[NOTICE: Bret’s story is unique to Bret. It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice for your diabetes. Bret is not offering medical advice to anyone, he is sharing his experiences.]
Thanks for listening to Charlie’s story and for wanting to help us raise awareness for diabetes.
Our goal is to find a cure and stop diabetes from affecting so many lives. As we raise awareness, we want to show you that you can control your diabetes with a few simple rules to live by. Take care of yourself, exercise and eat right. Check your blood sugar regularly and take your insulin when you need to. Make sure that you are following your doctor’s regimen that you were given. That’s it.
I have heard many stories from kids and teens that have lost all their friends because they were diagnosed with diabetes. That’s not cool and it’s not fair.
I also hear from friends and family members of diabetics who don’t take good care of themselves and don’t manage their diabetes well. That’s not good and I want to help them realize that diabetes doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can do anything you want to do, as long as you take care of yourself.
I have lived out my dreams, performed all over the world and have a wonderful family. I love making music, riding dirt bikes, go carts and tossing a baseball or football around. I don’t let my diabetes prevent me from doing the things I want to do, but I still take care to check my blood sugar regularly and take my insulin when I need it.
Diabetes could have prevented me from doing lots of things, but I never let it. I eat healthy and I work out daily. For kids like you, your daily exercise can be playing baseball, going swimming or riding a bike. Those are things that I still enjoy doing to keep active and they’re lots of fun.
For the Moms and Dads out there who need some advice to help them help their kids, there are resources to get help. The most important thing I think is to network with other families and find ways to make your child feel normal. It may be hard at first, but if you show that you care about their diabetes it will encourage them to care about it. They can live out their dreams, but they’ll always need encouragement to do so.
My parents encouraged me and helped me to live a pretty normal life. My Mom set up a camp for kids with diabetes near my hometown because one didn’t exist. Today, I send kids to camp all over the country and want to help as many kids and families experience life to the fullest.
For the teens and adults that choose not to manage their diabetes well, again we need to encourage them to take care of themselves. Not taking care of yourself is how the disease gets worse and more problems and complications occur. Those complications can be debilitating and deadly. I don’t wish that on anyone. Proper care and maintaining your diabetes will reduce your chances of those complications.
Every diabetic has a unique diagnosis for care as determined by their doctor. My advice is not so much medical as it is from my personal experiences. Your doctor’s recommendations and information is your first step in caring for yourself. Beyond that, you should eat healthy and exercise, again making sure that you stick to your doctor’s advice. My advice will never replace your doctor’s.
I have had my ups and downs, and I have educated my friends, family and staff on what to do when something does come up and I need assistance. Those that care for you are never burdened by you teaching them about your diabetes, they should know how to help when you need it.
Thank you for helping us educate toe world about diabetes! Cheers!