I had a rare opportunity to chat with David Panzirer who is one of the five trustees of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. David is a man of tremendous energy and drive, and he's applied a lot of his efforts into finding a cure for diabetes. David's daughter Morgan has been bravely fighting Type 1 diabetes for several years; he knows first hand about the heartbreak that this disease can bring to an entire family.
In 2009 the trust disbursed $136 million dollars to charity, including $2.5 Million in donations to JDRF. This is a lot of money. More than most of us could hope to even raise for the cause over an entire lifetime. But David doesn't stop with simply stroking a check. He is an active investor - researching the best possible paths to a cure, funding researchers directly and even consulting with governmental agencies. It was clear to me after our discussion that many long hours and many miles traveled go into his quest for Morgan.
Many parents are OK to simply take care of the day to day diabetes management of their children. But not David. Explaining the force behind his work, he told me that he wanted to be able to look Morgan square in the eyes at the end of each day and know that he had done absolutely everything in his power to help her diabetes.
These days I can't look into Cassie's eyes around bedtime without asking myself if I've done all I could that day to help HER diabetes.