K9s for kidsUniting Kids & Service Dogs
The People of the DFF
Founder and CEO of Meals to Live, a Dallas based food company aimed at providing healthier food alternatives that also meet the dietary requirements for those living with diabetes. While researching the challenges for those with diabetes, Cole stumbled upon an article that referenced dogs that could be trained to detect high and low blood sugar levels in their handlers and alert when such levels are reached. At first, Cole was extremely skeptical; however, as he began to do more research, he discovered a kennel in Oxford Mississippi that specialized in training these amazing animals. After attending a conference at the Wildrose Kennels in May of 2010, Cole states, "What I witnessed was nothing short of inspiring. What these amazing animals have been trained to do through scent training and the lives these K9’s are saving dialing is truly a miracle."
Cole was inspired and felt that he had finally found his calling. Cole’s personal goal and mission was to find a way to help more families obtain these amazing K9's. As President of the Diabetes Friendly Foundation Cole helps organize and put together events to continue to grow our fundraising efforts in order to be able to pair more of these amazing K-9's with deserving handlers. Cole also works to align the Diabetes Friendly Foundation with strategic partners that understand the DFF’s cause and mission.
Due to his involvement in MTL and DFF, Cole now finds himself in the unique position to interact directly with diabetics on a personal level and listen to the challenges they face controlling their disease. He can then use this feedback to develop functional nutritional products that meet the needs of the people we serve. One of these products would be the first ever Glucose Quick Stick which is an alternative to other non favorable glucose products.
Mike has served as Chairman of the Diabetes Friendly Foundation since February of 2011 after serving as a volunteer and fundraiser in 2010.
Mike was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age seven. In the 25+ years of living with this disease he has experienced the very same challenges facing the people that the Diabetes Friendly Foundation is here to serve. Through education, exercise, and effort he has been able to successfully manage his diabetes. His results have motivated him to develop and implement programming to help other diabetics achieve the same level of success, or better.
As the Chairman, Mike is responsible for the growth and vision of the DFF. Under his tenure the DFF's K9s for Kids program will grow to connect more families from around the country with an amazing Diabetes Alert Dog. He has created an online education series for Type 1 and 2 diabetics to assist and prepare them for the challenges of everyday life with diabetes and to arm them with the information necessary to make good decisions. The DFF webinar series will connect diabetics with Endocrinologists, Dieticians, and other diabetics from around the country in an effort to educate, achieve tighter control, and live longer lives.
Mike and his wife Blair, a Rheumatologist at UT Southwestern, make their home in Dallas.
Brad Holdbrook has served as director and vice president of the Diabetes Friendly Foundation since its formation in 2009.
Brad's interest and involvement in the DFF was fueled by the unique opportunity to help start a nonprofit organization that addressed a real need in the community. While there are many organizations that raise money for diabetes research, there are very few that focus their efforts on helping persons living with diabetes. Brad is excited about the opportunity to help people living with diabetes live healthier, happier lives. Brad truly believes DFF products and programs CAN alleviate many of the additional day-to-day stresses diabetes imposes and eliminate much of the guess work from the healthy decision-making process. Brad is passionate about the role diet and exercise play in healthy living. Several of Brad's family members that have developed type 2 diabetes and has seen firsthand the hardships associated with the disease.
A former middle school teacher and coach, Brad has a passion for working with, and educating, youth. Over time, he hopes to expand DFF programming to include educating children about diabetes and how the choices they make now can help prevent diabetes in the future.
Brad is currently in his final semester at SMU Dedman School of Law. Upon graduation, Brad will practice law at the Dallas office of Winstead PC (he will, however, not be licensed to give legal advice until passing the Texas bar exam).
When Matt first heard of the Diabetes Friendly Foundation (DFF) and their K9s for Kids program, it was a very simple decision for him to get on board. He said if it's about dogs and kids, he's in. Since that time, Matt has been involved in all aspects of the DFF, from generating awareness for the DFF’s mission through the power of celebrities who have also been affected by diabetes in some way, to collaborating in the development of all DFF marketing materials.
The mission of the DFF and the impact of the K9s for Kids program hits close to home for Matt and he's committed to making life a little easier and a little safer for adults and children living with diabetes.
The unfortunate reality is that just about every one of us knows someone close to us who lives with and/or has been affected by diabetes. Matt is no different: One of his closest friends has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for nearly 26 years.
Currently, Matt is the Group Account Director for The Marketing Arm, a leading entertainment and sports marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas and London. He and his wife Alison reside in Dallas with their young daughter, Harlow, and their dog, Nikita.
Aaron is the Treasurer and a Director of the DFF. Along with the other Directors, he helps further the DFF mission through fundraising efforts and fostering public awareness of the DFF mission in the community. He initially helped start the DFF after co-founding a food company called Meals To Live, whose products are geared towards consumers with nutritionally specific requirements, specifically diabetes. During his involvement with MTL, and working as a healthcare consultant by day, he was struck by the number of people affected by diabetes, and how little public awareness and support exists for a condition that affects so many people, both directly and indirectly. Having family members with Type II diabetes also provided a lot of insight into potential opportunities to help people affected by diabetes. Having been involved in various other charitable organizations, the DFF provided an opportunity to focus his volunteer efforts in a meaningful way.
Aaron lives in Dallas, Texas, and is currently engaged to his fiancé, Kelli, with a wedding date approaching in the Fall of 2011. During the day, he is employed with a national healthcare transaction consulting firm.
Braford is the Secretary and Dirrector of the DFF. He is also the lead in charge of public relations, and helps continue the DFF mission by organizing fundraising events to heighten awareness for diabetes and communicates any new information to all DFF media outlets. As a member of the health promotion industry, Bradford has seen so many people who struggle with their control of this disease, and believes there is an opportunity to provide real solutions to people with a real problem. On a personal level, Bradford has several family members who suffer from both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and he embraces the chance to be able to do something about a disease that hits over 30% of African Americans community.
Bradford moved to Texas from Greenville, SC in 2007 and currently resides in Dallas.