Call it weird. Call it crazy. Call it magical. Noah Moore, now 25, was a kid with a mission that's hard to describe. Diagnosed with Type 1 at age 16, he learned to swallow fire, juggle glass balls, break dance, and break down all existing barriers to travel to places like Quilotoa, South America -- all to prove to himself and the world that diabetes is no handicap.
Noah recently shared a little about himself and what makes him tick with DiabetesMine.com.
DM) Noah, you've traveled the world performing and speaking. How would you actually describe yourself: a circus performer, an athlete, or an advocate who likes to travel?
NM) Trying to mold my life to certain labels has become increasingly difficult. There are so many facets to my passions that made-up vocabulary is the only way to meld many roles together. My favorite occupation description of late is "Motivational Circus Performer."
DM) Where you already a performer and acrobat before, or was it really "brought on" by the diabetes?
NM) I started learning how to break dance before my diagnosis. The acrobatics involved with the art provided an excellent foundation for my martial arts and circus exploits of recent years.
DM) Why do you believe your diagnosis was "good timing"?
NM) First of all, a December 26th diagnosis saved me from having to eat all of the stocking-stuffer candy that every teenager despises. Seriously though, my diagnosis came just as fast-acting insulin was being released. It was also around the time when youth diabetes advocacy was gaining huge momentum and the American Diabetes Association was pushing to empower kids and teens with speaking opportunities.
DM) You talk about reaching "non-complacent" diabetics (those living active and dynamic lives in the face of diabetes). But aren't the "complacent" folks the ones who need help even more?
NM) The "non-complacent" mission statement was the thrust of my work with diabetes associations in South America. My audience at that time was primarily subscribers to the American diabetic publications I wrote for, who clearly dismissed complacency about the condition by buying the magazine in the first place. The mission statement for the current phase of the project is much wider reaching: Empower all individuals through education and performance.
DM) How did you get started with the diabetes camp tour?
NM) All of my endeavors in making juggling toys and working with youth for the last few years have been progressing in the direction of a summer camp tour. I wanted to do it a year ago, but neglected to do the necessary planning. This year I dedicated myself to the administrative side of organizing something of this magnitude, and cast any social life to the wayside.
NM) Actually, I haven't ever had much success attracting sponsors that I've sought out, no matter how great of a package I presented. The companies that support me currently believed in what I was doing independent of a pitch, and sincerely want to see the project blossom. Both LifeScan and Dex4 helped fund the tour even after donating mountains of supplies to the diabetes camps annually. It takes real belief on any company's part to back such an atypical advocacy effort.
DM) What are some of the most satisfying reactions you've had to your diabetes advocacy efforts?
NM) The reception to the current tour has gone beyond anything I could have imagined. Kids and teens are immediately vocal about wanting to apply the messages we present in our show. After building juggling toys, many kids keep them on-hand and practice for the duration of their camp session. Recently we've been inundated with emails from elementary through high school age youth, telling us what an inspiration our visit was to them. The irony is that they don't believe it when I try to let them know that I'm much more inspired by their own resilience.
DM) What do you say to kids who think, "I can't do that because I've got diabetes"?
NM) While it's rather clichÃ©, I let them know that diabetes is not what limits one's life. It is one's own perception and belief that will ultimately result in success or shortcoming. There are outstanding examples of diabetic super-heroes in every walk of life, so one just has to realize his own gift.
DM) What do you want to be when you grow up?
NM) I hope I keep growing and changing until my time on Earth is up. I can't think of anything else I'd rather do at the present moment than work with children and perform. I'm sure this career path will change down the line, but I hope not by much.
Watch this and other cool "update videos" on Noah's Team Tour Update Page. Bravo!