The MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR
UPDATE: August 2007
LOCATION: Rock Hill, South Carolina
TOTAL MILES WALKED: 8600.3 miles
I know there hasn’t been any advancement in miles walked since the last UPDATE (July, 2007). But we haven’t been idle. As a matter of fact, we have accomplished so much during this “down” time that I can proudly say that we continue to accomplish our stated outreach goals of THE WALK™: to reach out into the diabetic population with positive messages of AWARENESS + ACTION = PREVENTION®.
Tour Managers, Russ & Shirley Barriger, are back from their July and August visit to their family farm in Michigan where they also enjoyed their family of five children with their spouses and eight grandchildren. From what I can determine from the reports of their visit I think that returning to the rigors of THE WALK™ is a bit less demanding – that is me speaking, not them. I should say, though, that I saw lots of pictures of their visit home and they ALL show happy, smiling faces. Clearly, they had fun!!
During that same time period I cleaned up a lot of accumulated “stuff” and brought it to the Defeat Diabetes Foundation’s (DDF) home office in Madeira Beach, FL. Included in the bundles was my winter clothing, as I don’t expect to experience winter ever again in my lifetime. I know, famous last words………
While in Florida I also got my “family fix”. That was great!!! I also accomplished a lot in my capacity of Executive Director of DDF. It was fun working in close proximity to our COO, Jerry Mandell and our Programs Director, Lisa Rasolt. It was an eye opener to see up-close-and-personal how they manage to get done all they do for DDF. Their efficiency is incredibly solid and effective, as is the rest of our organization. This is borne out month after month as DDF continues to grow in all the right ways, and we do this without skipping a beat. To be fair to the other key player who is responsible for the positive impact DDF is having on diabetes, I wish to acknowledge our Public Outreach Director, Dawn Swidorski.
Over the years we have stayed in touch with those earlier members of our team who had a positive effect on our growth. And, as their abilities have matured and their dedication to our DDF mission have remained strong, we are bringing them back into the fold, as needed. One such person, as you may recall from my UPDATES spanning January, 2002 – November, 2003, is ex-Tour Manager, Bob Brooks.
Bob is coming back in an independent executive capacity. Because of the activity being generated by our DDF website, it is necessary to have a qualified individual interview and review the organizations and companies seeking to add their products & services to our ever-expanding website. In this capacity he will qualify, in advance, whether or not such companies meet the extremely high expectations we insist upon before they would enjoy exposure on our website. Jerry, Lisa, Dawn and I have been responsible for guaranteeing and protecting our DDF website from negative intrusion(s) in the past. Bob will add a “front-line” protection. The integrity of our DDF website remains solid!!
It’s too early to know how many visitors came to our website in August, but in June there were 143,000+ unique visits and in July there were just over 170,000. So, it’s clear to see that DDF needs Bob to make sure that all visitors to the website can rely on us continuing our extremely high standards. Welcome back aboard, Bob…………..
Other DDF activities I enjoyed while back in the home office was assisting several teams of advisors who help chart our course(s) going forward. Our Board of Directors helps, of course, but as we expand into new and un-chartered waters we feel it is important to make sure the foundation of DDF is solid. Non-profit organizations (as are all organizations) are best served when they move forward cautiously and deliberately.
So, as we move forward, we are reviewing our past in great detail; learning what mistakes were made, as well as the successes. Fortunately, none of our mistakes have been anything more than minor distractions, which could not have been foreseen at the time(s). The good news is that any mistakes have turned into positive outcomes. DDF is the evolving truth of that!!
I have taken this time to explain our management style(s) because I am now announcing a major national program we are launching in September. This is a pre-announcement, especially, for DDF supporters and readers of our E-Lerts™ newsletter. More formal national Press Releases will be prepared by Dawn Swidorski and released around mid-September. I’ll explain……………………
During the course of THE WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR I have been asked countless times what I will do after THE WALK™ is completed. Some folks figured I would just sit back, write a book, make a few speeches and go fishing. Well, although some of that may happen, it would be a crime to take all we’ve learned out here during the past 6 ½ years and not build on that information. Others, who know me well, know that doing something like that is not an option. They know I will not stop if there is something in my power to correct. There is no amount of money, time or effort I will not willingly expend to protect that which is mine and those I represent. And I will state once again, MR. DIABETES® represents ALL diabetics.
Here’s the reality: the government can’t stop this epidemic and the pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to find the cure. Big pharma’s contribution is considerable, but it’s directed to improving the tools diabetics need to survive. So, we need them and can measure their significant contributions, but a cure?? Forget it!!! No surprise here, though. The United States is a money-driven society. Diabetes accounts for $225 billion per year in the U.S. And that’s with only 16 million identified diabetics of the 22 million believed to be afflicted with this deadly disease. There are another 54 million pre-diabetics who will develop diabetes in the next 10-15 years if something isn’t done IMMEDIATELY to prevent it. One of every three children born after the year 2000 is expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime; in some ethnicities that number is one of every two. UNACCEPTABLE!!!!! I have met with some of the world’s leading diabetes researchers – people in the know. Not one of them disagrees with me when I say not to expect a cure in 20-30 years, if then!!
So, to that end, I announce a most spectacular project to eradicate diabetes from our society:
MARTIAL ARTS DEFEAT DIABETES® COMMUNITY ACTION PROJECT
The wheels for this project were set in motion when I was walking through the Boston, MA area in July, 2006. Local martial arts instructor, Jason Gould, introduced me to his instructor, Master Teacher Tom Callos. From our first conversation, Tom and I set in motion a project that will impact diabetes in communities all around America, will be cost effective, will include components of both nutrition & physical fitness in a concise, practical and fun way(s), and will utilize our country’s most valuable (and currently untapped) resources – our KIDS, who will participate with the informed guidance of their parents and teachers.
I won’t take your time to discuss what MR. DIABETES® and Defeat Diabetes Foundation brings to the table. That you already know.
But, take a look at what Tom Callos brings to the table. For an introduction to Tom I direct you to Black Belt Magazine – September Issue. BBM is, arguably, the foremost authority on all things Martial Arts. Turn to page 98. There you will meet Tom. This extraordinary leader has dedicated his life to the martial arts and how he can best serve this ancient art and help move it forward into modern life and times.. He is founder of a VERY special organization, which is made up of some of this nation’s leading martial arts practitioners – The One Hundred. Tom is also responsible for the challenge known as the Ultimate Black Belt Test. You can read about it all in this issue of Black Belt Magazine
There are many tens of thousands of extremely talented martial artists all around the world. But, only a few rise above the rest to make it into our stream of consciousness: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van Damme, David Carradine - all of movie and TV fame. Yes, they are talented martial artists and certainly have their place in history. But, they didn’t invent the martial arts. Rather, they studied and worked hard to master techniques, which they then demonstrate to the rest of us. They all had/have teachers and their teachers had teachers. What many don’t know about the martial arts is the philosophy of peace and respect that goes hand-in-glove with the physical side. It’s a beautiful balance. And, throughout the many centuries, there have been devotees behind the scenes who have been innovators; who have evolved these magnificent fighting arts into each era’s current times, thus, keeping the martial arts alive and well. When a person is recognized by his/her contemporaries and honored by them, in this instance by following and contributing to a new and innovative martial arts program, then you know you are dealing with an exceptional individual. You will never hear it from him; he’s not made that way. But, you will hear it from me. Tom Callos is such a man.
His influence on the current practice of martial arts is undeniable and reaches nationwide, maybe even worldwide. There are hundreds of martial arts schools and many thousands of martial arts students/practitioners who know his love and passion for the martial arts. They rally behind and beside him in his quest to change the world in a positive way. In time, I/we will reveal his already many acts of kindness to benefit mankind. Does he do it alone? Of course not!! But, his leadership, character, professionalism and respect for others motivate and inspire people to join him in helping to improve the lives of others.
Tom’s innovations involve the respect for the martial arts in the philosophical and the physical sense, as well as adapting the disciplines to fighting those forces hurting our present civilization; in this case, diabetes. By introducing proper health techniques to communities through martial arts studios and their students, we will empower these individuals to learn, practice and then, inform & educate the community around them how to healthily move forward. The information is being introduced through a series of educational “modules” which have been designed to effectively address diabetes, nutrition and fitness issues. Defeat Diabetes Foundation is providing the information and education modules for these communities to utilize and Tom Callos is providing a dedicated “army” of well-disciplined and respected martial arts students who will deliver this much needed and effective solution to those wanting to take up the torch. At the same time, Tom and Mr. Diabetes® stand ready to assist in an ongoing way both personally and through our affiliated organizations – The One Hundred (Tom) and Defeat Diabetes Foundation (Mr. Diabetes®).
The third leg of this stool has been the indefatigable contribution to this project by Dawn Swidorski. Without her efforts this project would still be many months behind in the development and not nearly as complete and effective, as it is proving to be. This has been an exciting and fantastic collaboration to DEFEAT DIABETES®.
And we will accomplish our goal – one step at a time!!!!
Follow this link to read about Tom Callos in Black Belt Magazine.
And, incidentally, here you will learn about Tom’s nationally recognized Ultimate Black Belt Test – UBBT.
And for your further information, I will begin this TEST this week. I look forward to the challenge. And, for any of you who wish to participate, you can reach Tom through our “CONTACT US” on our website: www.DefeatDiabetes.org
NEXT: We are currently finalizing relationships with several companies offering products & services, which will truly benefit diabetics. One of them is a stevia-based product, which will energize your day in an effective and healthy way. Another is a diabetic sock, which is constructed to deliver comfort and address those diabetes foot issues, which proper footwear should do. And, third, a service for diabetics, which coordinates medical treatment for you and your loved ones by informing care givers what’s happening in the treatment process. It is a unique program that will also remind patients when to take their medications, and more. Stay tuned.
As always, I invite your participation in any of our worthwhile programs. If you wish to advertise your products/services on our website, or be a Sponsor please go to our Products & Services tab at the top of all website pages to learn about our prices and policies. Should you wish to make a donation to support any of our existing programs, simply click on the torch found on the upper right rail of each website page. Remember, your donation is to a 501(c)(3) charity and is tax deductible. There is no amount you can donate that is too little – every dollar helps. Just do the best you can. But, most importantly – GET INVOLVED!!! Please help us to continue to help you. Thank you.