So I know you've gotten involved in this Inspired By Diabetes campaign. Can you tell us a little bit about what that's all about and how you got involved?
Absolutely. Inspired By Diabetes is a creative expression competition sponsored by Eli Lilly, and they came to me and asked me if I wanted to help endorse it and also be a judge of some of the entries. I said of course, because it kind of hits close to home.
Of course A) I'm a type one diabetic, and B) It's kind of a creative competition. I jumped at the chance to be a part of it, and I'm glad I am. It's really great, because it's really making a direct impact and difference in children's lives, and the quality of their lives at the same time. What it is is a creative competition where contestants can enter the competition through song, through art, through drawings, through words or an essay.
Basically we're looking for people to share their stories about diabetes or their connection to diabetes in any which way. Like I said, through words, through pictures, or art, or music of course.
There's all these great, great prizes for the winners, and all the information regarding the contest can be found at their website inspiredbydiabetes.com. But the really cool thing that drew me in is the fact that for every entry the contest gets, Eli Lilly is going to donate money to a program called Life For A Child. Basically what that program is, it's basically to benefit children in 13 different countries around the world.
Most of these are developing countries, or some might be third world. Kids in these countries have no access to insulin, and they have no access to proper medical care. What Eli Lilly is doing is for every entry donating money to that charity, and I'm also donating money by sales of t-shirts and pins at my concerts to the charity as well. We just want to make sure that kids who need insulin to live don't go without.I'm very privileged to be on an insulin pump and to have insulin, but I couldn't imagine my life without it. I wouldn't be here very long, nor would I be able to help make a difference or help to share my gift with everybody around the world. It's a big thing to do, it's a big contest, and it's a big charity.
Another cool thing about it is that for every entry, Eli Lilly is also donating scholarships to American Diabetes Association diabetes camps, which I thought was really cool too. I've had a chance to visit a few camps over the past couple years, and before I did I never even knew that diabetes camps existed, let alone there was just someplace where all these diabetics can go, congregate, share their stories, and kind of feel like a normal kid.
Those are the kind of things I like to be involved in, and that's what Inspired By Diabetes is all about.
Read the full interview here.