MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR
UPDATE: JULY, 2007
LOCATION: Rock Hill, South Carolina
TOTAL: 8000.3 Miles
This has been a catch-up month, for me. There are only 1700 miles more to walk to reach the finish – Madeira Beach, Florida. So, I decided to take a block of time (six weeks) to organize the many aspects of THE WALK™ that have piled up during the last six years and to eliminate those items, which take up space, but are now not necessary. For example, there have been all kinds of winter clothing that has been closeted, but will not be necessary to carry any more – no more northern winters. Also, enormous amounts of paperwork that is critical to a functioning office has now been reviewed for pertinence and filed or tossed. And, there are boxes of personal items that I wanted to have with me all these years, in order to preserve my ongoing interests and/or my sanity. One hobby that comes to mind is a small piece of my comic book collection; still, hundreds of comics.
I felt that because I was in the far regions of the U.S. in these past years it was important to have all these “things” at my fingertips. But, now, because I am so close to home base all these “things”, and more, are being brought back to Madeira Beach. Should I feel the need for any of it during the next 12-18 months (the length of time I estimate to finish THE WALK™) I’m close enough to home base that I’ll be able to take a short drive to get it.
Also, I have taken the time to organize the film library I have accumulated since the very first steps of THE WALK™. Actually, I have gathered all film, DVD’s and photos (pre-digital) into one manageable pile. For the final and formal archives I’m depending on Shirley to implement her extraordinary organizational skills. She has already done a great deal of it, but much remains.
The final two weeks of this six weeks period will be spent in Florida. I’m going back to drop off “stuff”, visit doctors for regular maintenance (endocrinologist, lab work, dentist and eye exams) and get some much needed computer tutoring on the computer from Lisa Rasolt. Lisa is our Program Director. In truth, though, it doesn’t come close to describing the many hats she wears as regards the overlapping responsibilities she assumes. In this case, she will be teaching me some of the aspects of the WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR pages so that I will be able to assume some of those tasks. That said, when done, it will not replace Lisa’s oversight of the website.
I think it appropriate, here, to mention Lisa’s great work on the DDF website. When you go to our website you are looking at an ever evolving “living” organism. She has nurtured it for years and worked with a number of people who have assisted at various levels – mostly positive (Dawn Swidorski, our Public Outreach Director, for one) and occasionally, a person(s) who have been disruptive and unproductive. In all cases, though, she has demonstrated her professionalism and expertise. The net result is that we now can boast of a consistent “unique visitors” following in the range of 150,000 monthly, and growing every month!! So, please take the time to get familiar with this extremely “user friendly” diabetes resource (over 2000 pages).
Meanwhile, Shirley & Russ Barriger, my Tour Managers, are taking this same time to be back home on their farm in Michigan. They are getting a family fix; visiting with their five children and their spouses and eight grandchildren. And, of course, they’re doing farmer type things – (please don’t ask me – I’m city born and raised!!!). They certainly have earned the break and, when they return, it will be straight out for the balance of THE WALK™ (time off for Christmas, of course).
My only appearance this month was with the Rotary Club of Kannapolis, North Carolina. For the fun circumstances that brought me to this particular appearance, please go to the UPDATE – June, 2007: www.DefeatDiabetes.org
Anyway, I was warmly received by new President, Lorna Felts, Eddie Smith and my personal sponsor – Eric Atkinson. Eric brought a VERY special guest, Erica Atkinson. Erica sat beside me at the Head Table and I found this attractive young lady to be bright, funny and very entertaining. And, she recently received her driver’s permit, so………………..
Rotarians know how to fill an hour. It was a great meeting attended by the Kannapolis business and civic leaders. They definitely make things happen!!
I shared speaking honors with Clyde Higgs - VP of Business Development for Castle & Cooke LLC in North Carolina. He also received a much deserved award of acknowledgement for his work and his impact on the community.
Castle & Cooke is the real estate arm of David H. Murdock, owner of Dole (pineapples, etc.). Murdock has invested $1 billion (yep, BILLION) out of his own pocket to create the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis. It's well under construction and is scheduled for completion early in 2008. VERY impressive.
Briefly, The NCRC is a cooperative effort between Kannapolis, NC and David H. Murdock. Its focus is multi-purpose but, generally, to address the medical & nutritional issues facing humanity in the years ahead. Diabetes is a dedicated focus, too. It has already gained worldwide attention amongst the corporate and political "powers that be".
After the meeting broke, I had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Higgs. The outcome is that DDF, MR. DIABETES® and NCRC will open lines of communication and further a cooperative effort.
I sure missed Shirley & Russ on this occasion. Their absence reminded me of how much I depend on them to smooth out the rough spots. Not only do they add personality to these functions (very helpful), they also handle the photo and camera aspects. Lots more, too.
And, Dawn Swidorski, our Public Outreach Director is on vacation, too. She and husband, Tony, live in San Francisco, but this week, are wilderness hiking in the mountains of California.
Okay, that’s it for now.
Please visit our website and get involved in, and support, any of our valuable and worthwhile programs. Of special note are the studies we are encouraging our visitors to investigate and participate in – go to the left rail for info.
And look for new products, services, advertisers and sponsors being introduced during the next month, or so. Currently, we have added ACSIA Long Term Care Insurance FOR DIABETICS – very hard to get, normally. They are professionals who are qualified to address ALL of your Insurance and Estate Planning needs. Tell them you saw them on Defeat Diabetes Foundation.
Andy Mandell – MR. DIABETES®