y name is Lisa Chrzanowski. I was born on July 26th, 1996 in Paterson, New Jersey and my home is in Kinnelon NJ. I currently live & train in Warsaw Poland. I am a student at the American International School of Warsaw which makes me what we call a “third culture child”, I was born in one place, live in another and study in a multicultural environment. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes in August 2007 in Warsaw while my family was vacationing there for the summer. I started riding when I was eight years old and haven’t stop even after I started battling diabetes. After diagnosis it was decided not to let me stop being active and it soon proved the right thing to do, even though horse riding and jumping in particular is dangerous sport prone to falls and injury, the health benefits outweigh the risks. I maintain virtually the same insulin to carb ratio and insulin tolerance since my diagnosis seven years ago, and my sensitivity to the hormone didn’t decrease, all of which is very good.
I am the face of an awareness campaign called “Together We Conquer Obstacles” My goal is to one day make it to the European Championships and perhaps even Olympic Games. I want to show the world that diabetes didn’t disqualify me at the start, but in stead made me healthier, stronger and more put together then before. I think that show jumping is allot like daily life with juvenile diabetes because the disease puts forth many barriers and obstacles in front of us, but with proper management, support and education those obstacles can be conquered without a fault. I often spread hope and support for all who think that diabetes just like riding is hard and difficult, I promote mental conditioning and I believe that the worst fear is not what will happen if I fail, but what will happen if I quit? If you ride or would like to start, don’t be scared.
Check out our new website dedicated to the program:
My name is Ashley and I’m 23 years old. I have been living with diabetes since I was 14. It was hereditary. I got it from my daddy who is 42. He has been a type 1 diabetic since he was 8. My dad and I can relate to Bret because it tore my dad to pieces when I was diagnosed and lord knows I hate shots. At the beginning I had my sugar under control. My a1c was perfect, but then I got on my own at 17 and it went down hill from there. I can’t afford insurance to pay for my doctor visits or my medicine. Medicaid denies me because I’m not blind or have cancer, so they say. I have to skip doses of my insulin just to make it last. I have been in and out of the hospital because I go into DKA because my blood sugar is so high for a long period of time. This disease is taking its toll on my dad as well. His kidneys, eyes , and circulation is bad . He is on dialysis until he can get a kidney transplant. I hate to see my dad go through this. He is more worried about me then himself . I just want a cure so families won’t have to go through this heartbreak. I also wish health insurance would take diabetes a little more seriously because they DO NOT know how we feel day to day when our sugar is out of whack. We feel sluggish and drained of energy. Bret has been an inspiration to keep on even when I feel like giving up. We need a cure now!
Thank you Bret Michaels for not giving up on us.
I will never forget the words that came out of my doctors mouth “What are you doing here? your son is dying” A few days before we had gone to the doctor to figure out what was wrong with my son. He was 18 months and a very sick little boy. He was peeing so much and drinking enough water for the whole family. He started to be sick every time he ate and the mood swings were out of this world. I knew it was Diabetes, It was purely mothers instinct. The day before I had to fight with the doctor to fill out a requisition to get blood work for Logan. He finally did and said “no news is good news” I carried on with my day and took Logan for blood work. The next day I had not heard anything from the office so I took Logan out for lunch to Dairy Queen. He had a kids meal and a kids ice cream. The Doctors office was right near the Dairy Queen so I thought I would go and just double check the results. All I was thinking was no news is good news, but something was not sitting right with me. As the nurse put us into the room, I would never have thought that I would hear the words I did…..”YOUR SON IS DYING” The fear I felt would be like nothing else I would ever feel. The doctor told me I had to rush him to the hospital and hurry. I was not even allowed to go get him pj’s. Everything became such a blur. When getting to the hospital I was finally told that Logan has DIABETES. All the questions started to come. My poor little boy’s blood sugar was at 52.5(Canadian results should be anywhere from 4-8). The nurses couldn’t believe that he was running around playing just like any other little boy. We then spent a week in the hospital, There is nothing in this world that would prepare me for what happened next. The doctor that we had was not educated enough to be our doctor and the other doctor had to many patients. The first thing we had to do was learn how to give him his insulin. The nurses made us “practice” on HIM with saline in his tummy. The pain that we put him through was not necessary at all but we had no idea. As far as we new this is how you have to learn. This was the easy part for us. The Doctor would order him food that was enough for a grown man to eat. Remember he is 18 months old. Logan loved to eat so we didn’t have a problem with him eating until they made us force feed him until the food was gone. My baby would puke after dinner all the time. After a few days of this I knew this was not right. About day 3 in the hospital I was sitting with Logan and the doctor came in to tell me that I gave him Diabetes and if i would have taken better care of myself while i was pregnant he would never have to go through this. Right after those words were said to me I knew that this doctor was crazy. I stood up and told him to never EVER come back to this room again. He said that’s fine and tried to discharge us from the hospital. He said that ” we would not be able to go to a diabetes clinic for another year and good luck taking care of our son” That weekend an angel came to us. her name was Dr. Robinson She took one look at us and sent us to the diabetes clinic the next day. She was the BEST thing that ever happened to us. We finally got the care we needed to get Logan back to his normal blood sugars and to be a healthy little boy again. As of today he is 9 years old and doing very well. I have learned so much from my son and am so proud of the boy he has become. He asks me why? why me mom? I simply tell him its because ” you are the strongest boy I know and you can handle anything that comes your way son!” The best thing I can pass on from my story is ALWAYS go with your gut request, demand anything you have to do!
My name is Cindy and I am from Vancouver B.C. I really need to share my story with you. Beginning of May 2002 I was diagnosed with cancer which required very high doses of external radiation. 28 sessions to be exact and a final 20 hrs. of internal. All went well until a year to the date of being diagnosed, everything went downhill. May of /03 I ended up having a hematoma requiring my first surgery. Ever since, I have been battling with many surgeries (I can’t even count) countless testings and ER trips. I have been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure needing to go to the OR every 3 months since 2003 to replace the ureter stents. Then 2006 I had tubes put in my back to better keep the drainage flowing from my kidneys, thus needing home care nursing every wk.now. Jumping back again I was rushed to the er this time with a 10 – 12 cm. hematoma, abscess & a (fistula) major intestinal problems, that had led to my first ER run to save my life). A 28 day stay. Don’t remember the 1st wk. as I almost died. I remember waking up to a colostomy & many tubes coming out of me! It was touch & go for a while. Only 30% of women make it! I was lucky but wanted to just die from the pain. Got through it but had many more rushed visits to er. (Sorry, not everything is in order here.) I also found out I have osteo/arthritis. I really never had a good support system. Had teenage kids at home who all have moved too far away with their own families. They r great but don’t want to pour too much on them. Even though I was in a unhealthy relationship It eventually split us up. It’s hard to fight 12 yrs. of medical issues alone. I have lost all my friends because of it. It really affected my sacrum to the point of pain & not being able to walk more than a few yrds. I can’t even dance anymore which was a BIG part of my life. I also found out I have quite a bit of degeneration of my spine too. From neck down. It just burnt so many organs in the pelvic area. Recently this summer I narrowly escaped dialysis. Reason I want to share this with you is because you have GREATLY inspired me to be a better person but more importantly to keep on fighting! I have come so close to throwing in the towel this summer, & a couple times before that when the pain was just too great. I have followed your music since your first album. Getting me through so many hard times and especially the very dark times. As this is so emotional for me I still need to share this with you. 12 yrs of fighting wrapped up in a short letter. Just this summer I was laying on the couch going through a pretty rough time (the very dark hours) & went on your fan page & read a letter from someone, (Lisa P.) & replied to it (which I’ve never done) & I really felt for her. Getting to the point, I heard your song come on, “Something To Believe In”!! I could not believe the timing of this song. Something in me happened & I couldn’t wait to tell Lisa about it! That song woke me up & made me realize Life Has To Go ON!! Lisa knew how I felt! I really need to change my way of thinking!! See Bret, through you & your music I’ve met a wonderful lifelong friend & because of you I am able to move on! I can’t tell you what an inspiration you have been to me knowing all that you have been through! Not just me but to so many people in this world & that’s why I can’t begin to express how your music & especially the lyrics means more to me than you will ever know! I know deep down in my heart in some way or other I will be able to tell you what a beautiful gift you have been to me. My biggest wish is to meet & thank you in person. I know you are playing in Coquitlam in 10 days which I was trying to make it to. Financially i just don’t see it happening. But I won’t be far from you. I will tell you more of my story, but later. As long as you keep making music I will keep fighting. You have given me Something To Believe In! You Rock! – Cindy Phillips
I just have to share this! It is an amazing story of how we are all connected to help one another through. I had posted previously thanking Bret after my friend Diane and I met him in Obetz, Ohio and then again 1 month later in Orlando, Florida. Here is the chain reaction that took place… My childhood friend, Diane and I were reunited after many years. She was diagnosed with bone cancer in her arm and had a successful surgery and to celebrate, we met Bret in August. Bret had given Diane a guitar pick for each of her children and when he asked me if I had any, I did my usual sad, “No”. Little did he know that my husband and I had suffered many pregnancy losses and had been unable to become pregnant. Bret gave me one guitar pick for myself and one for our “baby to come” when I told him we were still trying. It was so sweet and gave me some hope. One month later, Diane and I took a road trip together from Ohio to Florida to meet him again at the Hard Rock in Orlando. This time, I had given him a necklace as a small token of my thanks for his kindness. He was so sweet to wear it for the show. When we got home to Ohio, I sent in my story and many thanks to Bret. I revealed more about the repeated pregnancy losses we had been through to explain why Bret’s kindness meant so much to my broken heart. It was posted on his website and I, in turn, posted the link on Facebook. An old friend of mine from high school who doesn’t spend a lot of time on Facebook happened to see my link and wasn’t going to read it. She said she just felt a tug that she should. When she did, she learned about our losses and shared her story of loss with me. She invited me over to celebrate October 15th, “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day” with her and others who had also struggled with losses. There is a world-wide “Wave of Light” each year as parents who have lost their babies light candles for each of their little angels. I went and connected with some beautiful ladies who were so supportive. From this experience, I gained a referral to a specialist. With much encouragement from these new friends, my husband and I had our appointment with the doctor and now have a plan to try starting our family again! I can’t wait to give my child their guitar pick from Bret and tell them about how many people helped to bring them into the world. It amazes me how we are all connected and how small the world really is. We are all meant to help one another and those things in our lives that are so tragic may actually help someone else through their struggles. Cancer is tragic, yet it is what brought two friends to reconnect and fulfill their dreams from childhood of meeting Bret. His struggles in life have made him so aware of others and made his heart so huge! We were so touched by his kindness to us after briefly sharing our struggles. He is amazing to his fans and when we sent in messages, they were posted on his site. Because of those posts, people reached out to one another to help, support, and love us through things. In our case, it led to finding just the right doctor to help with an issue that had us in complete despair. Now we have hope again. Bret, you are such a huge piece to my puzzle! You are an angel! No joke, if we are able to have a baby, that child is going to be named after you somehow! How cool would it be if he/she shared a birthday with us? Yes, we are both March 15th babies me and you! I have to tell you, now that we have met you twice, as silly as this sounds, I miss you like a friend that I haven’t seen in a while! LOL! If you are ever coming through Columbus, Ohio, come see us at the veterinary hospital I work at and do some loving on some doggies and kitties! Many thanks again for your care of others! This world is broken and some are called to be a light in the darkness! What a brilliant light you are!
My 8 year old son was diagnosed as type1 diabetic on Feb 23, 2013. He is doing better now that we have almost a year in but when we first found out he was diabetic it was very tough on him. He does not like this life and has just wanted to stop and be normal again. We are trying to keep him happy and safe but it is a struggle most days. He can get so unhappy and just sad because he feels people treat him different then they did before he got sick. He is just a sweet little boy who doesn’t want to be treated any different then anyone else. What can I do to help him?
My daughter Rachel was born a very healthy baby on feb 14, 2005 but on June 10 2006 our lives would change forever she was diagnosed with TYPE 1 diabetes at the very young age of 15 months old. Rachel is now almost 9 and she is strongest little girl I know, with all the finger pokes, needles lows and highs she’s has never once complained. I am fighting for a cure and will not stop fighting, over the past 7 1/2 years we have raised almost 20,000 for research and I’m very proud to say, we are helping to find a cure .. As long as you got HOPE you got everything.
I was a professional ballet dancer here in Cleveland for many years. After receiving an injury last year that caused me not to be able to dance and lose my job over therapy and all, I was at lowest of the lows in my life. On top of that, family illnesses and relationships ending, I was in such a dark rut, I never thought id be able to crawl out of it. My entire life had been turned upside down.
As cliche as it is, I met Bret this past summer and it was such an uplifting experience. Just spending time gave me the brightness I needed. How special he makes you feel, how kind he is, and all of his band and crew ( such amazing guys, theyre truly the most down to earth kind hearted people youd ever want to meet)
Also seeing how full of life Bret is after all that he’s been thru and all the things that tried to knock him down. I found the fight in me that I had almost lost. I had always been a fighter, determined and full of passion. It was a blessing to find that girl inside again.
That’s the whole point of this isn’t it, for the people and music to touch people, and everyone in a different ways that makes a difference to each person.
Now Im back in the dance studio, getting back in dancer shape. Ive become a successful model and the goals are limitless!
In wild anticipation we waited in line to get our wrist bands for the Bret Michaels
concert. Holly, our UnityAJourneyOfHope.org wish recipient who is battling multiple myeloma sat nervously tapping her toes awaiting her chance to meet her life long inspiration. Suddenly the venue fills with excitement, BRET MICHAELS appears rockin the sold out crowd. Holly smiled from ear to ear and her exhaustion turns to instant energy. We turn around and she is chair dancing supported by her two daughters.
Holly and Unity volunteers made their way to the stage parting the sea of patrons in
order to get her to her hero. Through the concert Bret made eye contact with Holly and once he saw the UnityAJourneyOfHope.org t-shirt he knew he would be meeting Holly after the concert! He came over to her, kissed her hand, she melts and he gives her his guitar pick which was over the top for her! Holly is already in 7th heaven gets to meet Bret in person after the concert!
This is what UNITY is all about “Changing lives, 1 wish at a time…” We are Unity A
Journey Of Hope. Unity grants wishes to adults with a life limiting illness in the greater Pittsburgh area. Holly’s wish is one of many where UNITY changes the focus. We are so glad to help make Holly’s wish come true.
For more info on Unity, please visit: UnityAJourneyOfHope.org
Holly and Bret
Appreciation, Awareness, Bret Michaels, bretmichaels.com, Cancer, Courage, family, Inspiration, Life Rocks Foundation, LifeRocksFoundation.org, pittsburgh, Team Bret Michaels, TeamBretMichaels.com
My son Colby who is seven was just diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes this past June, which has been the hardest thing we ever had to deal with, and living in the province, in Canada with the highest numbers of Type 1 is also a challenge as I find myself constantly looking for a way to make his life better or someway that we can improve all the lives of the kids here in Newfoundland.