A diagnosis, a new life
by Neel Jadeja, November 16, 2011
I have been a Poison fan since I was 12 and saw them in Charlotte opening for David Lee Roth years ago. I never grew up a musician, but when I was 19, a friend wanted me to join his band and play drums. That was in 1995 and the band was Sunny Ledfurd. In 2001 we were signed to MCA Records and toured with Godsmack, Deftones, tons of other acts. Even opened for Poison/Bret a couple times. Leading that lifestyle, i always wanted to be a rockstar, led me to alcoholism. After Sunny Ledfurd was dropped, I quit that band and got into management/promotions in Charlotte and did pretty well. But I could never shake the alcoholism. Fast forward to May 2010. After another drunken blackout, my aunt didn’t think I looked too good and called 911. In the ER my blood sugar was in the upper 500’s and i was only 85 pounds. I was immeadiately admitted into ICU and was diagnosed with pancreatitis, ultimately Type 1 diabetes. I was in the hospital 2 weeks, and I was in complete shock at now being insulin dependent for the rest of my life. I dint know what I was gonna do, my A1C was 15.3. This story gets better. After I was discharged from Wake Medical in Cary, NC, I went straight to First Step Behavioral Health Center and spent the next 28 days there getting clean and learning more about my new diagnosis. As soon as I was mentally, physically, emotionally ready, i started to find out all I could and I got in touch with the Charlotte chapter of the JDRF, just to see if I could be affiliated with them, if there was anything i could do for them, whatever. Since i was a season ticket holder for the Charlotte Bobcats and i knew alot of people in the organization, I organized meetings between the Bobcats and the JDRF to see if we could have a JDRF Night at a game or just anything. We were able to form a partnership and now the Bobcats, Presbyterian Hospital and the JDRF have a working relationship and both are hosting our kickoff breakfast for the JDRF Walk Season. This was roughly a little after a year of my original diagnosis, that I got two of my things, type 1 and the Bobcats, together. Also, the day I was rushed to the ER, was the last day I had a drink, I’ve been sober since then. Here’s wheres the story gets even better. Laura Maciag, Sally Langen and Kelly Vasta with the Charlotte JDRF have asked ME to be on the 2012 Walk to Cure Diabetes Committee. I’m pretty sure Im the only one on the committee that even has type 1 diabetes. But the beautiful part is, beacuse of my music/promotions background, they have asked me to be the Chairperson of the Entertainment Committee. Our Walk is April 21, 2012 at Carowinds Amusement Park. They have the Palladium Amphitheatre, where, in 1991 I saw Poison perform with Slaughter. I would like to invite Bret to visit, perform, give me tips on being a stage musician w/ Type 1, talk, breathe, whatever. For me, this is kinda surreal, that a year and a half ago i was dying in the ER being diagnosed with this, and now I’m healthier than ever with an opportunity to invite one of my heroes, in more ways than one, to share with me in this celebration. This is all true, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes May 10, 2010.