T1D warrior Stevie Beddo, 7 years old, and a first grader at Pleasanton Primary had a dream come true at the San Antonio Rodeo when she met her TID hero Brett Michaels.
Stevie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age two. Stevie and her parents Aleshia McDaris and Jeff Beddo recently went to see the Brett Michaels concert at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. During a break the trio were lucky enough to be introduced to Michaels who is a champion for T1D adults and kids.
“When she found out [she was meeting him], she was literally jumping up and down. And then, when she saw him, she was kind of starstruck like she couldn’t say anything,” said Aleshia. “She got a little emotional when he told her that he was going to send her to camp, because camp is very expensive … diabetes is a very expensive disease.”
Michaels upon meeting Stevie squatted down to get eye to eye with her then showed her his arm “Are you a Type I like me?,” asked Michaels as he showed Stevie his device on his arm and she showed him her back.
Aleshia’s mom began tearing up and told Michaels that he was Stevie’s inspiration and hero. “You are her inspiration. She listens to all of your music,” Aleshia said this through tears as Michaels came to embrace her in a big hug and comfort her. Aleshia’s dad fighting back tears told Michaels we always tell her that you could be anything you can be a rockstar like Brett.”
Michaels on the spot told Stevie and family that he will be financially supporting the seven-year-old to go to diabetic camp for the next three years through his Life Rocks Foundation. The camp is a week-long residential diabetic camp for kids aged up to 15. It is staffed with nurses, doctors and dieticians trained in diabetes.
Aleshia said that when Stevie is faced with bullying about her medical devices, she educates people, especially kids, about what her pumps and devices are responsible for and how they keep her alive.
It was in August 2017 that Stevie became sick with what Aleshia thought was a stomach virus. They rushed her to the children’s hospital by ambulance. “She had severe diabetic ketoacidosis. So, she was actually in a coma for three days. She coded on us twice. We spent five days in the ICU and then an additional three days in a regular room. So, what we thought was a stomach virus, was far more than we ever expected.” Recently, in November, they found out that Stevie is also completely deaf in her left ear. They are finding out if it is related to her T1D in March. But Stevie is a champion and a fighter. Her mom says she is excited to play on the Pleasanton Little League team the Hurricanes this season.
Michaels who is now 57 was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at six years old. At the point of his diagnosis, Michaels was going into ketoacidosis – his body was effectively shutting down. He told Stevie your T1D happened just like mine. He said to her little face, “You are just like me.”
Michaels has helped raise tens-of-millions of dollars through his Life Rocks Foundation to donate to diabetes awareness and research through the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). He has collaborated with both the ADA and JDRF acting as a spokesperson and sponsor, earning him numerous awards from a variety of organizations. He is on the front line lending his voice to the Affordable Insulin Now Act which would cap insulin prices at $35 for people with private health plans and Medicare Part D.
Michaels has never shied away from owning the fact that he is diabetic and demonstrates how you can live out your dreams, travel the world and continue to manage your diabetes. Before every stop of his tours, Michaels meets with fellow diabetics in every city he visits, sharing stories, lending support and championing for better structure to help those suffering with diabetes. To follow Michael’s journey and learn more about Bret’s Life Rocks Foundation visit www.lliferocksfoundation.org.