By: Patrick Totty
Sometimes having diabetes offers saving graces and pleasurable moments. That'scertainly the intent of the Gary Hall, Jr. Foundation, which has just announcedthat it will offer a five-day Caribbean cruise, starting December 1, 2008, forpeople with diabetes and their loved ones.
Guests will depart from Miami on Carnival Line's M/S Destiny, bound for theBahamas and Grand Turk. Along with enjoying the cruise ship's usual amenities,they'll spend some of their time participating in seminars, cookingdemonstrations, support group meetings and testing the latest technologiesavailable for diabetes management.
They will also get to interact with Gary Hall, Jr., a three-time Olympic swimmerwith 10 medals. (To see our previous coverage of Gary, go to "Gary Hall, JR.", "We Could All Learn a Lesson From Gary Hall, Jr." and "Gary Hall, Type 1 Swimming Champion, Uses His Sponsors to Promote Diabetes Awareness.")
Hall was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999 when he was told he would nolonger be able to compete at an elite level as an athlete. He proved thepessimists wrong, going on to win gold medals at both the 2000 and 2004 OlympicGames. He is currently training in hopes of making a fourth U.S. Olympic team in2008.
Hall says his success gives people with diabetes around the world proof thatwith proper management of the disease, there are no limitations stopping themfrom pursuing their dreams.
"In some ways, managing diabetes is a lot like my sport," he says. "Ultimatelyswimming is an individual sport. You stand up on the block by yourself, but toget to the starting block takes a team. It's the same with diabetes management.
"We're bringing together a team of experts that will help people learn how tobetter manage their diabetes, including endocrinologists, diabetes educators andnutritionists who will work with the cruise passengers. But of course there willbe plenty of time for fun, too. "
"Attending the cruise will also give people with diabetes and their families theopportunity to meet others with the disease," says Kirstie Bolitho, executivedirector of the Gary Hall, Jr. Foundation. "You will be able to meet otherpeople like Gary who are doing extraordinary things despite having diabetes.Attendees will see first-hand that having diabetes isn't something that willhold you down from enjoying life to the fullest. We encourage people withdiabetes to 'Go Live It!'"
Prices start at $422 per guest for the five-day cruise (based on doubleoccupancy; includes port charges, taxes and fees, but not air fare). To reservea spot, call 1-877-874-7776 and reference Group # 5V1H35.
Editor's Note: The starting price for this cruise is one of the most reasonablewe've seen.