Friday, May 06, 2005

Offers pour in after boy's autographs vanish 

The autographs that 9-year-old Daniel Gamlin collected from Wachovia Championship golfers remain missing.

But about a dozen people contacted the Observer after reading Thursday's story explaining how the book disappeared after the boy passed it to golfer Vijay Singh.

They offered replacement autographs, memorabilia, even extra tournament tickets.

"Oh, my goodness. That is so sweet," said Andrea Gamlin, Daniel's mother, when told of the offers. "See, it is a great world."

A retired golf pro in Pinehurst said he'd give Daniel a signed photograph of Singh.

A man offered the autographed pass from last year's event that he had been keeping tucked in a drawer.

Someone else who had been getting autographs at the same time as Daniel offered to give him the hat he'd covered with signatures.

And it wasn't just the golf fans who came forward. A man and his nephew decided to offer one of three footballs signed by Panthers players.

Another man offered his whole autograph book filled with years worth of NASCAR stars he met while working for the Earnhardt family.

"It drives me crazy when I read these stories," Frank DeFeo said. "This? I know I can help."

For the Gamlin family, Thursday was filled with reminders about how many people are kind, the family said. Earlier in the week, they'd been thinking about those who take autograph books from 9-year-olds.

Andrea Gamlin said she awoke Thursday to her radio alarm at 5:45 a.m. As the haze of sleep dissolved, she realized the voices were talking about her son.

Her husband, David Gamlin, went to the dentist later in the morning and heard his son's story on a different radio station as he got his teeth cleaned.

Daniel heard all the buzz at school.

"I was, like, the popularest kid," he said. "One of my best friends asked like four or five questions."

He said it's not every day you're in the newspaper. The only person he knows who he thinks might have been in the newspaper before is former Hornet Muggsy Bogues, whose basketball camp he attends.

The attention extended beyond classmates' questions, phone calls and offers of autographs.

Someone even offered Daniel two tickets to Thursday's rounds at the Quail Hollow Club. The gift was tempting.

"But Danny's got to go to school," his mother said in the morning. "Tuesday was his reward day."

He had already missed an entire day of third grade at Charlotte Jewish Day School to attend the golf tournament as a reward for good grades.

The family decided it wouldn't be right to miss another day of school. They also said they plan to turn down all the offers of others' memorabilia.

"It just didn't feel right to take something that they treasure, that they got, to make him feel better," David Gamlin said. "I don't want to feel like we are taking advantage of anyone else."

"The whole thing is that Daniel just wanted his book back," his mother said.

But late in the day, they got an offer they couldn't refuse. A man from Young Ford worked some connections and secured them two weekend tickets. A tournament organizer landed them a third for Saturday.

There wouldn't be any school that day.

It wouldn't interfere with Mother's Day on Sunday.

And they could bring the whole family, including Z.J., Daniel's 8-year-old brother, who couldn't go Tuesday because he has special needs and falls too far behind every time he misses school.

Daniel said he's glad his brother can go, too, because he thinks Z.J. will like the tournament, especially the flavored ice you can eat there.

And he plans to create a new autograph book Saturday -- but with a new strategy so he can hold on to his treasure.

"This time I'm going to try not to go for the big players," he said.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Acclaimed Singer and 'Touched By an Angel' Star Della Reese Continues Her Crusade to Encourage Others to Be Stronger Than Diabetes 

Della Reese Visits Seattle to Share Her Personal Experience with Type 2 Diabetes at the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes EXPO

SEATTLE, May 04, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing her nationwide educational campaign, actress and singer Della Reese is visiting Seattle to encourage residents with type 2 diabetes to actively manage their disease. Della will be speaking at the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Diabetes EXPO to share her practical and personal advice for living with type 2 diabetes, including the importance of reaching and maintaining blood sugar goals, taking medications that help keep blood sugar levels in check and tips for making lifestyle changes.

"Having lived with type 2 diabetes for the last several years, I've learned how to help manage my disease," said Della Reese. "When I was first diagnosed, I struggled to meet my blood sugar goals, so I worked with my doctor to find the right treatment plan, including the combination of medications that work for me. I've learned that with healthy meal planning, regular physical activity and taking my medications everyday, I have the power to make meaningful changes in my life so I can stay healthy and productive."

As the spokesperson for the "Della Reese: Stronger Than Diabetes" campaign, Della will explain how her role as a diabetes advocate has changed her life. She will also share stories from her travels across the United States to 22 cities, where she reached more than 100,000 people with diabetes at local diabetes events.

The Diabetes EXPO is taking place from 9:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14th, at the Qwest Field Event Center in Seattle, Washington. It is a one-day event that offers attendees access to educational lectures and diabetes information to help facilitate the prevention, early detection, and aggressive management of the disease and its complications. Della will speak to conference attendees at 12:30 p.m. and she will be at the GlaxoSmithKline booth to sign autographs following her presentation.

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States. It affects more than 18 million Americans. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% to 95% of all diagnosed diabetes cases. According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports, diabetes affects approximately 6.2% of the population in Washington. Although believed to be under-reported, the number of lives claimed by diabetes in Washington in 2001 exceeded 1,400.

To manage diabetes, it is important to set and meet blood sugar goals. The A1c test measures long-term blood sugar control by providing a picture of average blood sugar control over the previous two to three months. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends reaching an A1c level of less than 7%. To achieve this goal, many people with type 2 diabetes may eventually need to take more than one medication that helps treat the disease in different ways. Achieving an A1c goal of less than 7% is essential, since every 1% increase above 6% elevates the risk of diabetes-related complications such as stroke, heart attack and loss of limbs. Unfortunately, an alarming 64% of type 2 diabetes patients are not well controlled on their current diabetes therapy.

"To manage your diabetes, you may need to make adjustments to your treatment plan, including taking more than one diabetes medication. If you take an active role in managing your disease, you can be stronger than diabetes. I'm living proof!" said Della Reese. The "Della Reese: Stronger Than Diabetes" campaign is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline.

"Take Della's Challenge: Be Stronger Than Diabetes"

People interested in learning more about type 2 diabetes can receive a one-of-a-kind copy of Take Della's Challenge: Be Stronger Than Diabetes, a booklet with Della's favorite recipes, quick tips and true-life advice, along with a motivational music CD featuring one of Della's songs by calling the toll-free number 1-866-463-6342 or by visiting http://www.delladiabetes.com/.

As part of her visit to Seattle, Della will share what she has learned from her healthcare team, loved ones and peers about managing type 2 diabetes:

* Talk about it -- now! Ask your healthcare professional about whether
you need to make adjustments to your treatment plan, including taking
more than one medication to help you reach your blood sugar goals.
* Set goals. Monitor your daily blood sugar levels. Also, have your
doctor test your A1c level regularly. The ADA recommends reaching an
A1c level of less than 7%.
* Maintain a healthy, balanced meal plan. There's no single, "right"
diabetes diet. Work with your healthcare professional to develop a
plan suited to your personal needs.
* Get moving. After talking to your doctor, start a physical activity
program that incorporates everyday activities, like walking the dog,
gardening or taking the stairs.
* Stick with it. Follow your recommended meal plan, stay active and take
your medication regularly as prescribed by your healthcare
professional. If you don't, you may be at risk for serious
diabetes-related complications.
* Seek support. Ask your family and friends to help you with lifestyle
changes by doing things like sharing a recipe or taking a walk.

"The American Diabetes Association's Diabetes EXPO is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people with diabetes, those at risk for diabetes and anyone interested in healthy eating and active living. The Diabetes EXPO provides a wealth of diabetes-related services and information all under one roof," said Doug Robison, Seattle Diabetes EXPO co-chairperson.

"Della Reese is a wonderful example of someone who is really fighting the disease head-on. As a result, her blood sugar levels are in control and she enjoys a healthy, active lifestyle. I'm confident that others will find her story motivational."

About The Sponsor

"Della Reese: Stronger Than Diabetes" is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

CONTACT: Bernadette King of GlaxoSmithKline, +1-215-751-7709, RandiGoldman of Cohn & Wolfe Healthcare, +1-212-798-9558, for GlaxoSmithKline

Web site: http://www.delladiabetes.com/

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