In his late teens, Mark Lippe, founder of DAD Innovations, encountered difficulty with his diabetes at work one day. After a brief rest he was sent home. While driving, his low blood sugar caused him to black out, lose control of his car and smash into a tree.
Truck drivers on the highway stopped to help and called police. After regaining consciousness Mark tried to explain to the police that he had diabetes. Because of his young age, he had difficulty convincing officers he was experiencing a diabetic incident. Ultimately, he was given three citations and placed in the back seat of a squad car. During the ride to the police department he was questioned whether he had consumed illegal drugs.
Many times while resolving his ordeal Mark contemplated how this could have been prevented.
Several years later, when Mark’s daughter Lisa was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, he thought again about his driving experience. As she was entering her sophomore year of high school and taking driver’s education, Mark recounted his experience and Lisa thoughtfully told him they really should do something so no one else would go through what he did.
The idea of a medical awareness decal for diabetics was born – a decal for a car window – and DAD Innovations was created. With these decals, key chains, and license plate frames, medical and emergency personnel can be alerted to the potential of a driver’s condition and give appropriate medical treatment.
Mark’s story has inspired others with diabetes to be more careful. But Mark has searched for a way to help others and is thrilled to help Juvenile Diabetes No Limits Foundation bring their P B4U Drive program to teens with diabetes around the country. This story is here, on this website, principally because of the work the Foundation is doing to bring this message to diabetic teens.
Plus, as he says, giving teens the right mindset AND letting them get advanced and exhilarating driving time with professional drivers makes it a program both he and his daughter Lisa wishes was around for them!
A friendly reminder from Mark: check your blood sugar levels before driving.