Adventure travel is a dream for many, but for Graham Jackson it's the sort of thing he's been doing all his life. Born in the country of Lesotho in southern Africa (pronounced "Leh-zoo-too"), he grew up motocross racing and building off-road buggies with his father. When he was 10 years old, he and his family took a safari in a Range Rover across the expansive Kalahari Desert where zebras, lions, and giraffes are known to roam, and summer temperatures range from 68-113 degrees F-and occasionally reach as much as 122 degrees. It was a journey that influenced the course of Jackson's life.
Earl "the Pearl" Monroe was one of the greatest guards in the history of the National Basketball Association, playing from 1967 through 1980 for the Baltimore Bullets and the New York Knicks. A member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, he was enshrined in the league's Hall of Fame in 1990. The Knicks retired his jersey number, 15, in 1986.
My diabetes and I have traveled a lot of miles together in nineteen years. Racing Ironman triathlons in Australia, Europe, the Carribean and all over North America, climbing and camping at the top of 14,000 foot Mt. Whitney, and of course dozens of family vacations and business trips. Packing equipment and supplies for an Ironman triathlon and 3 weeks in Australia requires a bit of planning and preparation, but when you have diabetes you feel like you do that for just a weekend out of town. Meters, strips, insulin, syringes, infusion sets, pump supplies, snacks . . . a simple weekend trip becomes a lunar expedition.
Last summer, I led the third annual swim-run biathlon for the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, which hosts two Massachusetts camps for children with type 1-Camp Joslin for boys and Camp Clara Barton for girls. It was at Camp Joslin that I met a memorable eight-year-old boy who exemplifies what being a diabetes hero is all about. I'll call him "Adam.'
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