Tom Karlya of Diabetes Dad
Son; Type 1 Diabetes, 2009
Daughter; Type 1 Diabetes, 1992
“VP of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Diabetes Dad writes about living as a parent in a world of Diabetes and his unyielding pursuit of a cure.”
Tom Karla has been active in Diabetes causes since his daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of two. His son Rob was also diagnosed in March of 2009 at the age of thirteen. Tom has lectured across the country and chaired many panels about being a Diabetes Dad, his pen name used virtually everywhere. Over the years he has been featured or quoted in numerous newspapers such as Newsday, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Tom has also been published in periodicals such as Newsday, Time, and Parents Guide Weekly.
As a Diabetes Ddvocate, Tom has been introduced to the New York State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., appeared at Diabetes-related events at the United Nations, and has served as a panelist or keynote speaker at numerous Diabetes events.
He has written and/or produced public service announcements for Diabetes causes featuring celebrities such as Ray Romano, Sugar Ray Leonard, Doris Roberts, Nicole Johnson (Miss America 1999-co-host dLifeTV), Sandra Oh, Patti LaBelle, Peter Boyle, Brett Michaels, and Jim Turner. Tom was awarded the prestigious Jeff Hitchcock Distinguish Service Award from The Children with Diabetes in 2008, Man of the Year by The LI Advertising Club, and Diabetes Advocate of the Year by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
As Producer of dLifeTV he was nominated for an Emmy Award, awarded 13 Telly (former Cable Ace) Awards, 4 nominations and a win for The Best in Medical Media; The FREDDIE Award. He also received numerous commendations, including congratulations from the president of the United States for his work in the Katrina efforts where he was instrumental in organizing relief efforts to over 10,000 people with Diabetes. He was the recipient of The George Estabrook Award from his Alma Mater of Hofstra University for his work in Diabetes and television.
As an actor, for 12 years, he starred in the New York City Production of Tony ‘N Tina’s Wedding, working with the original NY Company and also at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll, and his film, lbs., was seen at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Tom has also appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America’s Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and other shows as well as numerous commercials.
Tom is presently the Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (www.DiabetesResearch.org) in Florida. He resides on Long Island.