Adam Steele had just received another wonderful letter from one of the friends that his children had met when they accompanied him on a blue highways journey. Like previous letters, he decided to share this with his management team.
Dear Mr. Steele,
Taylor and Jordan said you would enjoy hearing from me so I hope this letter is helpful. When I graduated from high school, I decided to stay in my adopted home land and study nursing. I can’t thank you enough for investing in my education. Now I’m trying to pay it forward.
While in nursing school, I discovered I had diabetes. Little did I realize until then how difficult it was to manage diabetes with the traditional foods of my native country of Mexico. I knew nothing of carbohydrate counts, A1C measures, insulin or other facts of life of a diabetic.
I’ve now graduated and have remained in the area as an RN at a local hospital. I began doing outreach to our immigrant community to test for diabetes. My endocrinologist has been really helpful and has volunteered to assist me.
What we have found is that early onset diabetes is rampant among children in our immigrant community. I’ve been able to educate mothers on the foods to avoid. It’s ironic that we are in an area where healthy food is grown but have very unhealthy diets.
Working with my doctor, we have been able to reach out to other doctors and created a fund for diabetic supplies and insulin. As you probably know, these are very expensive and very few in our immigrant community have health insurance. Unfortunately, many of our children aren’t eligible for the CHIP program because of their citizenship status.
One thing that I’ve learned is that each doctor we recruit brings not only financial resources to our cause, but even more importantly, they bring others on board as well.
I’m told that what I’m doing is building a referral network. I’m reading everyone your blue highways stories and have been inspired to learn that one person can make a difference. Thank you so much for enabling me to make a difference.
When Adam shared this letter, he sent along this message: “I’m fascinated by domino chains. I’m sure you’ve seen them where one domino starts a chain reaction. As you watch each domino fall, you have to be amazed at what seems to be impossible becomes just the next step in the chain of dominoes as they fall. I am proud that I was able to help Catalina push the first domino in diabetes care for immigrant children. Just imagine the first dominoes that each of us could push.”
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“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connection people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”
– Michele Jennae (author)