I Support: Diabetes Research Institute (and disclosure)

DRI-LogoSome of my first exposure to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) was from Gina Capone and the blog posts about attending ‘Mastering Your Diabetes‘, an intensive five-day course designed to teach self-management skills.  She chronicled her time there, and it all sounded great.

Then I attended CWD’s 2010 Friends For Life Conference this summer and had at least four incredibly powerful experiences around people from the Diabetes Research Institute.  First was a session by Norma Kenyon, Ph. D. about her work towards a biological cure.  Next was Tom Karlya’s presentations with Kimberly Davistalking to your congressperson.  Then was some social time listening in with a group huddled around Cherie Stabler, Ph. D. talking about tissue engineering.  I also spent a bit of time talking with Lori Weintraub and learning more about what DRI is all about.

Everything they said was fascinating to me, but more important, I could feel their passion.  I could feel it.  Their passion for finding a cure for diabetes was tangible.

It was at Friends For Life that I knew I wanted to be more involved with them.

I am honored to say that I have been asked to help them spread the word about who they are and what they do, and promote the Diabetes Diplomats program for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF), the nonprofit fundraising organization dedicated to funding the cure-focused research the Diabetes Research Institute is doing.

Become A Diabetes Diplomat

My friend Riva Greenberg recently did a two part interview with Dr. Camillo Ricordi, DRI’s Scientific Director, and there were a couple of quotes that really touched me.  They are a great example of the type of people working to help us.

“It’s easy to think diabetes is acceptable if you don’t have it.”  Dr. Ricordi (from part one)

“Every scientist here signs off on our collaborative mission, that we help all other groups that have the same enthusiasm for finding a cure.” Dr. Ricordi (from part two)

This is a unique group who are focused on us, people living with diabetes, not competing for scientific accomplishments and accolades.  They want a cure, pure and simple.

Dr. Ricordi goes on to say that they don’t get much mainstream funding for cure-focused work, and that they depend on the DRIF for almost 40 percent of their budget.  They need our help to spread the message and encourage people to get involved.

As I learn more about the Diabetes Research Institute, the foundation, and the Diabetes Diplomats programs, I will be sharing all of it.  I don’t think enough people know about the good things and good people there, and I’d like to help spread the word.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am being paid a small amount to help them.  I appreciate them helping me live my dream (which is to make a living helping people with diabetes).

I am a long way from being able to pay the bills, and am still actively looking for additional contracting and freelance opportunities, but this is a start.  This is an exciting start and something that I am proud to put my name behind.

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24 thoughts on “I Support: Diabetes Research Institute (and disclosure)

  1. Disclosure: I am VP of the DRIF
    I am also the parent of 2 kids with diabetes and have been at this for 18 years. I wanted to drop a quick note only to add how grateful we are that Scott has agreed to help in our initiatves and also just to invite anyone who may be in the Miami area; the opportunity to see first hand what the DRI is all about. I have heard the word ‘cure’ too many times in my life also—it is the philosophy of the DRI I like most, and the work ethic to actually end this disease—if my wife and I honestly thought there was some place better—we would be there—I’m in it to end it. Period. I stand ready to assist anyone, anytime should I be able—drop me a line; [email protected].
    Thanks for reading.
    –Tom
    Diabetes Dad

  2. Oh Scott, good for you!!!! I could not be more thrilled to see you on your way to making your dream job come true. And I could not be more thrilled to see you working with such a wonderful organization – I really am looking forward to hearing much more about DRI and the Diabetes Diplomats.

  3. I have to really question as to do we really want a cure for diabetes? What do we have to gain by curing diabetes? I would think our diabetes would be replaced with something else we could grip about. There is nothing I can’t do with or without diabetes.
    This is a question that I have pondered for some time now. As a Type 2 I know my perspective on diabetes will be different than a Type 1. I think of the people and friendships that I have met because of my diabetes. I think of the people that I have grown to admire even though most of them have been from websites such as this and twitter. I find the friendships that I have developed more of a gift than a cure.
    Lets be for real…breast cancer has a serious publicity and marketing machine. Their advertising can only be matched by the Obama campaign in 2008. Almost everything from auto parts to frozen foods have some money going to some agency for breast cancer and they still haven’t found a cure. Can you imagine all the memories and friendship that have been made because of breast cancer?
    Has anybody thought of their diabetes as a way for you to connect with people outside of your comfort zone? I have only been a beautiful and lively Type 2 for almost 3 years but I don’t see my diabetes as a drudgery but a new chapter in my life. Much like when a girl gets her menstruation, it is seen as a new chapter in her life. I am certainly not perfect and my Endo considers me non compliant. I just never considered my condition as the hindrance. I plan on moving and shaking and being the life of the party everywhere I go. Most people can’t believe I am diabetic when I tell them.
    I would rather bring awareness to people than to worry about if we will have a cure in our lifetime. Just like in my latest blog what are you doing for awareness in NOVEMBER????
    FOR ME….DIABETES IS A LIFESTYLE…not a death sentence.

  4. Thanks John,
    I also appreciate you sharing your thoughts on it. I think we’re all very skeptical, especially after hearing for so long that a cure is 5 years away. I know that many of the folks involved in much of the cure research have a close family connection to diabetes. I can’t help but feel that those people are truly focused on curing this and having to find a new job.
    For whatever it’s worth, I too used to feel that there was a big conspiracy around curing diabetes. I don’t feel that way anymore, but don’t have any special “light bulb” moment that converted me. Maybe it’s from listening to people like those at the DRI. I’m starting to understand that it is a really hard problem to solve.
    Thanks for speaking up on this. Hopefully we’ll get some good dialogue going around this subject.

  5. OK, the newspaper and TV news last weekend said by 2050 1/3 of the US population will have diabetes. So I guess they’d better hurry up. Why not talk about the cause though? We have type 2 diabetes because 1) We’ve abused our insulin (types 2s stand up) or 2) We may have more propensity because our parents or grandparents abused their insulin by eating too much high glycemic carbohydrates. Mine were Irish…
    So maybe the “cure” is to talk about what caused it in the first place – continually spiking our insulin by poor diet. The cure is – just eat real, not artificial and not highly processed, food. If it doesn’t come directly from the ground or it doesn’t have a Mommy, don’t eat it.

  6. Well done Scott, they are lucky to have your valued input.
    However I do very often sit here and wonder whether it is really in the best interests of the medical profession and indeed the chemical and hardware companies associated with making their fortunes out of us mere mortals who are diabetic. Just think what finding a cure would do to the bottom line of their balace sheets and indeed their share prices too, in a time when big profit is what they are looking for above all. I am sorry to sound somewhat cynical but I have suspected that “Lip Service” and not real serious research in an honest quest for a cure is what it is about for the corporates who make their living from diabetes. I would like to think that I was wrong but in these hard economic times I have to say that I do have my serious doubts, Don’t you?
    Regards
    John “B”

  7. Scott, I know that your knowledge, passion and insight into life with diabetes will be a fantastic asset for DRI folks. I hope they recognize this, have fun and best of luck with this new role.

  8. Well, congrats on supporting something dear to your heart. I certainly hope that the scientists get their collective crap together and solve the pancreas problem. I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, but it is looking like I am a LADA diabetic. Worse, I was suffering from insulin resistance. I hope that one day I can look forward to the cure! For now, my dream is to help those with the diet and exercise portion of management.

  9. Congrats, Scott! That’s awesome! Like George said: We’re meant to live our dreams, so keep going and you’ll end up where you are meant to be. Looking forward to hearing more on your work with DRI, my friend!

  10. This is awesome dude. I have such respect for what they do at DRI.
    On another note.
    We are passionate people meant to do what moves us.
    Don’t give up man, your dream is coming!