July 16, 2010

Crash Test Dummy

Raise you hand if you put a car into a ditch or other immovable object off the side of the road as a teenager.

I did.

I was cut off on a highway and ran a perfectly good VW Bug into an Exxon sign pillar. The sign was fine. I popped the windshield off the car with my head and it flew 20 feet in the air, bounced and landed unbroken. The windshield did best. I went to the hospital and the Bug went to the scrap heap.

I loved that car.

It was the American dream in a old German car. It was slow. It was noisy.  The heater didn’t work very well, when it worked at all.  But it was freedom. It would go anywhere and, bonus, it fit on sidewalks. However the statute of limitations on some those sidewalk missions may still not have expired so enough said.

It would’ve been nice to miss the sign.

My T1 son is learning to drive. It would be nice for him to miss the sign too and to stay off sidewalks.

Some of all of y’all (a phrase that here means "In select cities"), can get free hands on training to miss the sign and stay off sidewalks.

Medtronic is sponsoring a free driving program for diabetic teens. It is called Test B4U Drive.

If you are skeptical, I understand. I thought “Test B4U” sounds like diabetes preachiness dressed in text messaging slang trying to be cool. I too was a tad skeptical. I mean I am an American Male and therefor endowed by the creator with certain unalienable rights like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Hello! I am sure that by that Thomas Jefferson meant driving.

Also it means that my American Maleness grants me presumed naturally superior driving abilities that I can passed on to my son both genetically and spiritually. (Your Honor. I move the testimony of the Exxon sign be excluded on the grounds that it is a sign and so has no business commenting on my natural American Maleness driving superiority.)

I mentioned the class to my son and he responded with the comment that the driving session at Friends for Life a few years back was an extremely boring lecture, where they just sat there and listened to some dude drone on. This is what I call this the Charlie Brown’s Teacher Syndrome   “Wa WAA wa Waa WaWa.” (C.B.T.S. - you know I love the four letter acronyms.)

The folks at Medtronic were kind enough to talk with me about the program today. They rolled out their big guns, Dr. Francine R. Kaufman, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President and Amanda Sheldon, Director of Public Relations. You put three people on the phone that are passionate about diabetes care and we tent to all talk at the same time. We did somehow sort out taking turns. 

I asked them straight up how they were going to avoid CBTS with an all day deal for teens? I can’t pay attention for 7 minutes how are they gonna get teens to pay attention for 7 hours?

(I can hear regular YDMV readers saying, “Hey Bennet the T1 teens are probably more mature than you are!” Probably that Kerri chick and her pal Christel. Those two are trouble with a capital T of course that's why I love'm.)

I digress. Back to Test B4U Drive. First of all driving is a topic near and dear to the teenage heart so that should help get attention. (How else can you explain the American Dream in a German car above.) Next while there is some diabetes stuff and there will be an actual endo at each session the organizers get that the day is about cars. So they will also have professional diving instructors at each session. Instructors - plural. One instructor to three teens. 1:3.

The day will be mostly driving and only some classroom. They said it is like six hours playing and one hour of classroom time and it sounds like there is fun stuff to do in the cars. Hard breaking, avoidance maneuvering and my personal favorite skidding! (but not into an Exxon sign - avoiding now there is a concept... )

Medtronic is in the program with the Juvenile Diabetes No Limits Foundation, who I had never heard of. The good folks at Medtronic explained it a group based in Minnesota lat is supports T1 kids living full lives. Cool. I think they said something about the founder being a car racer. Even more coolness.

Test B4U Drive is being offered to teens with diabetes at these select locations, none near me, in 2010, 15 kids to a class:
  • July 19-21, The Forum, Los Angeles
  • July 26-28, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. (Denver area)
  • August 2-4, KCI Expo Center, Kansas City, Mo.
  • August 9-11, Standard Bank Stadium, Crestwood, Ill. (Chicago area)
Yeah they may mention diabetes care and some of Medtronic’s products and/or services but they are also gonna let you go beat up err.. play no wrong word again... learn in a rental car. That’s a fair deal.

For more information see: http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/testb4udrive/

1 comment :

  1. Now that's cool! I'll have to watch for the Denver area one to come back after the permit has been given.