After Thoughts: Alex Silverstein

On August 24, 2012 by Scott K. Johnson

Alex is amazing.  He gets major street cred for staying up until 3:00 AM BST to talk with us.

I have never felt more inspired than after chatting with Alex.  Living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 18-months, he looked to his grandfather, who also had type 1 diabetes, for inspiration.  The fact that his grandfather lived into his eighties is a testament to his discipline and willpower, surviving diabetes for so long with none of the tools we take for granted today.  Alex was also diagnosed with celiac disease when he was 13, long before there was much awareness about it.

We heard about what started the advocacy bug with him, and his rapid succession of advocacy projects and jobs, which led him to where he is today.

Alex talked about the creation of the Young Leaders program, pulling together about 70 volunteers from nearly 50 different countries.  Different cultures, different religions, different languages, but there was only one language that mattered — Diabetes.  It sounds like an amazing program, and they have my full support.

Cherise pulled a surprise question on Alex near the end of the show.  It was a wonderful surprise, and another great example of what Alex is all about.  He used to train young people between 16-25 to deliver workshops to younger kids, all of them (teachers and kids) living with some sort of lifetime disease.  It was all about making sure that young people with lifetime diseases find ways to stay positive.

He said they always ended with some fun activity such as street dancing or DJ’ing so that the kids could say they were going to a workshop about street dancing or DJ’ing instead of it being about life with a disease.  I love that.

The show is jam-packed with great stuff, and I’m doing a great injustice to Alex and his work through this attempt to summarize.  I hope you’ll share some time with us and have a listen to the show.  I promise, it’s well worth it.  You’ll want to be a better person after listening.

– Stream the showDownload the MP3 (~15MB), grab the podcast via iTunes, or listen below.

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