Monday, March 28, 2011

Kyle Williams: "What you see is what you get."

Kyle is a good man, by land or by sea.

To donate to find a cure for Kyle please click HERE!

I first met Kyle Williams in August 2005, when he walked into my Ancient World History class at the start of seventh grade.  People who meet me for the first time, and hear I taught middle school most of my life, often give me a look, as if to say, "You spent your life working with teens," like they pity me in all my suffering.

Working with a young man like Kyle was easy.  He was insightful in all his comments and always good-natured and considerate of peers.

Today, Kyle is finishing up his senior at Loveland High School and plotting his future, as best anyone can at age 18.  If he gets his wish he'll be heading for Ohio University next fall, or possibly staying closer to home at Raymond Walters.  When asked if he was going out with anyone seriously, he laughed a little and said, "I've been talking to a couple girls."  So, ladies, it looks like there's at least one good man available!  When I wondered how he was taking care of his diabetes, he admitted he was eating and not checking as carefully as usual.  "I'm just being a teenage guy, honestly," he explained. 

During our conversation the word "honest" came up several times, including a description Kyle's mom gave of her son.  "He's hard-working," she told me, "honest, and what you see is what you get, overall, a great kid.  I'd give him a 10 out of 10," she added.  Then she said with the slightest hint of complaint that she has to ask him to give her a hug now, when she never did when he was younger.

Okay, what teenage boy is ever perfect?

What else can we say about young Mr. Williams?  He likes Coach Thomas, at the high school, and has taken weight lifting classes under his guidance.  He also likes Mr. Danewood, who teaches Fantasy Science Fiction and 12th grade English.  He likes history, too, but thinks in college he might like to study radiation technology.  Right now he works about twenty hours ever week at Home Goods, a store that mostly attracts a female clientele.  Kyle called it a "chick store" and when asked, said some of the customers are rather attractive.  (In other words:  the guy still has a good eye.)  Eventually, Kyle hopes to get a good job, earn good pay, and go scuba diving in Australia.  He has already dived in Mexico and Hawaii with his brother and cousins, and loves it.

When I asked Kyle if it bothered him to be a type-1 diabetic he said no, laughed a little, and continued, "I try not to think about it a lot.  Besides, it could be a worse, I could have AIDS."  While we were on the phone, his mom arrived home from work, and brought in a package from the mail.  "Awesome," Kyle laughed again, "new supplies from Medtronic!"

Anyone who has a diabetic they love knows what that shipment can mean.  Like most who have children who are type-1, Tammy Williams, his mother, worries occasionally about the "long term ramifications" of the disease.  You can't NOT worry a times  But she agrees diabetic care is improving steadily, even in the years since Kyle was diagnosed.

So:  let's keep raising money for JDRF and speed the day when medical advances conquer this disease.

Kyle would appreciate it; and in the meantime, you young ladies can find him hanging out with his good friends, Joe Molinaro and Jon Tobias (also good young men to have in seventh grade, as I well remember.)  Just look for the cute guy wearing a pump.

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