Carb DM would not be the community that it is without the hard work and support of our volunteers. Many of our events require a lot of manpower; fortunately, there are many in the community who are willing and able to step up and help. Our volunteers put in many hours of effort to plan, set up, and run our events. We have started a Meet Our Volunteers blog post series to introduce readers to our volunteers. It’s our small way of recognizing them and showing our appreciation! This month’s featured volunteer is Tony Steuer, team captain of the Carb DM Brave Buddies team at this year’s JDRF OneWalk in San Ramon, CA.
Life changed for the Tony Steuer and his family when son Avery was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, on January 4, 2016. They learned about Carb DM just a few days later. A family they knew came over and talked to the Steuers about living with T1D. They introduced the Steuer family to Carb DM as a great way to may other Bay Area T1D families. They also introduced the Steuers to Brave Buddies, the online community managed by Carb DM. Tony recalls, “They said Brave Buddies is the greatest group of people that you hope you don’t have to meet.
Tony was quick to realize the value of community and quick to give back. Since Avery’s diagnosis, Tony has become active in the Bay Area diabetes community. Tony posts and comments regularly on Brave Buddies, and he has been a guest blogger for Carb DM. He is a DYF board member, and he is involved with diabetes advocacy through JDRF. In 2016, Tony and his family joined Team Carb DM-Brave Buddies at the JDRF One Walk,. 2017 marks their second year participating in the walk, and this year, Tony is volunteering as Team Captain.
As team captain, Tony is as much Chief Cheerleader as he is an organizer and recruiter. He talks to potential walkers and gets them excited about participating. He always emphasizes that while raising money is a key objective, it’s also about participating and being there rather than raising a specific amount of money.
Advocating for affordable health insurance
Tony’s involvement in the diabetes community does not stop at the local level. He has also taken up the mantle of advocating for affordable health insurance. Tony is a long time insurance expert and consumer advocate, authoring articles and giving interviews for major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The New York Times.
The subject of affordable health care took on a personal note after Avery’s diagnosis in 2016. When all of the attempts to repeal or modify the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act arose, Tony started posting some of his writings to Brave Buddies. Based on the feedback, Tony decided a petition would be a great way to make everyone’s voices heard. He started a petition on Change.org: Fair Health Insurance for All. Tony’s petition has been covered by BeyondType1, Insulinnation, and a couple of insurance industry websites. Tony also has a new book, Insurance Made Easy, which covers integrating the principles of The Insurance Bill of Rights into an overall insurance portfolio.
Gratitude for Brave Buddies
Tony credits Brave Buddies for inspiring him to start his petition. He says, “The support from Brave Buddies and Carb DM on the petitions has been great!“. It’s also what made him decide to volunteer as Team Captain for Team Carb DM-Brave Buddies. “Brave Buddies has been such a great community for us, that it was a good way to give back to the CarbDM-Brave Buddies community.”
Tony appreciates the varied nature of Carb DM’s program offering: “Carb DM does so much, which gives everyone support in a way that works best for them“. He also enjoys the Bay Area Diabetes Summit and other Carb DM events, but Brave Buddies remains closest to his heart. “Brave Buddies has been the focal point for us and I’ve tried to be active and contribute as much as I can. There is so much knowledge on Brave Buddies and everyone provides support that I can’t even imagine not having.”
Thank you, Tony, for all that you do for our community! Your enthusiasm and passion inspire us all.
Come walk with Tony and the rest of Team Carb DM-Brave Buddies at the 2017 East Bay JDRF One Walk! This year’s event will take place in San Ramon, CA on October 15. Team Carb DM-Brave Buddies is also walking at the 2017 Silicon Valley JDRF One Walk on October 8. Everyone is welcome to join either or both events! There is no registration fee or fundraising minimum. Make sure to register as a member of Team Carb DM-Brave Buddies, and look for the Carb DM-Brave Buddies tent at the event.JDRF.
Are you a Carb DM volunteer? Would you like to be featured in this series? Or do you know someone who should be featured? Please contact Ana Picazo at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to volunteer at a Carb DM event, please contact Courtney Cameron at email@example.com. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers! We couldn’t do it without you.