. It was a natural fit that we both did this walk.

Charity events always attract an upbeat group of people, and that alone makes it worth my time to show up. I’ve never once seen a fight break out, and that’s beyond refreshing. Everyone is laid back, and there are usually people of all races there who have lost someone to whatever disease.

Everyone involved is polite, friendly and courteous, and there’s always a good vibe associated with the entire event. Today was no exception, and the weather happened to be outstanding so it was an absolutely perfect day. If I had my way, I’d participate in a charity every single weekend.

One of my grandfather’s favorite quotes was from Abraham Lincoln who said “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” I realize everyone with type 2 diabetes isn’t a child, but the principle still holds true. Making the effort to help is never wasted, and I will always show up whenever possible. Without that, what is the purpose of life? Helping others is the highest honor.

If more people would make charity work part of their lives, it would dramatically improve life on so many levels. There wouldn’t be time to squabble about insignificant things – and it’s ALL insignificant if it doesn’t help others, at least in my opinion. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, but when I participate in events like this it makes me feel like I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. At the end of the day, it always feels like I received far more than I gave.

It was worth every step of today's four mile walk to be able to help the cause.

It was worth every step of today’s four mile walk to be able to help the cause.

Take Flight To Stop Diabetes

November 10, 2012

Friday November 9th, 2012 – Milwaukee, WI

   November is diabetes awareness month, so I gladly volunteered to take part in the ‘Take Flight to Stop Diabetes’ annual gala for the American Diabetes Association in Milwaukee tonight. I try to be of service whenever I can, but I especially want to help with anything to do with diabetes.

My own diagnosis of type 2 diabetes feels like two lifetimes ago. I have made and maintained a major lifestyle change because of it, and I feel better than I ever have. It was a shocking wake up call, but I heard it loud and clear. I’m going to keep hearing it and spread the word to others.

The ADA office in Milwaukee is filled with sweet people, and I have really enjoyed getting to know them. Sally Shepherdson is the director, and she’s an absolute peach. She’s down to earth and easy to deal with, and that trickles down to everyone else I’ve met who works in the office.

Tonight’s event was a big smash hit, and I was delighted to be a part of it. My job was to serve as the assistant auctioneer for the charity auction and lead in a game called ‘Heads/Tails’. That’s when a coin is flipped and people grab either their head or their tail to predict what the coin will land on. I had never seen that game before, but it was fun to do and I’ll remember it for later use.

The host of tonight’s event was Sally Severson from Channel 12. She’s a meteorologist and I’d heard her name for years but never met her in person. Well, that was definitely my loss. What an outstanding lady she is, and she’s been the annual hostess for these events for sixteen years now.

I didn’t ask what her reason was, and it’s really none of my business. I’m not sure if she herself has diabetes or not, but I will say she was all in for the cause and was as sincere as anyone I have ever met. She was there to help, and she did a magnificent job of keeping the event on schedule.

I was really impressed by her onstage and off, and I see why they keep having her back. I have seen television people who don’t have a clue how to handle themselves in a live situation, but not Sally. She took charge from the start, but offstage she treated everyone humbly and with respect.

These are the kind of people I want to be around, and the kind of person I try to be myself. In a perfect world, diabetes wouldn’t be a part of it – but it is. People who roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done are hard to find, but there was a room full of them tonight. I admire them.

One lady I especially admire is Michelle Alsweger. Her son Jesse passed away at age 13 from the disease, and she gave a moving presentation tonight which touched everyone in the room. If that alone didn’t make me want to donate my time and energy, nothing would. It was emotional, but also educational as it opened the eyes of everyone in attendance how diabetes affects us all.

I was not the star of the show tonight, nor did I intend to be. I just wanted to show my support and pitch in to help in any way I could. I hope I can be part of more events on behalf of ADA in Wisconsin and all over the country. I’ve been lucky to be able to keep my own diagnosis under control, but there needs to be a whole lot of education passed on to the masses. I’ll do my part.