Bret Michaels and His Benefit for Diabetes

This past month I have attended many events benefitting diabetes.  The latest benefit that I attended was a first for me. I went to the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix to see Bret Michaels perform for his charity concert. Bret Michaels, as you probably know, lives with type 1 diabetes. He was in the band Poison. Curently he leads the Bret Michaels Band, stars on televsion and promotes diabetes awareness.

I had spent the earlier part of the day at the American Diabetes Association’s Health Fair. I attended the concert with a group of other Type 1 diabetics and their families or friends. Many of the kids that worked so diligently at the health fair also attended the concert. Some of the kids were given backstage passes and meet and greet tickets. They were ecstatic and I was excited for them.

I must admit, I am now officially old. This concert was very loud and I was surprised to see many of the scantily clad “older” women rockin’ out! I was sitting amongst little kids, teenagers, parents and friends. It was an enjoyable venue and I enjoyed the company. I even had a little guy (probably 5 years old) sound asleep with a good set of earplugs a few seats over. They performed great songs and the crowd was singing along.

Despite the good company and the excitement of a fun Saturday night out on the town, I was not particularly happy about going to this event. It surprised many people. All of my friends were anxious to attend. Many of them are a bit star struck by Mr. Michaels. When I was a teen and living with type 1, I was a bit angry with Bret Michaels. The diabetic celebrities seemed to be Mary Tyler More, Wilford Brimley and that was about it. I knew Bret Michaels had diabetes. I had read an article about it. I enjoyed his music, but I was perturbed that he didn’t do more to support diabetes or bring awareness to the cause during that time. I know it sounds juvenile, but because I was a juvenile, I wished he would do more for our cause!

I now know that as a person living with diabetes, Bret was probably trying to cope with just being a man, living with diabetes and dealing with stardom. I realize that as humans, we all grow and mature. Hopefully as people living with type 1 diabetes, we also all grow and mature. We take better care of ourselves. We realize what is truly important. We don’t let anyone or anything stop us from having the best health and life possible, even if that is not what we had planned on or pictured.

Helping others as The Diabetes Coach, I know that we all struggle at times with our disease, our admission to it, our acceptance of it and the struggles we have to not let it define us. As a kid, I couldn’t see this. I realize Bret Michaels is still here and going forward (with amazing momentum I might add). I am sure his life was not easy coping with diabetes as a younger man. I guess I can finally cut him some slack!

I am now glad that Bret Michaels can do so much for diabetes. I now realize it didn’t matter when he started to raise awareness for diabetes. What matters is that he did. He performed a good concert, auctioned off some nice items and is helping the world to conquer diabetes.

It was a remarkable day! I witnessed kids in action to help fight diabetes. I realized that a star is a person. He happens to have diabetes. He, just like all of us, probably took some time to find his true center. Now, I’m proud to say he is fighting for all of us living with diabetes. Even, if it was loud and my ears are still ringing. . .

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