I’m currently answering all your questions. Read more about it here.
Laura asks: “Geoff – what led to your interest in the American Diabetes Association?”
First Laura it’s the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. JDRF is focused solely on Type 1 diabetes which is the type most often discovered while you’re young, hence the name.
From JDRF.org: Diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively.
The simple answer is “I don’t know” how I became involved! It was probably a simple request for an appearance. Something about the organization and the kids and families affected touched me immediately.
I also like JDRF because they primarily fund research and are considered a very efficient charity because a very large percentage of their funds go directly to science. I believe JDRF money will fund the cure. It’s that simple.
From Lisa: “I sent you a letter back in the early 90’s when I was in elementary school (I believe I still have it!) asking for help with a science fair project on lightning. Do you get a lot of letters from kids on related topics?”
Thanks to Google–no!
My policy was/is I don’t do homework for you. I always asked the child to send me or tell me his dead end research before I’d give an answer.
When you’re in the fifth grade no one expects your research on clouds will make you an atmospheric scientist. The teachers want you to learn to research subjects. I kept that in mind.
Charlie and a few others want to know, “Are you in any way related to Sonny Fox, who was the host of Wonderama?”
Irwin “Sonny” Fox was a huge presence on TV as I grew up. He hosted Wonderama (and some adult shows too) which was on for five or six hours every Sunday–live! He often brought smart people on to talk to kids. He never talked down to children.
I’m sure what Sonny did would be looked upon as quaint today. It was a time when the impact on the audience was more important than the impact on the bottom line (Though to be fair, a TV station was a license to print money back then and you could afford to be magnanimous).
He is in his mid-80s now. I hope he knows how many of us remember him fondly.
2 thoughts on “Ask Me Anything–A Few More Answers”
Hi Geoff, Thanks for answering – sorry I mixed up the organizations. Although a great deal of Type 1 Diabetes is diagnosed in children, the number of adults being diagnosed is increasing – up to 10 percent of newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetics are adults 20 years and older. I am one of those adults – I was diagnosed at the age of 42, and have been on an insulin pump for three years now. No history in the family, no other risk factors. I too hope that a cure is on the horizon – my doctor believes there will be one within ten years. Thanks for all you do on behalf of JDRF.
Re: Sonny Fox
Sonny Fox was a guest at my first wedding in 1969. My then father-in law, who was in show business, and Sonny were friends. Sonny was very charismatic, tall and good looking. All the middle aged women were swooning. I need to find some pix.