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Kyle Banks is a Broadway performer – singer, dancer, actor – he was diagnosed with type 1  while in a production of the Lion King and had to figure out – pretty much on his own – how to  manage on stage. Kyle explains how he learned what he needed to do to perform at his best and shares stories about his time on stage with T1D. Now Kyle has started a foundation to help get diabetes technology into the hands of more people who need it.

Learn more about KylerCares

Plus, some feedback about our last episode.. and a little bit about back to school.

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Stacey Simms  0:00

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dario health. Manage your blood glucose levels increase your possibilities by Gvoke Hypopen the first premixed auto injector for very low blood sugar and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.


Announcer  0:22

This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  0:27

This week, Kyle Banks is a Broadway performer, singer dancer actor who’s diagnosed with type one while in a production of The Lion King and had to figure out pretty much zone how to manage on stage,


Kyle Banks  0:41

I would have to go into work with my glucose hovering around 33 50. And by either intermission or the end of the show, my glucose would crash and I would experience these crazy hypoglycemic episodes. And it was really scary for a while.


Stacey Simms  0:58

He’s come a long way, Kyle explains how he learned what he needed to do to perform at his best. And now Kyle has started a foundation to help get diabetes technology into the hands of more people who need it.

Plus, I got some feedback from you about our last episode. I’ll share that and a little bit about back to school. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.

Welcome to another week of the show. Always so glad to have you here. You know, we aim to educate and inspire about diabetes with a focus on people who use insulin. so much great feedback from our last episode where I interviewed my son Benny diagnosed before he was two now he’s 16. And he went away for a month this summer to Israel without us with a non-diabetes camp program. So if you’ve listened, and you send me feedback, I really appreciate it. As I shared during that episode, I was nervous because we are far from perfect. There was funny bits too. I’ll share a few of those after the interview. But guys, really, thank you so much. It is amazing to have that kind of support. I really appreciate you.

I met Kyle banks at friends for life this summer lucky enough to travel to that in person conference, Kyle gave a welcome speech to new families that were there for the first time. And I knew I had to talk to him. But I heard from a bunch of families who came up to me later, instead of you that interview, Kyle, you know what a great voice. And boy does he have a great voice and what a terrific story. He was diagnosed with type one, nearly six years ago in November of 2015. And as you’ll hear the story he was performing, he had made his career on Broadway. And if To me, it just seems like performing in that kind of venue on with that kind of energy you need to put in. It’s like being a professional athlete. So I was very interested to talk to him. And I was really surprised, and you may be too as you listen, to hear how he started off with truly very little guidance. Of course, he has come a long way. And he shares how he did it, where he turned for advice, what he’s using now. And he also talks about his foundation, and that is Kyler cares. We’re going to talk about the benefit concert that helped that foundation from Broadway with love. It’s called I’ll link that up at Diabetes connections.com and you could watch really the incredible performances very entertaining. I am gonna play a clip of Kyle singing from that in just a moment and then we’re gonna go right into the interview.

But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Gvoke Hypopen, you know, low blood sugar feels horrible. You can get shaky and sweaty or even feel like you’re going to pass out there are a lot of symptoms they can be different for everybody. I’m so glad we have a different option to treat very low blood sugar Gvoke Hypopen it’s the first auto injector to treat very low blood sugar Gvoke Hypopen is pre mixed ready to go with no visible needle before Gvoke people needed to go through a lot of steps to get glucagon treatments ready to be used. This made emergency situations even more challenging and stressful. This is so much better. I’m grateful we have it on hand. Find out more go to Diabetes connections.com and click on the Gvoke logo. Gvoke shouldn’t be used in patients with pheochromocytoma or insulinoma visit gvoke glucagon.com slash risk


(Kyle sings “Summer Time”)


Stacey Simms  5:04

Kyle, thank you so much for joining me. I’m really excited to talk to you. Your story is so unique. Thanks for coming on the show.


Kyle Banks  5:12

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be a part of the show for sure.


Stacey Simms  5:15

That’s great. We have so much to talk about. Let me just start if I could, at the beginning, your diagnosis story happened. While you were you were living your dream, right you were performing on on Broadway, you were touring, tell me about when you were diagnosed with diabetes.


Kyle Banks  5:32

Well, I was diagnosed in November of 2015. And I’m an actor, vocalist. And so I usually between like the Broadway cast and the touring company of The Lion King, and I was on tour at the time, and we were touring like Canada and California. And I just begin feeling having these crazy symptoms, like exhaustion and constant the need the urge to constantly urinate in, I would really scared me to death was the fact that I lost 30 pounds over the course of like three weeks. And so that was the trigger that made me go to the doctor to see what was going on with me. And that’s when I was told that spective that I was diabetic based on my glucose test that that yet administered in the urgent care office, unfortunately, was on steroids at the time. So the physician that was treating me suspected that maybe steroid induced type two diabetes Oh, wow. So he prescribed, prescribed Metformin for me and told me, he suggested I go to the emergency room, but my response was, but have showed a knife so as possible, like what can we do to get through this. So I picked up my prescription and Metformin and went to the show to the theater, still feeling awful. And over the course of the next three weeks, of course, the Metformin did absolutely nothing to help with the symptoms that I was experiencing. And that landed me in the hospital for three days. And that’s when I was properly diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. But still, up until being hospitalized, I was working and doing the show, which was looking back on it, which was really crazy, because it shows the intense at high intensity shows a lot of a lot of energy, most of which I did not have


Stacey Simms  7:40

let me just jump in. Because we’re going to talk about performing on Broadway and what that does to your body in the energy you need. The Lion King, which we’ve been fortunate enough to see is nonstop What was it like during that time? Do you can you share I mean, I can’t even imagine you must have slept all day, and just performed the best you could have been gone right back to bed.


Kyle Banks  8:01

Yeah, that was my life. Literally in bed all day, wow. Up until the time I would go to work, strike myself into the theater. And usually we’re running around during the entire show, just acting. Crazy. You know, the cast is so much the show so much fun to be a part of being in the cast. And then the Quraan camaraderie backstage during the show, the energy is always high and festive. And so of course that’s participated in none of that when I wasn’t on stage, I was like in my dressing room trying to just replenish any amount of strength that I could or sitting in my station where we get stressed. While the show was happening, it was definitely a huge struggle pushing through just that time. Even after my diagnosis, it took a while for my energy to return. Because my glucose levels was so all over the place. When I was diagnosed one of the crate I you shared with me a bit about your son’s experience and the fact that he had amazing doctors that he had access to the same thing with me. But you know, my doctors were not able to tell me once they prescribed insulin for me and showed me how to incorporate that into like the management of diabetes, that they did not share with me the struggles that I would have taken insulin and being so active. That was something that I had to figure out on my own. So


Stacey Simms  9:36

to give you a prescription for insulin, I assume they put you on shots and send you back out to perform it sounds like with very little instruction of, you know, exercise is going to bring you down and eating is going to kind of level you out or I don’t even know. So when you got back to your first weeks or months of performances. Do you mind sharing a little of the trial and error I can’t imagine as you’ve already said it, it wasn’t a smooth transition back.


Kyle Banks  10:03

Oh, God, no, you know, it’s crazy because I actually went to New Orleans to travel to New Orleans to visit my mom’s doctor. And she told me to go to the emergency room. And that’s when I was hospitalized for three days. So then once I was released, I flew to Denver where the show and jumped right back into the show with now my new regimen for diabetes management, which included finger pricks, which I would do like sometimes 12 or 12 finger prints during the show. And this insulin regimen, that immediately after the first show, I remember my glucose crashed to like the low 20s. And this became a pretty consistent situation where I would have to go into work with my glucose hovering around 303 50. by either intermission or the end of the show, my glucose would crash and I would experienced these crazy hypoglycemic episodes. And it was really scary for a while and this went on for months. And I knew that I just could not continue in this route, because I was reading that, you know, the fluctuations really dangerous, and not only could you know, pass out and have a seizure, if one’s glucose goes too low, but you know, could also bring about complications as well. So I knew I had to figure out a better system for my lifestyle, and this new diagnosis that I was now living with. So after about nine months after, actually a full year after my diagnosis, the show just happened to travel to New Orleans. And we were there for a month at the end that I decided to take some time off from work to figure out how to better care for myself and to figure out if I would even be able to continue on performing at this level, and just really figure out a plan for my career.


Stacey Simms  12:05

Well, we know how the story ends that you are still performing and you can. So what made the difference? How did you figure it out?


Right back to Kyle answering that question. But first, Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dario. And one of the things that makes diabetes management difficult for us that really annoys me and Benny, it isn’t actually the big picture stuff. It’s all those little tasks that add up. I mean, are you sick of running out of strips? Do you need some direction or encouragement going forward with your diabetes management? Would visibility into your trends help you on your wellness journey? The Daario diabetes success plan offers all of that and more No more waiting in line at the pharmacy no more searching online for answers number wondering about how you’re doing with your blood sugar levels, find out more, go to my dario.com forward slash diabetes dash connections.

Now back to Kyle talking about how he figured out how to thrive on stage and avoid those huge lows.


Kyle Banks  13:09

Just having that time to the Lion King can be all consuming when you’re doing the show between rehearsals and the actual show and the adrenaline that comes in being getting prepared for it. And once once the curtain comes down, so it doesn’t really leave much time for other activities. But having the time off, I was able to just really do a lot of research digging online and social media. I discovered beyond type one and children with diabetes. And since a lot of various resources that could different podcasts, such as you or I listened to a lot of shows which people just talking about how they care for themselves. And this is such a varied cast of people talking about their experiences, athletes, teachers and a varied cast. So I was able to really just dig in and hear what other people were doing and take certain things that I could apply to to my situation and really helped me by when I went back to work. I now have a plan of action, I could test it out and discovered that it actually worked. I could go into work with my glucose hovering around 120. I make sure I had lots of snacks with me and a small meal that I would eat without insulin during intermission, and then another small meal after the show without insulin. And I was so shocked that I was able to I didn’t experience the crashes anymore, and I’m able to just maintain my level of activity in a safe way and I’m just so thrilled that this information was available to me. I just had to go a little digging to find it.


Stacey Simms  15:03

So yeah, I mean, it sounds like if I’m hearing you correctly, that you went outside the traditional medical sphere, right, it sounds like you got all of your information from the community,


Kyle Banks  15:14

pretty much, pretty much, I knew that my situation is very different than the other patients that my physicians were treating. Initially, I thought, well, the way Kyla cares came about was, when I was in New Orleans, with the time off from work, I reached out also reached out to children’s hospital because I figured that would be a great route to find out how they were basically, you know, in the theater with basically big kids running around, running around the theater. So I figured that it would be a lot of insight that maybe the kids or the kids would be able to give me as it relates to how they manage. And so I connected with Children’s Hospital is already connected with them, because we do a lot of outreach through Disney. And with Shriners Hospital Children’s Hospital, so it’s rather easy to connect with them. And that’s when I discovered that the kids were having horrific outcomes as well as it relates to glucose management. And I was really moved by the fact that the endocrinology team, stressing to me just the effects that this disease is having on communities of color, specifically kids of color, and how they were having different outcomes in their Caucasian patients. It really struck me and months after that initial meeting, I was just harping on the information that I was given. And that’s how eventually, that’s how coworkers came to be as a result of that meeting at Children’s Hospital with the endocrinology team,


Stacey Simms  16:50

we’re going to talk about Kyle cares. And we’re going to come back to these disparities that are just, they’re heartbreaking, and they are real, just to finish kind of on your experience, you’re able to go back and perform. And as you said, you you kind of bounce on, if that’s the right word, you kind of go back and forth between the Broadway cast the touring cast. I know, everything’s messed up now because of COVID. But from from the time you went back, were you able to go back to the roles that you had been performing and loving before your diagnosis?


Kyle Banks  17:22

Yeah, I was, I’m just so happy to have been able to figure out how to do that safely. Because I did it for so many months. Luckily, without any horrific events happening, like me passing out on stage, or even behind the stage, for that matter, I was able to make it through that very scary time period, without any of that happening. And I’m very lucky to have that had a seizure with my glucose being so low so often. But yeah, I was able to figure out how to do it and how to continue doing all of the things that I love. And like I said it was the community making the information that so many people are just so eager to share online that really helped me push through


Stacey Simms  18:11

what technology Do you use now?


Kyle Banks  18:15

You Economy pod influence, and the Dexcom ci six, continuous glucose monitor?


Stacey Simms  18:22

Are you able to I think I know the answer to this, but are you able to kind of hide that stuff under your costumes? Or is it shown I’m curious what that looks like.


Kyle Banks  18:32

Um, you know, the wardrobe department at lion kings so supportive in just just extremely loving and nurturing through this whole period gluinos first outfit with my Omni pod, I was so concerned that it will cause problems for wardrobe. And when I brought it in and sold it to them on my own. It’s like, Oh, that’s no problem. So they made me flesh tone bands for my arm and for my abdomen that I could wear deserve scenes in the show where we repair on top. And it was pretty simple fix. Wow, that’s great. Yeah, I think they made my slipcovers in like two minutes, like maybe like five minutes before the first show when I was wearing the really simple thing. That’s cool. All right,


Stacey Simms  19:20

let’s talk about Kyle cares. I am going to come back and ask you a lot of Broadway questions later. But let’s talk about hierarchies. Right now. This is your nonprofit. As you mentioned, this provides grants you do a lot of work to get technology for children for young adults with type one. And I’ve done a little bit of reporting over the years, frankly, not as much as maybe we all need to be thinking about but some reporting on the racial and ethnic disparities, because it’s really incredible when you dig into it. When you look at use of insulin pump technology. It’s something where, you know, 1/5 of black children compared to white children use comes from my understanding of how Craig if I’m wrong, it’s not only Because of income or education or insurance, you know, it’s a question of, I don’t know, you tell me I shouldn’t be talking to you about this. Tell me what you have found out, what should we be thinking about?


Kyle Banks  20:11

Yeah, you know, that’s that was my thought as well, when I, when we first began, like digging into Kyla cares and figuring out, you know how we wanted to help. providing grants that can go towards the technology would be the most beneficial route. And we soon discovered that, you know, the complicated the situation is, is much more complicated the financial barriers that keep people from accessing the technology, especially with kids, the stigma surrounding diabetes, specifically type 1 diabetes is really high. And a lot of kids, even the ones that have insurance and have their parents have the financial means to access to technologies, they still don’t want to wear them because they don’t want to feel different than their peers or don’t want the attention that wearing these medical devices on their bodies brings into their lives, we’ve discovered that a lot of what is needed is one diabetes education, just making sure that families of color have like the basic information needed to care for themselves for a loved one living with the disease. You know, things like, you know, reinforcing the latest glucose management practices and why CG ins and pumps are beneficial and know ways to avoid hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, pre bolusing movement like walking after meals and using incorporating more water into one’s daily water intake as a way to flush excess glucose out simple things like this, we’re finding that many parents and people living with the disease aren’t aware of them, especially those that have been living with the disease for an extended period of time. It’s sort of like they spaced out all of the latest information as it relates to care or management of this disease. So yeah, there’s there’s a lot of confidence building that needs to happen. Because we live in communities of color.


Stacey Simms  22:21

Do you think that and listen, I don’t mean to put you on the spot, I know that you are not in you know, you’re not an endocrinologist, you are not a perhaps an anthropologist, you know, as I said, these questions. But, you know, I think it’s so important that we could try to talk about these things openly. And I wonder if, as you talk about better education for the patients and trying to get these kids and their families to, you know, be more accepting or look at different, you know, technology, not worry about fitting in. What about the endocrinologists themselves? Do you think that there is a problem or a situation here where, without meaning to even right, I mean, I’m not quite sure how to phrase this, Kyle. But I guess what I’m asking is, do you think they treat patients of color differently? They don’t say, Hey, here’s a CGM, or here’s a pump, or here’s, are you finding that sometimes the endos are not trusting their patients, I’m not even sure how to phrase it, but they’re not, they’re not giving them the opportunities to use the technology.


Kyle Banks  23:18

This is indeed true. I’m discovering that a lot of patients living with type one, especially people of color, are not even being offered the latest technology or technology in general, to help them with, with management. And I mean, there’s so many things that goes into that there’s a shortage of endocrinologist, so it’s really hard to get an appointment, a lot of these endocrinologist worked. The cultural differences that many endocrinologist face when dealing with patients can be intense. In those moments, we only have 30 minutes or hours with someone to try and figure out why they’re having so many problems, and just not being able to relate to the human being that’s sitting in front of you and their lived experiences. It does create these situations that eventually lead to horrible outcomes for the patient. So and I’m not saying that, you know, all endocrinologists are approaching these situations with ill intent. I just think it’s just the way things are set up right now or the way the way the system is set up. It’s not serving the patients, especially specifically patients of color, well, those issues are, do exist and we need more endocrinologist of color, or more doctors to go into endocrinology into the field. And we need need some culturally sensitive training before in the cringe for occasion and in the prints that are treating people of color as well.


Stacey Simms  24:58

While these are tough issues. To talk about you made an interesting point earlier about the way you found the care that has helped you through the most, and that was through the community. And I think that that’s a story that I’ve heard over and over and over again, by people who belong to all different types of racial, ethnic, socio economic, you know, different groups. We come when I’ve done this, I’ve said, Hey, I have something I want to try, I bring it to our endocrinologist. And he says, oh, great idea. Sure. He didn’t suggest it, it doesn’t mean that he’s holding back something or trying to keep it from me. He just was, you know, for whatever reason, we have a fabulous endo, you know, that wasn’t something that was on his radar. And I wonder, too, just in the last couple of years, we finally had these discussions about getting more people of color at conferences represented in the community, you know, jdrf, beyond type one, friends for life, as you mentioned, children with diabetes, you went to the children with diabetes friends for life conference in July, we met for about three seconds. So thanks for for that I really ran up. Kyle as he was trying to start speaking and I was like, you have to come on the show. It’s great to meet you. But just being there, I always say we were so lucky, because I saw people in the community that looked just like my son. And my family, from the very beginning didn’t even occur to me that we weren’t presented a long way of saying, Kyle, going to friends for life this summer, I’ve got to assume that you met some families of color, that you felt that you were there to have these kinds of conversations, not just for that, I mean, you have so many great stories to tell. But let’s start there. What was that like for you this summer,


Kyle Banks  26:31

it was an amazing experience. And children with diabetes is actually one of the organizations that were Kyla cares is partnered with, to expose more families of color to that experience. And we actually brought a few families from New Orleans to friends who live with me as well. So it was really great to see the process of opening up to being more engaged with management happened in real time. Like the kids that came with me, I watched them a little bit apprehensive at first going into like this very white space. And not knowing what was going to happen or what the experience would be like or, or even I tried my best to just explain the benefits of being there. But I think it’s something that you have to experience firsthand to really get the gist of what it’s about. So it was great to see the kids just open up and make other friends. Because many of these kids, they don’t know any, they’re the only person they know living with type 1 diabetes. So to see them make up a friends that living with type 1 diabetes or at dinner, you know, to hear them discuss, you know, pre bolusing. And you know how many carbs are in their meal and just for them to be able to have those companies have stations in this setting freely and not feel judged or not feel different. And by the end of it, you know, they’re exchanging numbers they’ve made friends know, they’re definitely more engaged in their care, checked in on a few of them. And they’re just a lot more excited about being healthy and doing the things that they’ve learned that the takeaways from the conference, and I was excited to see them incorporating some of those lessons into their own self care. So because lets me know that no, this can work if we expose the kids, specifically kids of color if we expose them to these types of experiences that can have a positive effect in their lives and in their care.


Stacey Simms  28:42

Can I ask some Broadway type questions? Oh, cool. All right. Okay. Love it. Alright, so we were fortunate enough to see the Lion King on Broadway. And you know, what an exceptional show. I think most people are familiar with the incredible costumes, the staging, the dancing. I mean, it’s just an incredible show. Tell us a little bit. You’ve played so many different parts in that as I’m looking through your biography, right? What have you played in that show?


Kyle Banks  29:06

Oh, my God, I played. I’m in the ensemble, or a lion king, but I’ve also understudied and fossa. And just being in the cast of liking has been just an amazing experience. It’s been like a dream come true. And it’s also it’s one of it was one of my favorite cartoons outdoors, or Animated Movies of the child. So to be a part of the cast. It’s just been a dream and being on Broadway and touring the country. I mean, I’ve been able to see. I mean, there aren’t many cities that I haven’t been to Wow. And Lion King is such a popular show that when we traveled to the city, we get to sit for three and four weeks at a time. So really get to golf ourselves in the communities in which we visit and that’s actually been the best Part.


Stacey Simms  30:00

What’s it like when you as the cast members come down the aisle, because that is a breathtaking moment for the audience. And we’re looking at these incredible costumes and the carrot they never break character roll. Ooh, and on, there’s got to be little kids backing you. Like what is that, like for you all


Kyle Banks  30:18

the excitement in the faces of people. I mean, the kids are one thing, but as the adults are adjusted to experience the show, I mean, I’ve had chrome men come to me to come up to me after the show with tears. And now it’s just talking about how move they were by what they experienced on the from the stage. And it’s really cool to be part of a show that is so engrained in, in our culture and so loved. So meaning it means so much to so many people. It’s just been amazing experience being connected to the show,


Stacey Simms  30:55

unfortunately, I’m gonna guess you haven’t performed in a while, what’s the latest with COVID and performances?


Kyle Banks  31:01

Well, Lion King is opening on Broadway, September 14, and then the tour in October. But we made the decision that transitioning into like this, some of them new ventures in my life, one of which is Kyla cares, now over the pandemic. And having time off really allowed me to just dig into the work we’re doing here at COVID cares in the partnerships that we’ve been able to establish with other organizations. And this work is so meaningful to me. Because I know personally, just the difficulties living with type 1 diabetes, but also, I personally experienced the triumphs of figuring out how to care for myself and still be a part of the things that bring me joy, and how to do that safely. want other kids who I want kids to know specifically that, you know, they can still do all of the things that they want to do in life and really just give them the tools they need to, to lead a healthy life and to be normal kids, you know, and for the adults that are that are living with this disease to know that know, if you engage in your care, things will begin to turn around. And it doesn’t have to be this horrific experience where it’s just a steady decline in health, you can still lead a healthy life with type 1 diabetes.


Stacey Simms  32:37

Kyle, before we wrap it up here, I know your funds for like an A die. Let me just throw a few rapid fire questions. Sorry, okay. All right. Has your Omni pod ever gone off on stage? Like, have you ever had an alarm or Dexcom alarm during a performance?


Kyle Banks  32:56

Oh, my God. Yeah. I mean, I, I’ve had my podcast on stage. So like standing there, and it’s going off? And and I mean, what can I do? I try to do my best to try to avoid those moments. But I’m even one time is a funny Omnipod story, my Omni pod, expire it in my PBM was in my dressing room, so I didn’t have time to run to get it. So I took the Omni pod off when it’s still blaring and just put it in the trash, which was near the stage. But you know, far enough where it could be heard from the stage? Well, after about two scenes, I come off stage and I see all of this commotion stage managers and security for the theater of him around this trashcan trying to find out what’s this loud, glaring noise? And is it dangerous? Like do we need to stop the show? And I’m like, No, I’m so sorry. But it’s my part. I explained it all. And it turned into a funny moment. But it was not. It did security was not induced.


Stacey Simms  34:11

That’s funny. Oh my goodness. Yeah, that can happen. For sure. I’m sure people are gonna ask me to ask you just you know, you’ve talked about how you kind of learned to figure your blood sugar to figure out your eating and you figured out, you’ve been able to figure out what works for you on stage. And I’m curious if you had any advice for kids who are doing school plays or adults who are performers?


Kyle Banks  34:33

Well, they, you know, the thing that really helped me out, honestly, was really learning how to incorporate the technology into my care, and leaning heavily on my CGM, and all of the information that it was delivering to me and which allowed me in turn to respond to what my glucose was doing or any fluctuations that I was having. you’re experiencing, it really just helped me to not not having to finger prick and wait for that information, which is limited because it doesn’t let you know doesn’t inform you if your glucose is rising or falling. So just having that information just made a world of difference, and allow me to really just care for myself when I was performing. And it also allowed me to focus on what I was doing, as opposed to just being so concerned with my glucose.


Stacey Simms  35:31

Before let you go, how can we help Kyler cares? What do you need from us?


Kyle Banks  35:36

Unfortunately, because of COVID, a, we’ve had a really difficult time with fundraising, all of the fun ways in which we would go about raising funds have sort of been snatched from us, we did a fundraiser called from Broadway with where I incorporated a concert of love songs performed by artists that are currently on Broadway, from shows like Book of Mormon and Hamilton Lion King, of course. So during the shutdown, we produced that and presented it virtually, we were going to present the live version of that in New Orleans at the singer theatre, which is a theater that houses most of the Broadway shows that visit the city. But unfortunately, New Orleans is like one of the hotspots for this fourth, this fourth way the pandemic, so a children’s hospital and other health care facilities that were parking within the cities. And neither did we felt comfortable with a live gathering of 2800 people with all that’s going on. So, um, we’re just trying to figure out, you know, the best ways to raise funds and how to continue connecting with our community, because it COVID is making it really difficult to gather. And it’s something that that’s something that’s really important, as it relates to sharing this information with one another, helping with donations would be great. Also just more people of color, just sharing their stories as well. We find that the more visible we are, the more people can see themselves, the more it helps with feeling that you’re part of and helps with confidence building and the reduction of stigmas and just knowing that you’re not alone, so it’s a two ways people can really help.


Stacey Simms  37:39

Well, Kyle, thank you so much for coming on for sharing your story. I hope this the break, I’m gonna call it from performing isn’t the end of your performing. So


Kyle Banks  37:55

not at all. Well keep us posted. I most definitely will. I’ll let you know. And I’m looking forward to you know, again, producing one of the things you know, feeding my artistic muscle is really excited about producing the shows from Broadway with love. And I hope I can get back to that because the first one was a lot of fun. So if people haven’t seen it, you can go to our YouTube channel and check it out. But yeah, I want to get back into that when things when COVID allows us to do so. Excellent. We look forward to it.


Stacey Simms  38:30

Thanks so much for joining me.


Announcer  38:36

You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  38:42

A lot more information on Kyle on Kyler cares. You can find it all at Diabetes connections.com. At the episode homepage, there’s a transcription there as well as there is for every episode, I was so excited to talk to Kyle. Some of you may know I’m just such a real Broadway fan. I love musicals. I highly recommend Schmigadoon on Apple TV, if you haven’t watched that yet. It’s very entertaining and fun. I had actually talked about starting a Broadway type podcast during COVID. I still may do that I have in the back of my head how I want to do it, but it’s gonna be so much work the way I want to do it. So we’ll see maybe next year. I don’t know. I’ll keep that in my back pocket for a while. A

lright, Big thanks to Kyle for coming on. And coming up. I’m going to talk a little bit about back to school what it looks like in my house this year. And also some feedback about our last episode. Benn’s big trip to Israel, but first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. And you know, I do get a lot of questions about Dexcom coverage for people on Medicare. And why not? It’s not like you stop needing a CGM, the minute you turn 65 The good news is that the Dexcom g six continuous glucose monitoring system is covered for Medicare for patients who meet the coverage criteria. If you have type one or type two diabetes and intensively managed Insulin, you may be covered. To find out more about what that means. And if you qualify, go to Dexcom.com/G6-Medicare, I will link that up this episode, don’t worry about writing it down, you’re gonna want to talk to your doctor and you may even be able to get your Dexcom supplies at the pharmacy saving time and money. Learn more. Here’s the link but it’s over at the homepage dexcom.com.com/G6-Medicare.


Alright, I was very worried, as you know about the episode with Benny, because as you heard if you heard, he was far from perfect when he went by himself to Israel, which I didn’t expect it and expected to be perfect. But you know, I see a lot of parents who post on Facebook and want their kids to stay under six for their agencies and never go above 130 on the Dexcom. And you know, we don’t live like that at all. I wanted Benny to be honest and open and boy was he ever. It was interesting to hear him talk about what it was like and talk about diabetes camp and you know, gosh, I’m so thankful knock on wood wherever I can knock here, you know, he’s a confident happy kid. He’s got strong opinions, and I really feel like he’s gonna be okay, right after a trip like that. So the feedback I got was just fun. A lot of people reached out with their own stories.

Corinna wrote, thank you so much to both of you for sharing this experience. It’s so valuable to see how a parent can continue to support their son or daughter in an age appropriate manner. Lee wrote, I love that he’s so transparent and genuine. I’m betting on Benny, several emails and direct messages saying thank you for being honest, it’s really nice to know that we don’t have to be perfect balancing independence and could quote diabetes, health and numbers can be difficult. A lot of acknowledgment about that.

But my favorite came from Joan, who emailed me and said, This reminded me of my 16 year old adventure on a cross country bus tour. We were still using urine testing. This is 1974. No CGM is no pumps, no cell phones or texting. I have a similar well adjusted attitude as your son which has served me well through my 50 plus years. With T1D. What I learned from this podcast was what a challenge it must have been for my parents, I have traveled the world had my share of health issues, enjoyed my life. And I’m not eating celery crying in the corner. Thanks for sharing this story.

Joan, thank you for sharing that email. And the funniest thing about it, I read it to Benny, he did not know what your urine testing was, he had no idea that finger sticks weren’t a thing at some point in in pretty recent history. 1974. So you know, I got to talk to him and explain it’s so funny. And he was diagnosed so little. And he’s not a diabetes podcast or a researcher. And I see what he doesn’t know. It’s so interesting. So Joan, thank you so much for that. If I get any interesting stories or funny emails, I’ll definitely share them as we go forward.

But I want to just quickly bring up back to school, which is still looking so difficult in so many places across the country. And I wish you all well, especially those of you with younger children. Oh my goodness. So I’ve got to going back to school, my daughter is a junior in college, she is back. And my husband drove with her all the way to New Orleans or she goes to school because she’s got a car this year. Thanks for giving me something else to worry about. Yay. But she’s doing great. And Benny is a junior in high school, and he’s driving to school, our school will start the day after this episode goes live. We’re in the south. So they go to school before Labor Day growing up. I always went back to school right after Labor Day, but he’s driving to school this year. I don’t know when I’m going to see him. He’s so busy. And right now, his school does have a mask order with a very large public school system in North Carolina. And he’s vaccinated. I assume that we’ll get the booster shots as they roll those out. But it’s going to be interesting to me. I mean, he goes to an enormous High School. It is I want to say there are 650 kids in his class in his grade. So it’s a very big school. It’s a crowded school. So we’ll see how this works out. He expects to be back virtually in school very soon. I don’t know.

But I will share that I realized just today. I have to get all his diabetes stuff back and bring it to the nurse. And I know you’re thinking well, Stacy, you’ve done this every year since he was in preschool. How could you forget? We know with COVID we haven’t even been in the school. I went back. I don’t even know when last year a couple months ago could have been last week. I have no sense of time anymore. I went back and got all the stuff that we left there from 2019 2019 2020 that school year, and I haven’t been back to see the nurse since so we’re getting the school form signed. I got to put his stuff together and make a new kit. I um, so we’ll be doing that. And then you know, he’s you know, Benny, he’s super casual. He’ll take his backpack everywhere. So he’ll have supplies, but I like to have stuff at the nurse’s office for him. As well, and hopefully it’s the same nurse, because man, she was great. And she totally got that he’s super casual and just wants her to be there when he needs her and doesn’t need her checking on him. And, you know, really terrific person. There are, at least at the time when he was a freshman, there were 21 kids at that school was type one. And I’m going to assume there are more, because I don’t know about your town. But we’re having more and more cases here. And it’s not anecdotally I just talked to the end of the other day, and he said they have many more. And we’ll we’ll talk about that in a future episode. You know, many people think COVID is sparking more cases of all types of diabetes.

Before I let you go, take a moment to check out our YouTube channel. We are getting a lot of engagement there. I’ve got the in the news episodes over there. So if you don’t know that we have a YouTube channel, it’s just Diabetes Connections on YouTube. And all the episodes are there. If you prefer to listen to podcasts on YouTube, which many do they’re most of them are not video podcasts. It’s just audio, but a lot of people like that platform. Also the newscasts, though, are video so if you want to see me play an anchor lady, you can head on over there and I’ll link that up in the episode as well please subscribe if you head over there you know very simple just click Subscribe on the on the YouTube channel.

Thank you as always to my editor John Buckenas from audio editing solutions. Thank you so much as you listen next week, we are likely going to air the Afrezza interview that I did over the summer. Still working on a few things but it looks like that one is going to come through for next week very excited to get an update from them. They’ve been around for a while. But man are they making a push ahead as they have more studies, more studies with children coming up and lots of interesting stuff, Afrezza and of course the newscast Wednesdays at 430 Eastern Time live on Facebook.

I’m Stacey Simms. I’ll see you back here in just a couple of days until then be kind to yourself. Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Simms Media. All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged

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