Join the Crusade

Sue B_Head SquareMedicare guidelines do not provide for coverage of Continuous Glucose MonitorsI am an advocate for my husband who desperately needs a new CGM and previously received CGM coverage under private insurance before reaching age 65. I am a crusader for the entire diabetes community, whether you are on Medicare, will soon be on Medicare, have a Continuous Glucose Monitor presently, or might need one in the future.

In December 2013 Representative Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH1] introduced a bill into Congress, H.R. 3710: Medicare CGM Coverage Act, which provides for coverage of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems by Medicare if recommended by a doctor. My recent post Baby Steps talked about the bill and many members of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) asked how they could become involved in this crusade.

I have just received an email from Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s Legislative Assistant, Marjorie Connolly, and she suggested the following:

  • The most effective step you can take is to ask your own Representative to cosponsor the bill.
  • Call your Congressperson’s DC office and ask for the email address of your Congressperson’s Legislative Assistant for health issues.
  • Email the Legislative Assistant the text of Shea-Porter’s Dear Colleague letter (below) along with a personal note. That way they will understand why the issue is important to you, the constituent, and they will also have the Dear Colleague to show their boss so that he/she will know how to sign on.

The roster of the House of Representatives along with phone numbers is available at

CGM CrusaderIf you would like to know more about my story and why I am crusading for CGM coverage by Medicare, please read my About Page and some of my previous blog posts.

There are many diabetics such as my husband who never realized that when they went on Medicare, their CGM would no longer be covered. When the denial for coverage comes, and it inevitably will because Medicare considers the CGM a precautionary device, the arduous journey through the Appeals system is daunting, exhausting and psychologically taxing. The wait for a decision is beyond description and we have waited for 8 months. The entire process will only get harder as baby boomers become Medicare-age in greater numbers. We need to do something about this sooner rather than later.

The only way to fight Medicare’s denial of the CGM is to get the guideline changed. The best thing that we can do now is to let our voices be heard and join with Congresswoman Shea-Porter and her new cosponsor, Congressman Matthew Cartwright [D-PA17] in asking Congress to pass H.R. 3710, the Medicare CGM Coverage Act of 2014.

At the bottom of this post you will find clickable links to download a Sample Letter and a copy of Shea-Porter’s Dear Colleague email blast. Don’t delay because the sponsors of this bill have begun their full-on push for support and every voice is important. If you are a blogger and want to know how to help, click to download this document:  Dear Fellow Bloggers_Final

Please contact me if I can assist you in any way. You don’t have to be a person with diabetes to write the letter. You can be the son, daughter, mother, father, friend or as myself, the spouse of a diabetic.

Please do this for all of those who so desperately need a CGM and can’t afford to pay for it out of pocket. Together we can do this.

Thank you.

Please note that due to problems with spam, comments are blocked on Test Guess and Go posts older than 90 days.  If you would like to make a comment or contact Sue from Pennsylvania, click here.


To download, click on this link: Sample Letter to Congress_Final

Sample Letter

To download, click on this link: Dear Colleague_Final

Dear Colleague Email Blast

Baby Steps

Sue B_Head SquareFor months I have been blogging about the roadblocks my husband has faced in getting a CGMS. He used one before going on Medicare, but a replacement system prescribed by his endocrinologist was denied by Medicare. We went through Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Appeals process and had a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge on June 26, 2013. After being promised a decision in three months, we are  at seven months and still waiting for the judgement to be drafted so that we can find out if we got a “Fully Favorable Decision” or not.

In the meantime, I have been in contact with a Legislative Assistant of Representative Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH1].  In December 2013 Shea-Porter introduced a bill into Congress (H.R. 3710) which provides for coverage of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems by Medicare if recommended by a doctor. Unfortunately this bill is being given little chance of passing, but I believe it is an important step in bringing attention to the important issue of CGMS coverage for senior citizens.

I have also been in touch with the Global Marketing Director of Dexcom and she has indicated that together with Medtronic, they are forming a coalition to plan a big legislative push with respect to CGMS and Medicare.

I have been cautioned that it is too early to become excited about a speedy change in Medicare policy. But for me this is exciting news. I have gone from feeling totally alone in my crusade to knowing that a Congresswoman, Dexcom, and Medtronic are taking steps to influence Medicare to change the guideline.  For the many diabetics on Medicare who need a CGMS and can’t afford the cost of the device and sensors (my husband being one of them), there is a glimmer of hope that victory will be achieved now that some of the big-time players are becoming involved in the fight.

Climb the MountainThe steps being taken now are just baby steps and it is still a long way to the top of the mountain. There will come a time when I, together with many others, will need to have our voices heard. We will need a groundswell of support from the Diabetes Online Community to help change Medicare policy to provide for CGMS when medically necessary for senior citizens with diabetes.

Right now we are in the early stages of figuring out how to do this in the most effective way. I urge you to keep reading Test Guess and Go as we update our progress.  Please contact me if you have any information or contacts who will be helpful in pursuing this goal. If you are on Medicare (or will soon be on Medicare) and are concerned about your safety in living with diabetes without a CGMS, please reach out to me to add your name to my growing list of advocates.

Baby steps.  So small, but the first steps on the road to victory.

The Crusade Continues

Sue B_Head Square

As 2013 comes to a close, I can’t help but think about all the ways that I’ve grown this year.

At the start of  the year, I was waiting to hear from the Administrative Law Judge’s office to find out when my husband was going to get a date for his Medicare appeal for his CGMS. Before we actually got the date, I saw a Letter to the Editor in Diabetes Forecast Magazine from Janice Allen in Foresthill, California asking why Medicare would not cover her CGMS. That prompted me to Google her name and attempt to find her address. Fortunately Google is an amazing tool and there is almost nothing that you can’t find on it. I wrote Janice a letter and was pleasantly shocked when she called me within a few days of mailing it. That was the start of my advocacy. After I spoke to her, I decided that something needed to be done to change the Medicare CGM guidelines and if not me, who else? I was really tired of sitting on my hands and taking chances day-by-day with my husband’s life because he didn’t have a working CGMS.

I started surfing around the internet and came upon the American Diabetes Association Forums.  I found a post there from a woman in New York with a reference to CGMS. So I put a comment on the post and that started a wonderful friendship with Sue from New York. We quickly became fast e-mail friends and that translated a short time later into phone friends. Through her, I met Laddie who graciously offered me the opportunity to guest blog on her site. Laddie is one terrific person. Aside from the fact that she’s a gifted writer, she’s a good friend as well. She’s my go-to person for education about diabetes since I am not a diabetic and there is so much that I don’t know about it. She has also helped me tremendously as I navigate the blog world as a regular contributor to Test Guess and Go.

After my first blogpost I started hearing from others who were experiencing the same problem as my husband. They also were denied coverage of the CGMS. All are on Medicare; some are paying for their CGMS out of pocket and others, like my husband are going without. All are suffering in some shape and form because of Medicare’s decision not to pay for the CGMS.

Recently I was fortunate to connect with a Massachusetts woman, Carol Lewis, who shared the information that on December 11, 2013, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire introduced a bill into Congress addressing the problem of CGM coverage by Medicare:   H.R. 3710: Medicare CGM Coverage Act – to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) as durable medical equipment under Medicare, and for other purposes.  In this bill, CGMS coverage will include a transmitter, receiver, sensors, and test strips required for use. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that anyone in either Congress or the Senate has attempted to do anything about CGMS coverage. In early 2014 I will be posting more information about this bill and asking everyone to contact their Congressperson to request that they support this bill.

I have always shied away from calling attention to myself, but over the past year I have found that this is no longer possible. I have a husband who has a specific need and that need is a CGMS which for him is lifesaving. I can’t sit around and watch while he goes day in and day out without one. I also can’t sit around and watch anyone in the future who might need a CGMS go through the same process that we have been going through. It’s long and arduous and there have been many times when I’ve felt like throwing up my hands and packing it in. But each time I’ve felt this way, someone has been there to encourage me to continue.

New Year Crusade

I say that it’s my year of growth simply because along the way, I have learned so much about diabetes. I know that I have much more to learn. Along the way, I have met many people who have now become a part of my life. I have blogged. I have developed a relationship with Jim Bock of Diabetes Forecast. He has been a great source of help in having our story told in the magazine in the December 2013 issue. And recently I have developed a relationship with Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s legal assistant as well as Amy Wotring of the American Diabetes Association.

I thank each and everyone who has read my blogs and responded with a comment. I thank Sue and Laddie who have been an integral part of my journey. Most of all I thank my husband Marc who has been my life partner for the past 44 years and who is the reason why this is so important to me. I hope someday in the near future that Marc will open our front door to find a box containing a brand new CGMS that has been paid for by Medicare.

To everyone, I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year.  You will be hearing more from me in 2014.



My Eight Days of Chanukah Wish List

Sue B_Head Square1.   I wish that frying potato latkes wouldn’t mess up my entire kitchen. The oil gets all over everything and grating potatoes is a hard thing to do.

2.   I wish that I lived part time in Atlanta so that I could see my two children, my son-in-law and granddaughter more often.

3.  I wish that in my retirement years I didn’t have to spend so much time trying to fight Medicare for a CGM for my husband.

Menorah4.  I wish I could be a kid again for the 8 days of Chanukah so that I would get 8 gifts, one each night.

5.  I wish that Laddie, Sue from New York and myself could sit down together and have a cup of coffee.

6.  I wish I could eat anything that my heart desired and not gain any weight.

7.  I wish that I could tweak my nose and have my house magically get cleaned.

8.  Most of all, I wish the decision from our Administrative Law Judge would get here. Waiting for over five months…and still waiting…is way too long.

National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day

LADDIE:  IN RECOGNITION OF NOVEMBER AS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH, SUE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, Sue from New York, AND I HAVE WRITTEN BLOG POSTS WHICH WILL BE PUBLISHED THIS WEEK.  Yesterday SUE FROM NEW YORK wrote ABOUT HER APPRECIATION FOR MEDICAL DEVICES THAT HELP KEEP HER safe.  Today Sue from Pennsylvania writes about her journey learning about diabetes and why increased awareness about diabetes is important.


Sue B_Head SquareFourteen years ago when my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I had no clue exactly what that would mean for us. I was one of those people who thought that diabetes just meant no sugar. Quickly I learned that there is so much more to diabetes than removing sugar from your diet. The food that we loved to eat always included some type of pasta, rice or bread. Since I am the cook in our family (my husband’s culinary talents involve making either scrambled or over easy eggs), I had to become aware of the carbohydrate count of the meals that I was cooking.  I can truly say that I found this then, and even today, to be a task that I do out of necessity but with no enjoyment whatsoever. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes but it’s a lot harder to do when you have to be aware of the amount of carbs in every recipe.

An added challenge to my husband’s Type 1 diabetes is the fact that he has hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia unawareness.  It seems as if almost all of our friends with diabetes are either Type 2 or Prediabetic and they don’t have a clue as to how difficult it is to be a Type 1 diabetic.  They have no understanding of the daily fear and stress experienced by both my husband and me as a result of his hypoglycemia unawareness. None of them have ever seen someone go so low that he becomes unconscious. I had never seen this before either and I can truly say it is terrifying.  One of my first blog posts ever was about the frightening experience of my husband’s first severe hypoglycemic episode. The daily care of Type 1 diabetes is incredibly daunting with monitoring blood sugar either by fingerstick or CGM (if you’re lucky enough to be able to get your insurance to pay for it), watching what you eat, and just plain being aware of diabetes all of the time.

NovemberThe reason why National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day are so important to me is that any awareness that we can bring to this illness is a positive thing. Anytime we can tell our stories to educate those who are uneducated (as I was) is a positive thing. I continue to be in awe of those men, women and children who have to deal with this condition on a daily basis because I know how difficult it is. I have become aware and I’m hoping that by calling attention to diabetes during National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day, more people will become aware. That would be a good thing.

The Dash

Sue B_Head SquareRecently a friend was recalling a visit to the grave of his father-in-law.  As he was looking at the headstone and saw the date of birth and date of death, he focused on the dash (-) between the two dates. It got him thinking about what went on in his father-in-law’s life in the space where that dash was. It also got him thinking about what he had done in his life that will one day be the dash on his headstone. This person happens to be an extremely generous person with his time, his wisdom, his philanthropic endeavors and is truly someone whom I would love to model my life after. He is fortunate to have a wife who shares the same wonderful qualities that define him. They both know that the dash will be full of everything great that they’ve done in their lives.

When I think of my own mortality (and hopefully that won’t be for a long, long time), I think about my dash. I have always been a very private person; not one given to making speeches or calling attention to myself. Over the past months, I have turned into an advocate for my husband’s diabetes management, especially with reference to his Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). I have blogged which is something that I had never envisioned myself doing. I have also been trying to aid whomever needs my help in navigating the Medicare Appeals process for CGM coverage and I have even been interviewed by Diabetes Forecast Magazine about our Appeal process in trying to get my husband a CGM. This interview will be a sidebar to an article being published about Medicare in the December issue of the magazine. Everything that I have been doing is in contrast to the way I lived my life before. I decided that someone needed to do something about the CGM guideline and so be it if that someone needs to be me.

Recently I was with these two friends at a joyous but sad going away party. They are moving from our close community in Harrisburg, PA to Northern New Jersey to be closer to their family. His parting words to everyone at the party were “Don’t forget the Dash”. Those words will now stick with me daily and I will continue to try to fill in my dash and fight as hard as I can to get the Medicare guidelines on CGMs changed.Dash Headstone

Dear Judge Smith

Sue B_Head SquareDear Judge Smith:

It has been over four months since June 26, 2013 when my husband had his Administrative Law Judge hearing with you in order to appeal Freedom Blue’s denial of coverage for his Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).   My husband, his endocrinologist and I all testified regarding the necessity of him having a CGM to prevent a catastrophic episode of hypoglycemia that could cause him to lose his life because of extremely low blood sugar.  We presented you with numerous charts and exhibits so that you would understand how quickly his blood sugar can plunge from normal to low with the result that he can’t make the necessary corrections by himself.  In some cases, he has had to be revived by the EMS.

To date, we have heard nothing from your office.  We are anxiously awaiting the determination and thought that it would come in a timely manner due to the seriousness of the situation.  We were originally told that we would get the decision in four to Mailboxsix weeks.  After four months we are now well past that period of time.  I called your legal assistant and was told that we could not get any information until the decision was mailed.  All he could tell me was that it was “in queue.”  What does that mean?  Do we have to wait weeks, months or even longer to find out whether we got a favorable or an unfavorable decision?  In the meantime, each and every day of my husband’s life, I worry.  From the time he leaves the house for work until the moment he gets home at the end of the day, my mind is constantly wondering and praying that he’ll come home to me safely.  Our frustration is at an all time high.

There is something so wrong with the entire system.  There are many men and women in the same position as my husband who desperately need the CGM and sensors and can’t afford them.  There are many men and women who have gone through or are now going through the Medicare Appeal process who will have to wait for many months in order to get their decisions.  Does someone have to die before any of this changes?   I sincerely hope not.  In the meantime, we wait and wait and wait each day for the mail in hope that the decision will finally be here.

Very truly yours,

Sue from Pennsylvania

Hey, He Needs his Insulin!

Sue B_Head SquareWho would ever think that it can be difficult to get insulin for someone on Medicare?

For the past 15 months my husband Marc has been on Medicare. During most of that time we have been fighting for Medicare coverage of a CGM because he has hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia unawareness. We thought that the CGM would be the biggest obstacle that we would encounter in dealing with diabetes under Medicare. It turns out that while a CGM is an extremely important device for Marc, insulin has turned out to be an even bigger obstacle.

Under Medicare Marc previously got his insulin with no problems because it was being billed under Part D. As a result of the deductible on his supplemental insurance policy, he had a substantial co-pay for the insulin. Recently he found out that his insulin should be billed under Part B of Medicare because he uses an insulin pump. Insulin under Part B provides significant savings because there are no co-pays and the cost is excluded from the donut hole gap in coverage. The Part D billing was partially our mistake because we didn’t understand Part D, Part B or any other parts for that matter.

Now we come to these past few weeks when once again Marc needed insulin. We were told that CVS Pharmacy has a contract with Medicare for insulin.  Marc took his prescription over to CVS which is only 3 minutes from our home. The pharmacist told him that she would run it through to see what the charge would be under Part B. After three days, Marc received a call from CVS saying that his co-pay would be $1900 for a three month supply. We could get no answer as to why the charge was so much.  Can you imagine how quickly Marc sent me to the pharmacy to pick up the script?

Because he’s a working stiff and I’m a stay at home person (I can’t say mom because the kids are grown and out of the house), I was assigned the task of trying to get insulin. I first called CVS’s customer service line. The wait to speak to a customer service representative was approximately 30 minutes. When I got through and explained what the situation was in trying to get the prescription covered by them under Part B, she put me on hold for another 30 minutes while she tried to contact the CVS Running into brick walls_2pharmacy that we use. She was told that they couldn’t tell her anything because they didn’t have the insulin script in their possession and there was nothing in their computer system. So much for the waste of 1 hour. I did straighten up the house during the long wait so at least some good came out of the call. Thanks to the person who invented the cordless speaker phone.

My next call was to Medicare. Again, I had to hold on for about 10 minutes until someone came on the line. My question to Myra (we got to be good friends during this conversation) was whether a diabetic on an insulin pump would be covered 100% for insulin under Medicare Part B. She asked me to hold while she did her research and when she came back on the line, she told me “most definitely” the insulin would be covered and the cost would not go towards the donut hole. Glory be. Finally concrete information that confirmed what I had been previously told. Maybe Marc would finally be able to get his insulin.

I asked her if she could give me the name of Medicare Providers who dealt with Part B insulin and once more I was asked to hold. When Myra came back on the line, she said there were at least 20 providers for insulin and she proceeded to give me a list of the names and phone numbers. I thanked her profusely and after an hour on the phone with her, I hung up thinking that finally, finally we had hit pay dirt.

I called each and every one of the so-called providers of insulin on the Medicare list and not a single one of them provides insulin. One pharmacist told me that they don’t handle insulin for Medicare because Medicare doesn’t reimburse them enough money to make it worthwhile. Now, I ask, what is wrong with this picture?  How can Medicare not know who supplies insulin? More importantly, how can the reimbursement be so low that pharmacies won’t supply it for Medicare recipients? I was at my wits end after all these calls. Marc needed insulin and I didn’t know what to do next to get it.

Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head and I decided to call Walgreens.  Somewhere I had heard that they supply insulin to Medicare recipients under Part B.  Mind you, I have no Walgreens in my area and the closest one is 45 minutes away. But at this point, I probably would have traveled two hours to get the insulin. The call was answered immediately by a pharmacist who confirmed that Walgreen’s is a Medicare Provider for insulin. I felt like jumping for joy. I was told what was needed to get an approval from Medicare:  things like my husband’s height and weight, (thought this was strange), pump manufacturer, serial number, date it was purchased and whether it was a private purchase or an insurance company purchase. We faxed the information Running in circles_2immediately and were told by the pharmacist that she didn’t see any problem in getting Medicare to approve the insulin, and we should be able to pick it up on Sunday. Three days later I received a call from the pharmacist informing me that they could not supply the insulin. She said that when he signed up for Medicare, my husband waived his right to certain things. She couldn’t explain what those things were.

Now we were back to square one. Once again I called Medicare. When I mentioned what Walgreen’s had told us about waiving rights, Fred (I was establishing quite a lot of first name relationships with Medicare reps) said there was no such thing.  You don’t waive any rights when you sign up for Medicare. He said I should call Freedom Blue, Marc’s supplemental insurance company. I’m thinking “here we go again.” This whole thing was becoming like the movie “Groundhog Day”.

Nevertheless, I called the insurance company and was told that the only approved supplier under our contract was Liberty Medical. I don’t understand why I wasn’t told this a week ago. Liberty Medical was one of the suppliers that we had originally called when we started this whole process and they gave us a quote of $1100 for the co-pay. Now I was placing another call to Liberty Medical and after holding for 20 minutes, the customer service rep looked up my husband’s records and said that they could foresee no problems with supplying the insulin. So with fingers crossed, I ordered the insulin and hoped that this time we would get it.

One day later, UPS knocked on our door with a boxful of insulin. I felt like I had won a huge battle but was continuing to holding my breath hoping that we wouldn’t get a bill for a co-pay. Last week we got notification that Freedom Blue has accepted the amount that Medicare paid for the insulin. What a thrill that after a harrowing week of spending more then 11 hours on the telephone (most of it on hold), the insulin is finally in our fridge and we don’t have to worry about a large co-pay.

Success_3As a non-diabetic spouse of someone with Type 1, I give thanks to those in the diabetes online community who have guided me in my daily journey to learn more about diabetes. Because of you I now know that insulin for an insulin pump is considered durable medical equipment under Medicare and is covered under Part B.  There is no co-pay and it doesn’t go towards the donut hole…which thankfully will be eliminated in 2014. I hope that this information will be helpful to anyone reading this blog who might not understand Part B.

My whole reason for writing this blog post is to say once again that “diabetes is a challenge in and of itself.  There shouldn’t be these issues that make a diabetic jump through hoops to get what he or she needs.”  I seem to use this quote in almost everything I write and everything I say.  Let’s face it…a person can live without many things. One of those things is not insulin.

There is something horribly wrong with the system.

Special Memories of My Mother

noddayToday is No D Day when those of us who normally blog about the D-word take time to open windows into other parts of our lives.  Laddie, Sue from New York, and I have each written posts with memories and photos of our childhoods.  Thanks to George of Ninjabetic for organizing this day, and click here to read other No D Day Posts.


Sue B_Head SquareI had a wonderful and loving childhood despite the fact that my parents divorced when my brother was 6 and I was 6 months old.  My father joined the Merchant Marines after the divorce and although he was out at sea for long stretches of time, my Mother made sure that we had a good relationship with him.

NoDDay_SueB1During summer vacations while my brother was at overnight camp, my Mother and I would spend a few weeks in the Catskill Mountains where our family from all around Pennsylvania and New Jersey would congregate for memorable weeks of togetherness.  I loved those vacations.  This was when I got to spend special time with my Mother and our extended family.  Throughout my life, family was very important to my Mother and she instilled those same values in my brother and me.


NoDDay_SueB2In the Catskills, all the youngsters would go to camp during the day, and at night everyone would get dressed up in their finest clothing for dinner and great shows after dinner.   I loved the mountains and especially loved dressing up but more then anything, I loved being with my Mother.  During the rest of the year, my Mother was a working mom who owned her own business and although she was devoted to my brother and me, she was at work during the day.  So to have this time with her was very special.

As a footnote to my little story, when I was 14 my parents remarried each other and were together for the next 18 years until my father passed away.  My mother passed away at the age of 93 having spent 73 years in her own business as a Jeweler on Philadelphia Jeweler’s Row.

A Call Not Made

Sue B_Head SquareI had a cousin whom I never really got the opportunity to know well.  My father and my cousin’s mother were brother and sister.  Growing up, our family lived in Philadelphia and my cousin’s family lived in Washington, D.C.  When they settled there I saw him occasionally but because he was older by 5 years, we didn’t have much in common.  The years passed and we saw each other less and less and then not at all.

When my husband was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996, I thought about calling him.  I knew that he had extensive knowledge of diabetes.   But as happens all too often, I kept putting it off thinking that I would eventually make that call.  Days passed, weeks passed, months passed and then years passed.  I never did make that call. Then came a day in March when I received an e-mail from another one of my cousins that he had died.

The other day I was speaking to Laddie, my new friend who graciously offered me the chance to write on this blog, and we were discussing people who are well known in the diabetes field.  I happened to mention my cousin’s name and not only did she know of him, but she sent me a link to a Keynote speech presented at the Friends for Life Conference that took place in July.  The address was given by Meri Schuhmacher and was posted on her blog, Our Diabetic Life.  I read that speech with tears in my eyes and a deep sadness that I never did pick up that phone to call this wonderful man.   I forwarded that speech to my cousin’s sister who has been a diabetic since early childhood.  She sent me a link to another blog post written by Tom Karlya.  From that post, I gained more insight into a man who was a psychologist, a professor of medicine and pediatrics, had written many publications, traveled to conferences all over the world, and was on many boards with his life’s focus being on improving the emotional care of people with diabetes.  He was also a gentle man who loved his family and nature and lived each day to the fullest.  Since I read these two blog posts, I have learned from other publications how well respected my cousin was in the diabetes community.

Richard RubinMy cousin’s name was Dr. Richard Rubin.  I never got to know him in life but through the writings of others, I am now getting to know him.  Every day since his death, I not only mourn him, but my loss in not picking up that phone.  If anything is to be learned from my experience, it’s that age old expression “never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.   I lost the opportunity to get to know my cousin and find out for myself how wonderful he was and why he was so loved by his family and by those whose lives he touched.  His life was a life well lived and I wish I could have been a part of it.

The photo of Dr. Rubin is from a tribute to him published in the July, 2013 issue of Diabetes Care.