Category Archives: Public figure

A stick-tap to athletes with diabetes

This is me, bottom row, third from the right, following a game in 2001 at the (then) First Union Center in Philadelphia,

I’m generally not a fan of professional bowling. But after reading an article about my favorite hockey team in the sports section of today’s paper, another headline caught my eye.

Shafer doesn’t let diabetes spare his game

The article is about Ryan Shafer, bowler extraordinaire, whose achievements at the lanes has netted him much fame (and prize money!) throughout his professional career. He also has Type 1 diabetes and, according to the PBA website, he’s also a spokesperson for Animas.

I admire professional athletes who play at the top of their game with diabetes. Heck, I admire any athlete, even at the recreational level, who doesn’t allow the disease to stand in their way. But I’ll be honest, when I think of sports where diabetes poses a challenge, bowling is not at the top of my list. It’s not physically taxing, there is sufficient “time-out” to attend to needs, and no linebacker is going to plow you into the ball-return and unknowingly rip out a cannula. But diabetes, and the ways it manifests itself, is not all physical. As Shafer describes, “when your blood sugar gets a little low, you get a little shaky, you’re not steady on your feet. Then after you eat, you want to make up for it and you feel that spike and all of a sudden you feel lethargic and you’re going from one feeling to another.”

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“The Blood is Wrong”: Live on Air

Is this a first in Radio?Image Credit: Thomas Wanhoff | Flickr

I love it when public personalities come out and talk about their diabetes. Not just when celebs with diabetes make a friendly gesture to others who share their condition (not that there’s anything wrong with that. Bret Michaels, you’re doing a great thing by helping a young fan who, unlike myself, never got to enjoy Look What the Cat Dragged In on cassette).

I’m talking a not-quite-as-well-known media personality. A talk-show host on WKXW-FM, better known as New Jersey 101.5. For those of you (probably all of you), who don’t know about NJ 101.5, it’s a New Jersey-based radio station that features primarily a talk/call-in format. Hosts are given lots of latitude with what they can discuss, and the cheesiness of the operation is what gives it its charm. Being New Jersey-centric (not New York; not Philadelphia), it gives the hosts a rare chance to bond and relate to the audience. At times, they really open up into their personal lives.

On January 3rd, during the first show of the year, Jeff Deminski, co-host of the Deminski and Doyle show, comes on the air saying he’s “feeling kinda funky … a little odd … a little off.” He goes on to tell the listeners that he has Type 1 diabetes, and that he knows his blood sugar is either low or high – but can’t really tell, then goes on to inform listeners what each extreme feels like, what normal ranges are, and so on.
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