During my 32-year teaching career, I cried in the classroom three times.
1. A student was killed in an auto accident on a Saturday night. The following Monday, when I saw his name still on the roll sheet, I broke down.
2. During my last class, on my last day, of my last year as a teacher, my daughters and granddaughter surprised me by showing up to sit in on my last lesson.
3. My wife called me while I was administering a final exam to tell me my then 24-year-old daughter, Kyrra, had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
My thoughts flashed back to when she was nine months old and had to get her very first shot. I'll never forget her initial shock and the tears that followed.
Learning that my beautiful, healthy, actress/dancer daughter would have to give herself injections the rest of her life was more than I could bear.
That was a dozen years ago.
Since then, along with her college dance buddy, she started Myabetic. I've watched it grow from a sketch she made on our couch a few weeks after her diagnosis to what it is today - a worldwide positive influencer for people with diabetes.
Kyrra's sketch (circa 2008)
As it is with most startups (and people) Myabetic struggled to find its place in the world.
Launched primarily as merchandise-based company that designed fashionable diabetes carrying cases, it broadened into a multi-faceted diabetes lifestyle company that provides products, events and entertainment for people with diabetes.
Last October, Myabetic hosted the first ever Myabetic Diabetes Awards in Hollywood. (I got to attend my first Hollywood Party!) Literally, the day after, Kyrra began planning for the 2020 award show.
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By spring, it was obvious that live events were a no go. Months of plans were scrapped. But in a whole new way the show will go on. Watch for it on October 24th.
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Which is great, but a year ago in the pre-COVID world, Kyrra and her Myabetic teammates we're thinking even bigger. They dreamed of creating a whole new streaming service, - Myabetic Diabetes TV - and now it's here!
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My friend, an extraordinary teacher named Jay Jackson, is a strong believer in finding opportunity (and even reasons to be grateful) when bad stuff that we can't control happens to us.
He created this diagram to illustrate it.
I don't think we're wired to feel grateful when misfortune strikes. Still, we can learn to seek fortune when it does.
Kyrra did. Twice. First, she used her diagnosis as inspiration to create a company that improves lives. Second, she capitalized on the limits imposed by a pandemic and started a streaming service that's jam-packed with diverse programs that teach, inspire, comfort, captivate and make us smile.
Free on all devices, download the Myabetic Diabetes TV app streaming on AppleTV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS & Android TV.
I'll be watching, wearing my hat while drinking a glass of lemonade.