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A 501(c)3 Corporation

An Equal Opportunity Provider


Lifting up those with diabetes from the darkness of fear into the light of hope.

Diabetes Support Services
www.diabetessupportservices.com

Incorporated


There was more than one occasion when the Underbergs looked at each other and said, “We should write a book!” And write a book they have. Actually, a few. The first, Mommy, Please Don’t Let Them Stick Me Any More, is for small children recently diagnosed with diabetes. It tells of a boy named Ricky who is helped through the trials of his disease by a porcupine, his new pal Sticky. Build a Bridge and Get Over It shares life’s experiences from both dealing with the disease and staying married for over 59 years, in spite of it! A third book for teens in in the works -  I’m NOT Going To Do This!! - pretty much what Al said when he was diagnosed. Then there came Sugar Substitute: Getting It On When You Can’t Get It UP. You guessed it, addressing the issue of erectile dysfunction with humor and help. The latest is Tattle Tales. Stories from doctors’ offices and how to cope with questionable information.


The years have ticked by – 58 in all. It’s been difficult, but it resulted in an education. An on-the-job training experience to gain a GED in diabetes expertise. An opportunity to help those who have nowhere to turn. It is with a thankful heart we can reach out to those in need while asking nothing in return.


As time went by, coping became easier. Looking back, he has truly been blessed, such as surviving a car crash at full speed into an oak tree, just to mention one low blood sugar incident.


And then came Cosie. Expecting that a two month old Chihuahua would be able to detect blood sugar fluctuations was certainly unbelievable. But he could. And he has, for over ten years.


Cosie, short for glucose, regularly sticks his perky little nose in the air, sensing a sweetness or fruity smell if blood sugar is high, salty if it is low. If either is detected, he’s up in Al’s face licking like crazy!


He can be credited for saving his life ... many times! It just was hard for him to figure out why it took us so long to realize he knew what he was doing!


Afraid of being downsized (from six pounds two ounces) when Al finally got his continuous glucose meter, he cemented his job security by giving him pokes on his shoulder if he doesn’t attend to a low alarm immediately. He learned what that meant with a week! If “dad” doesn’t respond in the middle of the night, he bugs “mom” until she wakes up to get the orange juice flowing.


By sharing his experiences, Al aspires to provide hope, advice, solutions and encouragement to diabetics of all ages, embellished with a sense of humor only 58 years can bring.


Dealing with this debilitating disease has not held Al back. He was a successful business owner from 1978 to retirement and his greatest achievement, co-founder of Diabetes Support Services, when God whispered our names to start a non-profit. We started small with monthly meetings, added daytime meetings for those who cannot drive at night or rely on public transportation could attend, and in all, over 20,000 have come to us for education at our presentations and health fairs.


Those historic times I mentioned? I remember where I was and what I was doing for each of them. Especially the Challenger flight as I sat in the maternity hospital waiting room as our beautiful granddaughter came into the world.


It has been our calling to help those through the struggles we have conquered. Together we have succeeded, you can too!!

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