Everyone who has a child living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) remembers so clearly the day when they were given that devastating news. For David Levy, the impact hit hard when his son Brett was diagnosed at age 11. David recalls, “At the hospital, after our crash course in T1D, the doctor came in to talk with us. He said that Brett was ready to go but that I was not. It is very emotional for a parent.”
Very soon after, David received a call from a JDRF volunteer, who reassured him that his son would be ok. And, most importantly, the volunteer let him know that he was not alone. “Finding that support right away was incredibly helpful,” David says. “It relieved our fears.”
Nine years later, David wants to be the one to reach out to others who are faced with T1D. He is first in line to make a reassuring call to a family or individual facing a new diagnosis. He is inspired by how the JDRF community bands together and is so supportive of each other. “But it’s not a downer community,” he says. “We don’t sit on our hands. We say to each other, ‘Let’s work harder, deeper, and wider to find a cure.’ It’s very motivating.”
David means what he says. He currently serves on the Board of Directors as Golf Classic chair for JDRF’s New York City Chapter. As president of Turner Broadcasting System, he is able to bring in celebrity golfers and masters of ceremonies, ensuring that the golf event is a big draw every year. In addition, tapping into all the brands of Turner Broadcasting System, David secures donated network airtime to run numerous public service announcements for JDRF. Because of David, our message reaches a larger audience than would otherwise be possible. Kyler Hale, associate executive director of the chapter, says, “He acts without prompting; he is relentless yet gracious in his pursuit of success, and he has brought his whole world to the doorstep of JDRF.”
David is looking forward to the day when he will no longer need to chair the Golf Classic, because it would mean a cure for Brett and millions of others. He says, “T1D is a very scary and possibly deadly disease. You grow up so quickly when you are diagnosed with T1D. You need to learn things you don’t want to learn. It’s a lot of responsibility for a child. We need to find out why it happens and find a cure.” Brett is now 21 and thriving in college—he is a senior at Syracuse University, majoring in marketing.