The Consumer Unfriendly Business Model

Adobe-LogoAdobe has announced a new business model for Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and their other products. No more sales. Adobe’s creative products will now be leased! Your financial obligation will continue each and every month as long as you use the product.

There’s more and more of this happening all the time. It’s not a good trend for consumers.

Here’s Adobe’s problem. These are mature programs. There are some, but not many, improvements with each update. Businesses balk at spending big bucks for little return.

Microsoft faces the same scenario with Office. They’re adding a cloud based licensing product while maintaining the purchase option.

This doesn’t happen solely in software. I remember speaking with the father of a child with diabetes at a JDRF function. His worry: the majority of research was going toward treatment, not cure!

A cure leads to one sale. Treatment produces a continuing revenue stream. That’s great for the producer. It sucks for those who are diabetic.

Producing mature products that work well and last forever is not always in the best interest of business. I’m not sure how to fix it or if it can even be fixed!

When I Speak What I Say

Maybe you call the pediatrician first, but you’re headed to the ER. Now you are worried for the health of your child. It is then and there, while you think your child is about to die, that you find out your family has been handed a life sentence.

I spent Saturday evening at the Omni in New Haven. It was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s annual gala. This was number 13. I’ve been to them all. I am the emcee.

There’s something I say every time I speak on behalf of JDRF. It’s a part of diabetes most people don’t know.

First, the easy stuff. Thank God we have insulin. It is not a cure. It is a treatment.

Even with diligent adherence to doctor’s orders a person with Type 1 Diabetes will live a shorter life–over a decade shorter. They stand a high risk of adult onset blindness and amputations. You really don’t want to know.

Every family finds out differently, but there’s one scenario that keeps coming back.

The child is young, a year or two. Something’s wrong. If you’re a parent you understand what I’m saying. The child is lethargic, listless, moping.

There’s no real symptom you can tell a doctor, just general things a parent notices.

And then all hell breaks loose!

Your child spikes a fever and gets really ill. Maybe you call the pediatrician first, but you’re headed to the ER. Now you are worried for the health of your child.

It is then and there, while you think your child is about to die, that you find out your family has been handed a life sentence.

Life becomes more cumbersome… more burdensome. There are pumps and sophisticated testing for all, but you’re still poking a hole in your skin to get blood 5 or 6 times a day!

If you’re a kid trying to blend in being diabetic is your nightmare. At every turn you’re standing out or needing special attention. Some friend’s parents might not want the responsibility that comes with you visiting.

A child is diagnosed with diabetes, but the family participates. Nothing is done without considering the disease first.

And diabetes will still diminish your quality of life and then life itself!

What the JDRF does is try and buy a cure. It’s that simple. The money we raise pays salaries for doctors and labs around-the-world. JDRF provides some of the grant money you hear about so often. Research follows money.

This disease will be cured. It will be cured in the short term. Everyone understands what needs to be done.

Some of the best proposals involve testing an artificial pancreas. It’s a closed loop system running silently inside you. It tests blood sugar then parcels out the correct amount of insulin all in real time.

The exact method the pancreas will use to do this and the full understanding of exactly how much insulin is right are still being engineered. There is no tolerance for fault in the finished design.

Last night after dinner a young woman with Type 1 Diabetes spoke for a few moments. She was moving. It’s tough not to be involved with motivation like that.

The gala honored Al Subbloie – President & CEO of Tangoe. I first knew them as a tiny company in a walk-up office over Roberto’s Restaurant on State Street in New Haven. Not so tiny any more. He seems like a very smart guy. Impressive.

Honored At The JDRF Gala

I wanted to include my parents and used them as examples of how medicine has advanced. They didn’t know I’d ask them to stand.

I want to write about last night. Indulge me. There’s no graceful way to do this.

Last night was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s annual gala. It was held at the carousel at New Haven’s Lighthouse Park. The gala is one of the ways JDRF raises money for research. As altruistic as I’d like to be under our system money buys research.

Because of my eighteen plus years of working for JDRF they decided to present me with their “Dream Award.”

It was an incredible honor. My parents came up from Florida. My friend Peter took the train up from New Jersey. Our neighbors came. They all joined Helaine and me.

JDRF invited Dr. Mel to present me with my award which was a nice surprise. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro came to our table to said hello to my folks.

For the past few years I’ve been the emcee at this event. I was again last night. This is like the Hair Club for Men president being president and a client, right?

I’ve spoken on behalf of JDRF before so I knew what I was going to say and worked without a script. I wanted to include my parents and used them as examples of how medicine has advanced. They didn’t know I’d ask them to stand.

My mom is a cancer survivor. My dad has had bypass surgery and a corotid endarterectomy (I had to look up that term). When their parents were the same age those procedures didn’t exist. My parents are survivors by virtue of a single generation!

My point is though there is no cure for diabetes yet it’s not time to give up. Breakthroughs happen. Science advances. Lives are saved.

Right now there are too many beautiful children and happy families whose lives are turned upside down when their diabetes is discovered.

Like I said, money buys research. The current research is very hopeful. Work is being done to perfect an artificial pancreas. More research is being done to perfect a stem cell therapy. Research finds cures.

So, was it a good night? It certainly was. Finding a cure would be even better.

Cold At The Beach – JDRF Photo Shoot

The most probable outcomes are scary and sobering. You wouldn’t wish those on an enemy.

I was up early (for me) and headed to the beach this morning. On a windy, slate gray day that screamed early February not late March Lighthouse Point should have been empty. The parking area around the carousel was decidedly not. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation was having a photo shoot. The cars were there to chauffeur JDRF’s stars.

It’s impossible to work with these children and not be affected. They are normal kids. They are cute and sweet and sometimes pains in the ass. What they share in common is diabetes–and it’s with them and their families 24/7.

Two young girls wearing insulin pumps.When you know what to look for they’re easy to pick out. Down around the hip where a cop would wear his holster they’re wearing a pump. It might pass as a cellphone or pager except for the slender tubes leading from it to their body.

Their diabetes is being treated, but the treatment isn’t 100% effective. They will live shorter lives and suffer huge health problems. The most probable outcomes are scary and sobering. You wouldn’t wish those on an enemy.

We’ve heard a lot recently about pre-existing health conditions and insurance. Look at the kids with me in the photo. They are the perfect example.

Even with pumps and blood monitoring they’ll make mistakes. I’ve heard this story in slightly different form from dozens of parents. It’s a sleepover or a party and the phone rings. Their child has gone into diabetic shock. The host is petrified the child will die.

Even when everything has stabilized the family will walk on eggshells. The invitations will become a little less frequent. The leash will shorten.

If JDRF asks me to jump, I ask how high. It’s nearly impossible for me… for my family… to say no. And it’s totally because of the people I’ve met at things like this photo shoot. We have no family history with diabetes I know of.

On the way out from the carousel I stopped and chatted with a father of a girl with Type 1 diabetes. He is worried the economic power of drug companies will keep us from ever seeing a cure. It’s in the drug company’s interest to find ongoing treatments, not singular cures. I am hoping his worries are unfounded, but it’s still an awful thought.

Work is moving forward on an artificial pancreas. Briefly, a diabetic child will be fitted with a device to perform the functions a properly operating pancreas provides. It’s a complex solution combining medicine with digital electronics. It’s nearly perfected.

It’s a closed loop solution. That’s the amazing part. The diabetic need do nothing except live their life!

Today’s photo shoot is in support of the annual fund raising gala held by the Greater New Haven JDRF chapter. It’s coming up a few weeks from now in April.

Chris Kirby, our art director at the TV station, put together this public service announcement promoting the gala together on his own in his free time. It is voiced by another friend, Walter Mann. If you’d like to embed it on your site, please feel free.

[pro-player type=”flv”][/pro-player]

JDRF Carousel Of Dreams

Wouldn’t it be nice to think the dollar you sent was the dollar that bought the last piece that solved the puzzle that cured the disease!

If you’ve read this blog any length of time or just watched me on TV you know I’ve been associated with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for nearly two decades. I’ve helped them raise a lot of money.

This year they’ve decided to honor me at their annual gala (along with the much more accomplished president of Quinnipiac University, John Lahey).

OK–here’s the truth with these fundraisers. Usually the person honored is someone who can sell tickets. Seriously, it’s often a businessman who can lean on vendors and suppliers. That’s why I was surprised to be asked. But believe me–I am honored. Holy crap I am humbly honored.

If you can attend, I’d love to see you there. The tickets are somewhat pricey and I understand that’s a problem for many people. However, if you and your family make charitable contributions I hope you’ll consider JDRF. I’ve been doing this so long because I really do feel it’s an organization that does good. And, just as importantly, I feel they’re really close to a cure!

Once you meet a family dealing with diabetes you’ll understand why I feel as I do. It’s the whole family that deals with diabetes, not just the child afflicted.

Wouldn’t it be nice to think the dollar you sent was the dollar that bought the last piece that solved the puzzle that cured the disease!

Tickets are $200. You can contact JDRF at 203-248-1880. There’s more information on the JDRF website.

The Speech Of My Life

When it was over I received a standing ovation. A few people were crying.

Tonight was the annual post-walk dinner for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It was held at the Woodbridge Country Club.

Because of our newscasts and especially because of the upcoming storm I showed up while the event was already underway. I watched as group after group was cited for raising money for diabetes research. I was asked to say a few words at the end.

I have spoken hundreds of times to organizations. It comes easily to me. I had nothing prepared and was planning on speaking for no more than a minute or two.

I began and immediately sensed the audience was very attentive. For a speaker that’s the juice.

I have no explanation why, but I gave the speech of my life!

That’s not melodramatic hyperbole. This presentation was light years beyond anything I’d done before.

Even while presenting I could feel the pieces come together. Juvenile diabetes is, after all these years, something I know about. More importantly, I know what the parents and families are going through.

My little ad lib found its groove with a logical beginning, middle and end. It built as it moved toward its conclusion. When it was over I received a standing ovation. A few people were crying.

I was touched by the response. It affected me deeply.

I didn’t expect to make this kind of impact. I didn’t set out with that intention. I’ve never spoken like this before. Who knows if I ever will again?

It was a passionate rallying cry for a cause that’s important made to an audience that’s desperate for results. For some, I suspect, I renewed their hope for a cure.

You know that stuff about giving being better than receiving? It’s true.

Saturday Night For JDRF

They are working on a closed loop artificial pancreas, meaning blood sugar can be monitored and regulated without human intervention in much the way the pancreas does. This is complex and delicate work with a great payoff.

JDRF GalaSaturday night was the annual Juvenile Diabetes Gala–a fund raiser for diabetes research. I’ve been involved with JDRF for a long time and am convinced it’s a very worthy cause. I wish the money was just there and available for research without all the ‘tree shaking.’

The event was held at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown. I’d never been there and didn’t know what to expect. I’m putting together some disconnected strings, but I think the facility is owned by a condo complex and run as a separate business on their behalf.

The main facility is a refurbished barn–a great venue! It’s at the same time rough hewn and elegant. We started in an adjacent large tent for a silent auction and moved into the barn for dinner. The place was at capacity with about 220 guests.

The three honorees were researchers from Yale’s School of Medicine. They are working on a closed loop artificial pancreas, meaning blood sugar can be monitored and regulated without human intervention in much the way the pancreas does. This is complex and delicate work with a great payoff.

One of the researchers sat at my table with his wife, parents and in-laws. This had to be an evening of great pride for them. When I got home I hit Google to try and find out a little more about him. He has a 17-page CV. I’m not sure I’d have that if I annotated each of my forecasts individually.

The night ended with a live auction and some pointed begging for additional funds, but not until a teen age girl with diabetes told her story. She cried. I cried. I’m not sure how anyone could have avoided being touched.

Financially the night seemed to be a success. The money will buy more research. I’m really convinced a real cure is near.

JDRF Walk Sunday

It would be easy to complain about the early hours on a Sunday or say after 15+ years, enough–but I can’t.

jdrf_walk_sophie.jpgOnce a year I act as ‘celebrity chair’ for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes. Every year I hope it’s my last, because I really do think diabetes will be cured. It would be nice if one of the dollars I helped collect was the one that made the difference.

You might be wondering what a celebrity chair does? Basically I’m there because I can give away TV time–and I do. I generate publicity. I also go to a few events during the year. On the day of the walk, I make sure to say hello to as many people as I can. Everyone there should feel they’re important, because they are.

It would be easy to complain about the early hours on a Sunday or say after 15+ years, enough–but I can’t. Look at Sophie Baum (see attached photo). The walk is filled with people walking for their own Sophie’s.

I really do think diabetes will be cured.

Charitable Family Affair

Last night was the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Gala. I was the emcee. It’s the one guaranteed time every year to wear my tuxedo.

If you would have asked me in 1979 (when I owned a single knit tie to go with my one corduroy sport coat with elbow patches) if I’d someday wear a tuxedo, the answer would have been emphatically “No!” I was wrong.

This year was different for a few reasons. The gala moved from New Haven to Cromwell, and Helaine was on the committee making all the preparations.

Last night’s honoree was Dr. David Katz. He’s often seen on GMA and with Oprah.

Too good looking. Too young. Too smart. Too successful. Not that I’m judgmental.

The gala starts with a silent auction, then dinner, followed by a live auction and other fund raising tricks. After all, the whole idea of the night is to raise money for JDRF. In between, a disk jockey (Johnny Rozz) played. After dinner, “British Beat,” a Beatles tribute band, took over.

I’m not sure how Helaine and the others were able to get all of this together, but they did. It’s quite an undertaking, yet it was flawless.

My JDRF involvement is special to me. It’s all about the kids. Let it sound trite. I don’t care. They tear at my heart.

People think diabetes and then insulin. Insulin isn’t a cure, it’s a treatment. But often, even while following doctor’s orders, diabetes will extract a toll. I’m not going to present a list of common problems here. Suffice it to say, a diabetic child loses 10-15 years of life.

sophie-geoff.jpgI thought of that when I brought on Sophie Baum. She’s just 8, but she spoke to the all adult crowd.

Grown-ups dread public speaking. Not Sophie. She was flawless, with incredible presence. The room was silent with every eye on her. She didn’t flinch.

As is often the case, Sophie’s parents found out she was diabetic in a hospital emergency room. I have heard these horror stories before.

Your child is sick. You’re worried she’ll die. Instead you’re left with a life sentence. And when a child has diabetes, it’s a full time family responsibility.

We have cured polio and smallpox. Can’t the same happen with diabetes?

There is research underway now that shows great promise. I really believe a cure is getting close. It would be nice to think, a dollar I helped raise was the one that bought the research that found the cure.

I Hope This Is True – Diabetes Cure

Don’t bother reading the boxed text unless you’re a physician. Even then you might skip it. It’s from the journal “Cell.”

In type 1 diabetes, T cell-mediated death of pancreatic β cells produces insulin deficiency. However, what attracts or restricts broadly autoreactive lymphocyte pools to the pancreas remains unclear. We report that TRPV1+ pancreatic sensory neurons control islet inflammation and insulin resistance. Eliminating these neurons in diabetes-prone NOD mice prevents insulitis and diabetes, despite systemic persistence of pathogenic T cell pools. Insulin resistance and β cell stress of prediabetic NOD mice are prevented when TRPV1+ neurons are eliminated. TRPV1NOD, localized to the Idd4.1 diabetes-risk locus, is a hypofunctional mutant, mediating depressed neurogenic inflammation. Delivering the neuropeptide substance P by intra-arterial injection into the NOD pancreas reverses abnormal insulin resistance, insulitis, and diabetes for weeks. Concordantly, insulin sensitivity is enhanced in trpv1−/− mice, whereas insulitis/diabetes-resistant NODxB6Idd4-congenic mice, carrying wild-type TRPV1, show restored TRPV1 function and insulin sensitivity. Our data uncover a fundamental role for insulin-responsive TRPV1+ sensory neurons in β cell function and diabetes pathoetiology.

What that exercise in ‘academic speak’ says is, Canadian scientists might have found a cure for diabetes. If true, this is amazing news.

In a more human friendly article from Canada’s National Post:

In a discovery that has stunned even those behind it, scientists at a Toronto hospital say they have proof the body’s nervous system helps trigger diabetes, opening the door to a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians.

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.

Operative words: “healthy overnight.” For families of diabetics, that little phrase is the answer to years of prayers.

You probably know I’m involved in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I am touched by the stories of the families affected by diabetes. It’s no less tragic when it’s Type 2, or adult onset diabetes.

Children with diabetes have a life span more than ten years shorter than non-diabetic kids. And then there’s the daily trouble and worries that come with being diabetic.

Each year I say, “I hope this is my last JDRF Walk.” Maybe I’ve already walked it!

I sent the article and a brief note to Mary Kessler, who runs the local JDRF chapter.

We are all very excited-thanks for sending it on to me.

Try not to get too excited about it yet, we have had these miracles before and they did not translate to humans-but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

She’s right. Some exciting progress, using stem cell research, fizzled only a few months ago. What looked very good at the outset was just an empty promise.

Still, if there’s going to be a cure, it’s likely to start with an announcement like this one. My fingers are crossed.

We’ve Got A Dumpster. Are You Jealous Yet?

It arrived early this morning. Early enough, I was still sound asleep (not a major breakthrough there). For a ‘big guy’ it was awfully quiet, coming to a rest under our bedroom window with nary a squeal.

“It’s here,” Helaine said, as I pretended to get out of bed. So it is.

We got our dumpster in an auction to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It’s a win-win-win situation. JDRF gets the money. We get a dumpster. The child of the family that owns the dumpster, a child with Type 1 diabetes, gets closer to the day when juvenile diabetes in cured.

Helaine couldn’t wait to get started. We had both a treadmill and glider in our bedroom. These two pieces of fitness equipment were actually worn out by my wife! The glider split in two while she was gliding.

Neither she nor I are particularly strong, but we managed to push, pull and carry both pieces to the driveway. A quick tug of the latch to release the door on the end of the dumpster, proved futile.

I’ve never made a call to ask if I could use a small sledge on a piece of rented equipment before. I have now. I can… however, in all fairness I’ve also sprayed some WD-40 on the bolts and hinges hoping for some divine intervention.

Over the next two weeks, we will find out what makes the cut. Is it a keepsake or junk, posing as a keepsake? The idea is to be brutal and heartless. If there’s doubt, throw it out.

We rented a smaller dumpster a few years ago. It left here filled to the brim and screaming for mercy. That’s our goal again.

JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes

There are 1,100 parking spaces at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in North Haven. They were all full for today’s “Walk To Cure Diabetes.” A back of the envelope estimate says 3-4,000 people showed up!

That’s pretty good, considering the weather was awful. There were showers before, during and after the event. From time-to-time there were even downpours.

I love going to this event because I get to meet the people I’m trying to help.

Though there was a research setback reported last week, I still think juvenile diabetes can be eliminated, as polio and smallpox have been eliminated.

Here’s the article. Read past the headline, the bad news is in the last two paragraphs. The good news that led the article had been out for a while.

I am the celebrity chairman of this walk. I don’t know exactly what that means, except I give away my bosses airtime promoting the event, say hello to a lot of people during the event and shake a lot of hands.

The photo attached to this entry is a typical shot and I took a few dozen today. I don’t know the name of the totally soaked guy I’m with, but I was pointing to his tattoo in a bit of good natured fun and he was pleased I was.

This year’s walk was special in another way. Helaine came with me. As much as I enjoy the spotlight, Helaine avoids it.

I am very lucky to be able to help JDRF in a quantifiable way. No one at work tells me or even asks me to do this. I just know it’s right, and it makes me feel good. It couldn’t be any simpler.

Waking up early (for me) on a Sunday morning to stand out in the rain has never been more rewarding.

Continue reading “JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes”

A Sunday Well Spent

Yesterday I wrote I’d be going to bed late Saturday night. Who predicts me better than me? I was up until 4:00 AM.

That made the sound of the alarm clock at 8:00 AM very unwelcome. It didn’t make much difference. There was no doubt I’d be getting out of bed. Today was the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “Walk To Cure.”

The official line was 4,000 attending and $900,000 raised. Those are estimates, but they’re pretty close.

Someone I met asked how long I’d been doing this? I have no clue, so I asked, and was told I’ve been involved with JDRF for 12 years.

JDRF thinks I’ve been good to them. Shhh – don’t tell. It’s really the other way around.

I am their “Celebrity Chairman.” I don’t know what that means. There are probably four or five days a year when I appear on JDRF’s behalf. I speak to corporate sponsors at breakfast and lunches, helping to motivate them. I appear at the walk itself and do a lot of handshaking and picture taking.

What I do that JDRF never expected when I signed on is promote the living daylights out of the walk during the final week. I’d like to think that brings more walkers, which means more money. I really don’t know.

Over the years my bosses have never objected to me giving away their television station in this way. It certainly brings added notoriety to the event, which, even if it doesn’t help this year, helps going forward.

Here’s the big secret. You know the scene in Jerry McGuire where Renee Zellweger says, “You had me at hello?” JDRF had me early too. It might have been the first time I heard a story about a child with diabetes and how that child’s family originally discovered it.

The discovery, unfortunately, is often made in the middle of the night, in a hospital emergency room, by parents who are worried about a mysteriously ill child they fear will die. Hearing it’s diabetes doesn’t make that night any better. It’s a life sentence.

If you’ve got diabetes, your life will be cut short – period. How’s that for motivation?

So, if I can help (and I think I do)… and if the money we raise brings research a little closer… how can I not? There are few things I do where I am absolutely guaranteed to come home feeling good about myself. This is one.

More Of The Firesign Theater Now Makes Sense

In the late 60s, one of my favorite pastimes was listening to albums from the Firesign Theater. I’m not sure how to explain them… nor if it’s possible.

My Cousin Michael just told me he tried to play one of their albums for his wife, Melissa. She took to them the way most woman become Three Stooges fans. It was painful.

Sometimes their routines were peppered with what I thought was nonsense words. For instance, from “How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?”

DC: It wasn’t always like that . . .

JOE: No. First they had to come from towns with strange names like . . .

EDDIE: Smegma!

Dc: Spasmodic!

EDDIE: Frog!

JOE: And the far-flung Isles of Langerhans.

I had not thought of the far-flung Isles of Langerhans for twenty years… maybe more. And then, it all came rushing back at me, like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist.

Sorry – that’s their line, from Nick Danger.

From the New York Times:

Dr. Paul E. Lacy, a pathologist who was known as the father of islet cell transplants, an experimental treatment for Type 1 diabetes, died Tuesday in Zanesville, Ohio. He was 81.

The cause was pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease, said his son Paul E. Lacy Jr.

Dr. Lacy was among the first scientists to observe how beta cells, which reside in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, make insulin.

You’re kidding! I can’t believe they worked pathology into their albums. These guys were good.

Walk to Cure Diabetes

I wish I could remember how my involvement with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and their yearly Walk To Cure Diabetes, began. I don’t. It has been over 10 years, I’m sure of that.

When I started helping, I didn’t know too much. I knew the word diabetes – not really what is was. Is that wrong?

Many civic and charitable organizations try to associate themselves with local radio and TV personalities. It’s a good, cheap way to get additional publicity. No one says that, but everyone knows it.

On the other side of the equation, lots of radio and television personalities try to associate themselves with civic and charitable organizations. There are a zillion reasons, some altruistic and some not.

Basically, I look at my job, realize I’ve got it good and wonder what I can do to show my gratitude.

What was unforeseen to me is how captivating and motivating my association with JDRF has been. In essence, a child doesn’t have diabetes – his family does. Everyone’s life changes, though none more than the diabetic.

Even with diabetes under control, you’re checking your blood by sticking yourself 5, 6, 10 time a day. If you’re lucky, you can use an insulin pump. If not, there are injections.

When you’re small your parents give the shots. As you grow older, it’s your responsibility. That’s a hell of an obligation for a teenager trying not to stick out in a crowd.

And then there’s the statistic that says the life of a diabetic is shortened by 15 or so years.

Anyway, the more I became involved, the more I wanted to be involved. Everything I read tells me a cure is close. I’m not a doctor, but I believe it’s true.

As this years walk approached, I asked at work if I could use our helicopter. It helps bring more visibility to JDRF… and it’s good for the station too. There were 4,000 walking in North Haven and another 4-500 in Niantic.

After some rain last night, I was pleased to see the forecast hold and the Sun come out. I woke up early and drove to Chester where the copter is based. It was chilly at 7:30 – I worried if I should have brought a jacket.

At Chester Airport, Chopper 8 is parked on a small trailer. It’s true. The pilot takes off and lands on a little trailer, not the ground. I climbed in the front with pilot Dan Peterman. Our photographer, Jim Bagley sat in the back with all the video gear.

It was a quick flight to Anthem Blue Cross in North Haven, the site of the first walk. I did a quick live hit on our morning news and we landed.

If you’ve never been to an event like this, it’s tough to explain. The Blue Cross campus was crawling with people of all ages.

I said hello and took pictures of and with as many people as I could. Around 10:00 AM the walk got underway and I made my way back to the helicopter for our trip to Niantic.

The Niantic crowd was smaller, more intimate. We were able to land he copter in a much more conspicuous place. Dan folded the doors back and we let people walk up and take a close look. Most people never get that chance and the copter is a big draw, especially with kids (and dads).

I went back to shooting and taking pictures.

Within the next few days I’ll have a better idea how JDRF did financially, My gut tells me this was a good year.

Now, here’s the payoff. We do this every year. But if we’re really successful, we’ll never have to do it again. It’s happened before. Polio was cured with research paid for a dime at a time. Maybe diabetes is next.

Blogger’s note – I took a lot of pictures… I mean a really huge number of pictures. As usual, they’re in my gallery.