Bayer, Insulet and Caleb

Should you see a Bayer Diabetes Care pamphlet the next time you visit your endo that looks like this:

Nick's Simple Wins

Open it up and you may find another familiar face:

2009 Contest winners with Nick

Insulet held a conference this week that you can listen to here.  Caleb is mentioned at the end as an example how OmniPod helps improve the way you live with diabetes – in Caleb’s case, by swimming freely.

Caleb in his "backyard".

More than a shirt

The weather turned warm and I took out the bin of short-sleeved shirts and shorts.  Caleb’s first choice was emphatically this shirt:

Lauren's Walkers

It’s cute, right?  But it’s more than a cute shirt.  It’s the shirt that Lauren gave him.

Caleb met Lauren this past December. She was one of the other two Simple Wins winners.  Caleb completely loved meeting Nick Jonas, but the impact of meeting Lauren and Bradley was just as significant.  They are also rock stars in Caleb’s eyes.

When Lauren, Bradley and Caleb were waiting to meet Nick, I saw that Lauren was holding three gift bags.  Caleb had his Burning Up book for Nick to sign and a heartfelt note to give him.  I saw three bags and thought three brothers – Nick, Joe and Kevin.

One of those bags was indeed for Nick, but the other two were not for Nick’s brothers, but for two other young men: Caleb and Bradley. In Caleb’s bag was a beautiful, thoughtful note, a DVD featuring former Chicago Cub and fellow T1D, Ron Santo, a package of Starburts (perfect for lows at 4 carbs a piece) and the red shirt.

How amazing is Lauren? It’s no wonder that Caleb could be smitten with her.  She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  She touched Caleb.

Even though the total amount of time spent with Lauren and Bradley was only a handful of hours, Caleb sees them as his friends.  They are the first people he has met in person and socialized with that live with T1D. He celebrated something great and fun with them. Diabetes brought them together for something GOOD.

I will remember meeting them and their moms as much as I will remember meeting Nick.  I believe Caleb will too.

He picked Lauren’s shirt first and continues to throw it on his back as soon as it is out of the wash.  It’s right up there with his NYY garb.  Doesn’t that say it all?

Caleb with friends Lauren and Bradley

Your biggest supporter. In Caleb’s words.

There were lots of great suggestions to treat lows yesterday. I’m glad to have some new ideas. Thank you everyone!

Day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week.

Your biggest supporter. Today it’s time to gush and brag about your biggest supporter.

Caleb gets lots of support from many.  Nurse Ronnie, his school nurse, is a true contender for being his biggest supporter.  Any of his family members would be viable options.  He thinks differently.

Nick Jonas talks about his fight against juvenile diabetes at the National Press Club in Washington on August 24, 2009.

In terms of diabetes, who is your biggest supporter? Without hesitation, Caleb responds:
Nick Jonas.

Why?
I like him because he likes music and I like music.  He has diabetes so I feel like I can perform like him when I grow up because I think I want to be a musician.

Caleb’s brother, Colin, who is wise beyond his ten years, asks:
What about Mom?

Caleb responds:
Oh yeah because she will always drive her car into school and save me when I need it like she’s Super Pod Woman.

I love you mom.

Caleb imitating Mom as "Super Pod Woman" driving to school to "save" him.

Day 1 – A day in the life of…diabetes.

Day 2 – Making the low go.

Tomorrow’s topic – To carb or not to carb.

“Blood Brothers” – Caleb, Nick Jonas and the Yankees

The Danbury News-Times featured a story about Caleb, his love of baseball and his meeting with Nick Jonas. Thank you Brian for contacting us and Sandi for doing such a great job on the story!

If you missed it, here’s my write-up of when Caleb and Nick met.

Caleb holding the Danbury News-Times, April 11, 2010

Ready to Play: Danbury boy shares a bond with pop star Nick Jonas

Sandra Diamond Fox, Contributing Writer

April has finally arrived and children everywhere are practicing for baseball season, which begins later this month. One kid who’s especially excited about playing again is 7-year-old Caleb Schlissel of Danbury.

For Caleb — who has always lived and breathed baseball — the season starts Friday with the Danbury Youth Baseball league.

“Before he could walk, he had a ball in his hand,” says Caleb’s mother, Lorraine Sisto. “For his first birthday, he had a ball-themed party with a cake in the shape of a baseball.”

Caleb plans on becoming a pitcher for the New York Yankees and says nothing will stand in his way — not even Type 1 diabetes, which he’s had for over three years.

That would explain why he chose baseball as the subject of the Bayer “Express Your Simple Wins Creativity Contest” he entered — and won.

The contest involved 17-year-old singer Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers pop/rock band, who also has Type 1 diabetes. It was presented in conjunction with Bayer Healthcare Diabetes Care, which develops products that help simplify life for people with diabetes.

The nationwide contest was open to people ages 6 to 18 who are dealing with diabetes. Contestants were asked to put together a 15- to 30-second video demonstrating their “Simple Wins: small, everyday victories for managing diabetes.”

After the public voted online from more than 160 submissions, Jonas helped select Caleb’s video as one of three grand prize winners. The other winners were Bradley Brown, 11, from Pennsylvania, and Lauren Hermsen, 17, of Illinois.

Caleb’s video — which Sisto filmed — shows him playing baseball and talking about how much he loves the sport.

“Everyone in our family (which also includes father David Schlissel, brother Colin, 9, and sister, Lila, 4), is a huge fan of Nick Jonas. We have seen him perform in concert four times,” Sisto says. “We pretty much follow all things Nick.”

As one of the grand prize winners, Bayer HealthCare flew Caleb and his mother to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Florida for a meet and greet with Nick Jonas and the other winners.

When they first saw each other, “Nick went right up to Caleb and said `I know you’re a Yankees fan. You’re a good man,'” Sisto says. “He had remembered Caleb from his video.”

Jonas spoke to Caleb about his passion for baseball, and about living with diabetes. “Nick was very warm and very caring, and really focused on Caleb,” she adds of the meeting, which occurred in December.

“At the end of the event, they both pulled up their shirts to show each other their `pods,’ the OmniPod Insulin Management System, which supplies their bodies with insulin,” she says.

“I really liked meeting Nick because he has Type 1 diabetes like me. When I talked to him, I didn’t feel like I’m the only one with diabetes,” says Caleb, who is a first-grader at King Street Primary School in Danbury.

“It was very inspiring and encouraging to see a young person who is dealing with this and not letting it stop him from doing what he wants to do,” Sisto says.

Sisto spoke with Nick Jonas’ father, Paul Jonas (who goes by the name Kevin), who was also at the event. He told her his son is happy to be a role model for other kids with Type 1 diabetes.

“He said that when Nick was diagnosed, Nick didn’t have anyone to look up to who had the condition. Nick wants to be to other kids what he didn’t have for himself,” she says.

“This contest was put in place to help inspire kids with diabetes to express and share their simple wins,” says Judy Manning, director of consumer marketing for Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care, located in Tarrytown, N.Y.

“Life alone for anyone is complicated, but it’s much more so for people living with diabetes. Between (the nuisance of) having to prick their finger to measure their blood sugar many times a day, and the social issues involved with caring for this disease in school and with friends, anything we can do to make it easier for them is important,” Manning says.

“With contests like these, we hope to inspire kids with diabetes to continue living their lives and not let diabetes get them down.”

As a grand prize winner, Caleb also received a glucose meter, a Jonas Nintendo DS game, a CD of Nick Jonas’ song “A Little Bit Longer” about living with diabetes; and an autographed copy of “Burning Up: On Tour with the Jonas Brothers,” a book written by all three Jonas brothers — Joe, Kevin and Nick.

This is the second contest Bayer Healthcare Diabetes Care held that involved Nick Jonas, who was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 13. In 2008, the company held a “Walk in Nick’s Shoes” sweepstakes. Winners got to meet Nick at the Juvenile Diabetes Walk in Los Angeles, Calif.

“When Caleb was first diagnosed, I didn’t know anyone else who had this condition. When I first learned about Nick, for me, it got me over a hump. It’s not easy to do the performances he does which are so physically demanding while managing his blood sugars. Here is someone with this condition who is succeeding and living his dream,” Sisto says. “This means so much to me.”

Since learning about Nick Jonas, Caleb’s parents have become aware of other people in the public eye who share their son’s condition. Two of them include competitive cross-country skier Kris Freeman and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

“We got so much more out of this experience than just the excitement of meeting a celebrity,” Sisto says. “We felt a comfort around Nick and around the other contest winners, which made us feel that it’s going to be OK. Caleb will be able to become anything he wants to be.”

To view Caleb Schlissel’s winning video, log onto http://www.nickssimplewins.com.

The results are in…

Caleb Prize
Caleb with his prize as a finalist in Nick's Simple Wins contest - autographed picture of Nick Jonas.

…and Caleb is one of the grand prize winners of Nick’s Simple Wins contest.  The Grand Prize?  Meeting Nick Jonas in Orlando!!

We could not have done it without all of you who watched his video!  Thank you so much!!  In addition to our “offline” friends and family, our Facebook and Twitter friends came through with force and helped him win!  Thank you for watching and posting and retweeting!!

If you didn’t catch the contest video, you can watch it by clicking on the above link (he sounds so funny without his front teeth – a lot happens in six months!).

Here’s the original version we did not submit because the rules strictly prohibited logo usage, but since we are in the middle of the World Series I thought it would be fun to include.  And if you haven’t seen enough of Caleb (which I know you have – sorry) here’s another entry he did just because he’s a crazy nut.

Caleb is very excited.  Thank you for giving this gift to him.  I have no doubt this will be an experience that he will treasure always.