Living with diabetes can be a challenge

December 11, 2008 10:12:07 AM PST
Diabetes is a lifelong challenge, but it can be controlled. That helps individuals to have healthy and successful lives. For 25 years, Jim Tyree, CEO of Mesirow Financial was a type 1 diabetic. He was diagnosed at the beginning of his career when he was trying to learn the ropes of the financial world while trying to understand what was happening his health.

"I was speaking in front of a few hundred people and my blood sugar went very low, I became incoherent almost. You know, the people thought I all of sudden turned drunk, or then my shirt and coat were sweating, and you know I learned a lot from that," Tyree said.

Jim Tyree has learned a lot since he was first diagnosed with diabetes. He is the CEO of a successful multiple service financial institute that has 1,100 employees. Jim take his health seriously.

"What a lot of people don't realize is insulin is really life support and it keeps you alive, but a diabetic really has to deal with his diabetes 20, 25 time a day," Tyree said.

It's difficult to manage diabetes without resources like health insurance.

"Insulin's a very expensive life support system, and without it you die," said Tyree.

It is also something diabetics should never be embarrassed by.

"You need to have people around you understand. In the early days of diabetes, I didn't even understand, and so that if you have an insulin, a low blood sugar reaction because of too much insulin you could be incoherent, you know, break into sweats, you could pass out and a great number of other things," said Tyree.

Because of his personal experiences, Jim is very active in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

"When I first got involved with JDRF, I said I'm gonna go out and I'm gonna do this, and you know when I do things I try to them as best I can, so I wrote a letter to 3,000 people, everybody I ever met, and said, you know you guys probably don't know it but I'm a diabetic and here's a little bit about the disease , here's what it is and how you would support us."

Remember, business and diabetes go hand in hand.

"You got to pay attention to it but you also have to life your life. There is nothing that diabetes will do for you to stop you from achieving your dreams," said Tyree.

A few years ago, Jim had a kidney/pancreas transplant. He also had his pinky toe amputated due to diabetes.

www.jdrf.org

www.mesirowfinancial.com


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