I was flattered to speak at a diabetes forum in Canon City, Colorado recently. I love my job as a speaker. And I love being a Colorado Speaker because I live here. (Yay, no airplanes today!)
But this one was personal: my daughter has Type 1 Diabetes. This is a big deal, requires constant vigilance, and is a huge part of our family’s life. I don’t have diabetes myself, but because of my daughter our family has become experts in the management and lifestyle that is diabetes.
So speaking to a bunch of diabetics was very cool — and very personal. I spend some time researching every audience. But when it is as part of my life as diabetes, it’s easy to share my passion.
But what was fun for me was that I have almost no wisdom when it comes to staying upbeat in spite of the disease. Or, more accurately, all of the wisdom I do have comes from my 12 year old diabetic. I’m fabulously proud of her and her ability to adapt to this disease. She is a rock star. Sure, she is well aware that she has a health issue that makes her unique from her friends. But here ability to shrug it off and just deal with it — without complaining….. much — is astounding to her mom and I.
When I asked her what I should tell this group of people dealing with diabetes, and what she would recommend they do to stay upbeat in spite of it all she blew me away. She said, “Tell them that you pretty much have diabetes whether or not you like it. And the only thing you CAN do about it is to take care of yourself.” Such simplicity. Such wisdom. It ticked me off that she could be so articulate at 1/4 my age.
I was to speak to a bunch of folks are facing major life style changes. They are going to have to give up (or severely limit) some of their favorite foods and find a way to like foods they’ve never met. They are going to have to change the way they live — and I was tasked with helping them to make this transition with humor and grace.
So I took my daughter’s message… along with my own funny stories and humor … to this forum sponsored by St. Thomas Moore Hospital. And it went well. The message was right on. I only wish I could take credit for it.
Thanks Canon City! And thanks Claire. It was a blast.
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Proud Father of a Diabetic, Diabetes Speaker, New Fan of St. Thomas Moore
Info about how this Health Care Speaker can help your group
See a video of Brad as a health care speaker here (from YouTube)
An article about being a diabetes speaker with my daughter
Another diabetes article