Featured Interview

My guest is Chrystal from L.A.. She is just one of many positive diabetics making a huge difference in the diabetes community. She is a chemist, and diabetic activist. After Chrystal's diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in November 2007, she created SexyDiabetic.com; and donates a good portion of her time connecting and sharing experiences, both inside and outside the online diabetic communities.

Chrystal has shared with us her personal experiences living with diabetes; her role in the diabetic community; some of her current diabetic project she's working on during black history month.

We talked about some of the struggles we we face, getting the African American communities and all other people of color educated on the dangers of diabetes; as well as the fears and discrimination that still exist for diabetics today.

Click here to listen with your default media player

Richard A. Vaugn

For 2012 I thought it would be wonderful to start the year off with a positive interview!

My guest is Richard A Vaughn. He has written an awesome book called "Beating The Odds - 64 years of Diabetes Health". In this book, he takes us on a journey through his diabetic life.

From the moment he was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 6, all the way up through completing his masters degree, @ a time when people thought diabetics shouldn't go to college (because diabetes was considered a disability then).

Richard also talks about his wonderful family and grand children, in addition to participating in the Joslin Medalist Study, funded by the JDRF & National Institute of health..

Richard is definitely an inspiration to us all. He has showed us insulin dependent people, how to live healthy emotionally & physically by example, with either no, or the least amount of complications possible; coming from a time when life expectancy for a diabetic was no later than 40 years old.


Click here to listen with your default audio player!


You can purchase Richard's book by clicking on the graphic of his book below.

March 2019
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Diabetic PlayList


What's in your headphones? We all know how important exercise is to any diabetic, however, the music you exercise to is also just as important too! Music can make the difference between a 3 minute workout, and a 30 minute workout. Personally, I am an oldies guy, and my musical tastes are pretty eclectic and diverse. The above playlist consist of music I am listening to on my Anddroid when I exercise or power-walk. As my mood changes, so shall the playlist.
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At age 19, Ryan Shafer knew there was something wrong with his body. The teenager from Horseheads, N.Y., felt lackadaisical, had vision problems and all of a sudden lost 25 pounds. When he was finally checked out by a doctor, the news confirmed one of his worst suspicions: He had Type 1 diabetes. Instantly, Shafer was forced to change to deal with the disease. He was enrolled in a junior college at the time and planned on attending prestigious Cornell University. But the kid had a passion for bowling and decided to see his dreams through.

His struggles with the disease inspired him to become what he is today, the 19th-ranked bowler on the Professional Bowlers Association tour coming into the Go RVing Match Play Championship beginning today at the Norwich Bowling and Entertainment Center. Shafer, the No. 16 seed, will face 49th-seeded Jason Sterner in the first round. “I had bowled in college and had a lot of success, and, eventually, I was going to go on tour,” Shafer said. “I started going on tour with diabetes, I don’t know any different. The entire time I’ve been on tour I’ve been diabetic.”

Shafer joined the tour after his graduation from junior college at age 20. His success was immediate — he won the PBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1987. With Type 1 diabetes, which typically becomes apparent earlier in life as in Shafer’s case, the person is insulin-dependent.

Big adjustment

At first, this was a hindrance to Shafer in terms of dealing with the constant travel inherent in a tour schedule. From a young age, Shafer was traveling from city to city, often switching time zones, all while trying to keep up with his insulin injections and making sure he didn’t have a sudden attack on the lanes.

Longtime friend and fellow tour member Eugene McCune, who met Shafer when he joined the tour in 1986, has seen the kind of physical demands Shafer has had to deal with firsthand.

“His body breaks down on him every once in a while. He gets cold shoulder, his joints hurt,” McCune said. “But it’s just going through it, some days it’s not anything he does but just all of a sudden he gets cold shoulder and he can barely move his shoulder. He just gets up and doesn’t quit and he just keeps on bowling.” A scheduling change about 18 years into Shafer’s professional career made it easier for him to deal with his disease and play his best on a consistent basis.

A big change

In 2004, the PBA switched to a more condensed schedule in which most of the competition takes place on Thursdays and Fridays instead of Tuesday through Friday. Shafer could abandon his old ways of taking three to four shots a day and sticking to a regimented eating schedule to deal with his condition.

In response, he switched to an insulin pump — made by a company called Animas — that he wears while he bowls. It supplies him with insulin and makes it easier for him to compete.

“What’s good about the Animas pump is, when I exercise, I can put it on a temporary rate that gives me less insulin so I don’t get lulls while I bowl,” Shafer said. “I can eat whatever time of day I want to and I don’t have to be on a stricter routine. It’s easier to manage my blood sugar levels.”

It seems to be working. Shafer is coming off of one his most successful years as a professional with seven top-10 finishes in 2008-09 and earning a payday in all 21 events in which he competed.

He also has four PBA tour wins over his career with two in 2000 and one each in 2002 and 2003, and he won the Stave Nagy Sportsmanship Award in 2009.

Opening up

Now, without worrying when or where he’s going to have to take his next injection, the 43-year-old Shafer has become a lot more open about his disease and, through his relationship with Animas, can educate people, especially youngsters, about diabetes and encourage them to lead an active lifestyle.

“I used to be a very private person when it came to that. I didn’t care whether I was diabetic or not,” Shafer said. “When I realized that there are kids out there who think that just because they’re diagnosed with diabetes that they can’t do anything and they kind of lead a sedentary life … that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. So, I thought it was kind of good for me to get my message out there and to tell people that you can do whatever you want as long as you correctly manage your diabetes.”

Shafer said as far as he knows, no other bowler on the tour is a diabetic. Since the pump is so visible, looking like Shafer “is bowling with a cell phone on his waist,” according to McCune, Shafer’s ailment is more apparent to other bowlers and has given him the chance to help others on the tour who might have a family member diagnosed with the disease.

Offering help

When Chris Barnes, one of the PBA’s biggest earners, realized his son Troy had Type 1 diabetes at age 6, Shafer instantly sought his fellow competitor out and offered advice on how to  move forward.

“He was one of the first to come to us and (offer) his help, his guidance. He was there to lend his support any way he could,” Chris Barnes said. “He’s been great about it from the get-go. He was very helpful, especially in those first couple of months (after the diagnosis).”

Shafer is approached by amateur bowlers and their families and is frequently asked how he deals with the disease. It’s just another example of how the 24-year professional can tell people his story.

“Once in a while, I’ll bowl regional events and another bowler will come up to me and tell me he’s a diabetic,” Shafer said. “Where it mostly comes into play is Pro-Ams. At Pro-Ams, I’ll have adults and even adults with their children come up to me and say their children’s diabetic and ask ‘How do you manage your diabetes?’ with such a schedule of traveling and stuff like that. It kind of makes me feel good that I can help them.”

For most, a diabetes diagnosis puts their dreams on hold. Not Shafer. The disease is the main reason he’s on the tour.

“I’m a professional athlete and I’m doing what I want to do in my life, and (anyone with diabetes) can do the same thing,” Shafer said.

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