The LillyforLife Achievement Award for Diabetes Journalism (!)

I’ve never been one to win things in this life. Once, as a student at an LA Times journalism conference, I won a sun visor as a door prize. That was about it. So you can imagine how floored and honored I was to receive an email last week from a manager in Eli Lilly’s global communications group informing me that I have been selected as the winner of this year’s LillyforLife Achievement Award for diabetes journalism. (See the press release)

Diabetes journalism? Do they have awards for that? Apparently so.

It seems that in 2002, a new category was added to the LillyforLife Achievement awards lineup — traditionally including youth, adult, medical professional and caregiver spots (in addition to lifetime awards for people living on insulin for 25, 50, and 75 years). Lilly bestows its Achievement awards on “inspirational people in the diabetes community” selected by a panel of expert judges. Past winners in the journalism category include the dLife team and chef/author Judith Jones Ambrosini.

And this year, a blogger! Sign of the times, I suppose ;)


So the next thing I knew I was sitting on a plane to Indiana (the company flies all the winners out to their Indianapolis headquarters for the awards ceremony), wondering what it would be like to share the limelight with the other five winners this year, the kind of people who make your jaw drop, all:

Jessica Stone, a bouncy and truly amazing 11th grade honor student who’s overcome Tourette Syndrome and other health issues in addition to diabetes. She’s an accomplished singer and actress and voices the Disney Channel character “Stanley” in the children’s animated series. She attended with her exceptional mother, Suzy.

Patricia Ann La France, who was diagnosed with diabetes when she was two years old, and became a nurse (which I can well imagine because she’s the sweetest, most helpful lady you can imagine). When diabetic retinopathy took her vision she became a rehabilitation counselor and has devoted her new career to assisting people with diabetes-related disabilities.

Dr. Arlan Rosenbloom, an innovator of programs for children with diabetes, who started the pediatric diabetes program at the University of Florida, pioneered the team approach to pediatric diabetes care, and founded Florida’s camps for children with diabetes. Arlan attended the festivities with his lovely Norwegian wife, who everyone adored.

Julia Ziemieski, (who couldn’t make the event), a devoted mother whose diabetic daughter nominated her for the “Friendly Faces” caregiver award.

Jack McCarthy, the man who walked across America for diabetes awareness in the early 1980′s, received a special lifetime achievement award that will be carried forward in his name. Jack has been a successful insulin user for 70 years. And he’s simply, well… jolly. His joy in life is infectious indeed!

Amy_lillyforlife_3 And finally, an honorary LillyforLife Award for assistance dog “Belle,” who saved the life of her owner, Kevin Weaver, by pressing the right buttons on the telephone to call for help when he experienced a diabetic seizure. Keep your eye out for Belle and Weaver, who will be featured on national television soon as well.

During our 3-day stay at Lilly’s Indiana headquarters, we were wined and dined, introduced and guided and schooled in insulin production methods. Of course it was all very carefully orchestrated — so we saw what they wanted to show us — but captivating nonetheless. More details on “Eli Lilly from the Inside” coming soon. Meanwhile, I’m looking for the perfect spot on my desk for my new trophy. (Not that difficult, since there’s so much space to choose from :)


18 Responses

  1. mel
    mel September 7, 2006 at 6:32 am | | Reply


  2. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson September 7, 2006 at 6:56 am | | Reply

    Wow! How impressive Amy – you were in good company indeed!

    You very much deserve it, and I am very happy for you and proud of you!

    Thanks for all that you do for us!

  3. Kelsey
    Kelsey September 7, 2006 at 8:12 am | | Reply

    Congratulations Amy! Very well deserved indeed :)

  4. Elinor
    Elinor September 7, 2006 at 8:57 am | | Reply

    Way to go, Amy. You do a great job and deserved to be recognized. Keep on blogging!

  5. Kerri.
    Kerri. September 7, 2006 at 10:54 am | | Reply

    A very well deserved honor, Amy! Congratulations!!!

  6. Kevin
    Kevin September 7, 2006 at 11:01 am | | Reply

    That’s very, very cool.

  7. Lyrehca
    Lyrehca September 7, 2006 at 11:07 am | | Reply

    Congrats! Did someone nominate you for the award? Sounds like you found out as a surprise and it looks like there’s an application for it.

  8. enoch choi
    enoch choi September 7, 2006 at 11:11 am | | Reply

    congrats! didn’t i tell you that you were the best diabetesblogger?

  9. Kassie
    Kassie September 7, 2006 at 11:30 am | | Reply

    Congratulations! What a terrific honor.

  10. Hsien Lei
    Hsien Lei September 7, 2006 at 11:40 am | | Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’re beyond awesome. :)

  11. AmyT
    AmyT September 7, 2006 at 5:14 pm | | Reply

    You’re quite right; I didn’t apply for the award myself. (Didn’t even know about it…) It seems that someone inside the Lilly organization nominated me.

  12. Andrea Harris
    Andrea Harris September 7, 2006 at 6:04 pm | | Reply

    Way cool, Amy!

    Patricia is a member of a Diabetes Yahoo group that I read. I seem to remember that her kids nominated her without her knowledge.

  13. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell September 7, 2006 at 6:07 pm | | Reply


    Congratulations, you more than deserved this award!

    Did you have fun in the ‘Prozac Palace’? Does Lilly still have those awesome marble-lined lobbies?

  14. Scott
    Scott September 8, 2006 at 5:27 am | | Reply

    FYI, Lilly isn’t the only manufacturer with annual awards for writing. Since 2002, Novo Nordisk has offered what the company calls its Annual Media Prize. They have a website at:

    Maybe next year, you’ll receive the Novo Nordisk awards!!

  15. Rob
    Rob September 8, 2006 at 8:49 am | | Reply


    In other words, congratulations. Sweet!

  16. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk September 9, 2006 at 12:29 am | | Reply


    Keep it up!

  17. Kim
    Kim September 9, 2006 at 5:03 pm | | Reply

    And you fit right in with all of the above!

    Congratulations and here’s to many, many years of continued success!

    Sounds like you retired….

    Now you know why I don’t write greeting cards….

  18. AmyT
    AmyT September 9, 2006 at 6:15 pm | | Reply

    You mean ’cause I look so OLD in the photo?

    Yeah, well I appreciate all the nice sentiments anyway!

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