Benefitting Phoenix Children’s Hospital and The Boys & Girls Club of Scottsdale Helping the American Diabetes Association…
Story VANESSA FLOREZ
PHOTOS Christine Jenkins for Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Vanessa Florez
PR Anderson Advertising & Public Relations
Uber Rocker Bret Michaels took Scottsdale, Arizona by storm and rocked his heart out to thousands of screaming fans raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for diabetes research. Michaels headlined the show with other bands opening including: Jeordie & the Mixology Project, Random Karma and Walkins—all fantastic. Michaels put on a non-stop rock show that electrified the crowd. The 47-yearold sang, rocked and jumped around the stage non-stop. The show was spectacular! It’s hard to imagine months ago Michaels was fighting for his life in a hospital, the victim of a brain hemorrhage that easily could have taken his life. Instead, today the ageless rock icon takes the stage and does what he does best—bring his fans to their feet in a frantic bid to enjoy every single minute of his show. With the success of his singing career, and then his television shows—his newest, Life As I Know It—Michaels doesn’tshow any signs of taking life as it comes. On the contrary. He not only works a slammed music and television career, but works tirelessly to bring an end to an illness affecting one in 10 Americans—diabetes. During his youth, Michaels was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and possibly as his famous career climbed, maybe just maybe at one time was a wild, wild man, but these days he is a strong advocate for health, and wellness. He manages his own diabetes with a strict diet and health regime, and lends his name to bring awareness to all the work the American Diabetes Association is doing. Stated Michaels, “I was 6 years old when I was diagnosed. My parents took me to the hospital at three in the morning. My dad’s not a crier, and that was the first time I ever saw him cry.” Michael remained in the hospital for three weeks. Ever since, Michaels has needed daily insulin injections as well as several times a day he must test his blood sugar level. Reflecting back to his childhood, Michaels says it was his parents who helped him cope with diabetes, and they went a long way in helping him feel normal about the illness. He said, “They were great at not doing a lot of self-pity with me.” With no regrets to the past, Michaels now reflects on his diabetes diagnosis as more of a blessing than a curse. And especially since he has had the disease since childhood, he feels he’s been more able to accept it as part of his life. Before his diagnosis, Michaels remembers feeling “really, really worn out,” and having common symptoms of diabetes such as a funny taste in his mouth, itchy skin, and being very, thirsty—symptoms parents should look for in their children.
Certainly for the early years his life, it was Michaels parents who took the lead in making sure he was given his daily insulin injections. But time marches on, and now it is Michaels who not only has takes the lead in making sure his health is apriority, but goes out of his way to lend his voice to the research and eventual cure of diabetes. As an active supporter of helping children who have diabetes, Michaels is outspoken of is own health challenges—as he overcomes them. During the enormous success of his Poison days, speculation rose that he was often not performing his best on stage due to alcohol or drugs. Not so. Without saying a word to his fans until years later, he suffered through many diabetic symptoms that literally brought him to his knees on stage. Leading a healthy lifestyle is now a top priority. And he wants kids to know that a diabetic diagnosis does not have to stop them from achieving their goals. “I find a way to survive on the road whether I’m living in a truck stop or a good hotel. With diabetes, you are either taking care of yourself and extending your life, or not managing it and ending your life.” The leadership of Executive Council Charities hosted Rock The Waterfront. With more than 37 years experience organizing prominent charity events benefiting Arizona youth, the Council couldn’t have chosen a more dynamic talent than Michaels who has strong ties to the Arizona community—where he lives with his family and always goes out of his way to support programs that help their youth. This event was about charity; the next gig Michaels is slated to perform is back with Poison as the group gears up to co-headline a tour with Motley Crue.
“I’m honored to partner with The Council to support these charities,” Michaels stated. “It is a great local organization, and as a life-long diabetic I can truly appreciate what a difference these charities are making to children’s lives.”