Be Fierce

2012-09-11   1 Comment  

I try to detangle what 9/11 means for me each year.  Whether it is pain from the attacks on my country, the hate for my religion becoming synonymous with patriotism and turning mainstream, or the fear I felt in my own appearance because of hijaab – I’m learning that the cure to all of these is the same.

On this 9/11, I am reminding myself to be fierce with kindness and love on 9/11 to give hate a real challenge.


I Already Have It All

2012-01-25   Leave a Comment  

It has been a tumultuous few weeks.  As I thought about all of the stress that each day brings – work, bills, interactions (and work, work, work), I tried to escape what I had on my hands by seeing what else was up in the world.

I looked up “type 1 diabetes” and hit the Google News search.  Hoping to find something new and exciting to remind me what passion feels like while work makes me forget, I came across an article titled “How the discovery of insulin changed the face of diabetes“.  The article itself didn’t report anything new, but I read it anyway and one line hit me hard enough to re-focus my stressed state of mind:

“It (insulin)… saved the lives of people with type 1 diabetes and allowed them to live an essentially normal existence when they would have died in childhood within weeks or months.”

To put this in perspective, I would have died at age 13 without insulin.  I’ve had diabetes for almost 12 years now and every year I am humbled to the ground that I have easy access to treatment.  I try not to forget it for a second, but when I do, I’m glad that something reminds me of this blessing.

The 90th anniversary of the first successful injection of insulin could not have come at a better time for me this year – a time that I lost perspective of the fact that I have everything I will ever need.  The only thing that I have to to gain is more.  Recognizing that continually is what will allow me to attain it.

Thank you diabetes, for the constant reminder.


VOTE! Big Blue Test is up for a TED Award!

2012-01-22   Leave a Comment  

Yes!  Big Blue Test is up for a TED Award!

Please cast your vote multiple times and share the video by following the link below.  Hit the vote button right below the video on the right!

TED Award

Here’s a twitter link as well:!/shahzadii/status/160767899236171777

“Ads Worth Spreading is TED’s initiative to recognize and reward innovation, ingenuity and intelligence in advertising — the ads that people want to see, and share with their friends.”

I know Big Blue Test has been big – the 2010 and 2011 songs are still stuck in my head and the cause is awesome.

If you don’t already know what the Big Blue Test is, check out this old post explaining the project.


Big Blue Test’s LAST Day – Help Save a Life

2011-11-14   1 Comment  

I imagine unquenchable thirst.

I imagine blurry vision… numb fingers… lethargy.

I imagine how the sugar in my blood is scratching against my blood vessels, damaging them.

I imagine fearing blindness in the future.

This is just a taste of what life would be like for me if I didn’t have access to diabetes treatment and medications.
I am blessed enough that these things don’ t have to be anywhere else but my imagination.  With proper care, I can avoid the things I mentioned above and enjoy a healthy life.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for so many people living with diabetes.

As a person living with diabetes every single day, I can only imagine the helplessness and fear one must feel if they don’t have the means to take care of their health.

Because of this, I’m asking you to please take a minute today and visit

EACH and every entry you share for Big Blue Test = a life-saving donation for someone living with diabetes that can’t afford proper treatment.

Participating is so, so simple.

You DON’T have to have diabetes.

You DON’T have to check your blood sugar if you don’t have diabetes.

You can enter MORE THAN ONCE!  As long as each entry matches exercise that you did.

If you don’t have diabetes, I’ve circled how easy it is to do in the picture below…

Today is World Diabetes Day.  Spreading awareness is crucial for a disease that is projected by the World Health Organization to affect up to 10% of the world population in the future.

We have until 12:00 midnight (PT) to reach Big Blue Test’s goal of 8,000 participants.

We’re at about 5,400 now.

I’m lucky enough to have the means to take care of myself for a healthy life – but things could be different.  If they were, I’d need your help.

Today… right now, this is how to do it:


Big Blue Test – An Invite to Break a Sweat!

2011-11-05   2 Comments  

Yes, that is me fist-pumping with much enthusiasm at the 1:03 mark. Despite being caught in that rather spunkless moment, I’m super excited to share the project I’ve been working on for the last month or so. The project is called the Big Blue Test and is a diabetes awareness program started by the nonprofit Diabetes Hands Foundation that takes place every November leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14.

Big Blue Test was recently featured on Huffington Post (…HUFFINGTON POST!!!) – please feel free to circulate the article and give it a like.The premise of the campaign is simple – test your blood sugar, get out and exercise for 14 – 20 minutes, then share your results at
You can still participate if you don’t have diabetes – just visit and enter the type of exercise you did.
This year, Big Blue Test needs 8,000 participants – with diabetes or not, to participate and Roche Pharmaceuticals donates to Five nonprofit organizations focused on helping underserved areas with a high incidence of diabetes in the United States.  Each will each receive $10,000, while $25,000 will go to support the work in Latin America by the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child Programme.
I’m also working to promote the project through social media outlets, so help me out and please take a moment to “like” Diabetes Hands Foundation’s facebook page.  If you’re on twitter, follow @DiabetesHF and @TuDiabetes.Now go get active.
I’m about to break a sweat at the mall for Eid tomorrow… Happy Eid to those that are celebrating!  And happy (sorta) Daylight Savings to everyone!

Baby doesn’t let “R.I.P.D.” I-93 traffic slow her arrival

2011-10-12   Leave a Comment  

A good friend of mine had a baby girl.

On Monday.

On the side of the highway.

During traffic.

Caused by a movie shoot.

With Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon.

Baby Syrene is gonna have the best ice-breaker story ever when she’s all grown up.

Here’s my follow up piece on the heart-warming story of Baby Syrene’s arrival:

And here are a few news clips on the story as well:

Congrats, Ena and Ali :-)

Love you, Ena!

Big Blue Test 2011! Do your part.

2011-09-03   Leave a Comment  

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Last year I posted the 2010 Big Blue Test video calling on people with diabetes to get out and exercise for 15 minutes and then check their blood sugars to see the impact.  Every view that the video got resulted in a week’s supply of insulin for a child with diabetes that did not have proper healthcare access.

The video is for World Diabetes Day and they are looking to cast the promotional video with REAL people with diabetes or affected by diabetes:

Check it out and send in your submission to be considered!

And when the video is out – share, share, share!

I posted the 2010 video last year.  I thank God every day that I have easy access to the doctors and medicine I need.  To support someone else that might not have the same luxury is as easy as watching a (rather catchy) video.

Bin Laden’s dead. Now what?

2011-05-01   6 Comments  

So now that Bin Laden is dead, what happens next? Of course, Osama Bin Laden being killed is a huge deal militarily and politically. Sure it took about, ahem – trillions of dollars, not to mention the countless lives… but I wonder how this will shift the views of Americans on the billions of Muslims around the world. I guess more selfishly, I wonder how people will look at me tomorrow, and the day after… and the day after that.

The “martyr factor” will likely incite violence across extreme groups overseas and we’ll be hearing even more stories of crazies killing in the name of Islam. And when that gets reported on the news, it’ll make my life just wonderful as I commute to work with my hijaab. I’m sure people are thinking that there’s something much bigger than me happening right now, but when I’m anticipating that people will treat me like garbage over this, I really don’t care about the bigger picture. In the moment that someone is screaming a racial slur at me or giving me the finger just because of my appearance, world politics fade away and all I see is someone hating me for who I am.

President Obama is speaking quite elegantly right now. He reminded all of us that “the US is not – and never will be – at war with Islam…Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims”.

As this U.S. military accomplishment is recognized, I do pray that people also remember that we have another enemy that isn’t dead yet: Islamophobia.

11 Years, 1 Week and 1 Day

2011-04-23   7 Comments  

Holy crap. It’s been 11 years and 1 week and 1 day for me living with type 1 diabetes. I feel proud and even more grateful that I’m also complication free so far. I never realize how much I care about facing complications until my doctor tells me that I have so far avoided any.

Last week my left contact lens got all hazy and weird and I thought my prescription might be changing. I made an appointment and my prescription went from -.50 in the left eye to -.75.

You may have just rolled your eyes at this post because that’s such a weak prescription, but when it comes to managing diabetes, everything is relevant. If I’m feeling warm, I immediately will ask someone else if it’s hot in the room or not because I’m not sure if my sugar’s high or if in fact the room is just hot. If I’m feeling irritable, I don’t think that maybe I am just exhausted or someone’s pissing me off – I immediately think my sugar must be high. Virtually everything relates to my sugar level.

So when the doctor did a full eye exam for me to make sure the culprit behind my prescription change wasn’t my blood sugars and told me that I am “complication free” in my eyes, it was a huge relief. A few weeks before that, my endocrinologist told me the same thing about my over all health – no complications. Kidneys good, nerves good, everything good. I could not be more grateful and while I know it’s a blessing, I do think that I can feel proud of my hard work paying off. It encourages me to keep it up.

While having bad lab numbers can help to push me back on my game, it doesn’t compare to the feeling of having good numbers and feeling in control. It is truly, truly a blessing.

Anyway, just thought I’d share that bit of happiness and my 11 year milestone. It feels great :-). When and if a complication comes, I hope to face it with as much gratefulness.

But those suckers better stay away.


2011-03-17   1 Comment  

It makes me sad that we are in a time during which we have to “set the record straight about Muslims” … either way, this is a cute idea :-).

she is as much a new yorker as she is a muslim. she is as spiritual as she is pragmatic, as spontaneous as she is calculated, as free spirited as she is grounded, as intellectual as she is lightweight… she should be seen for all of these things, including her being a muslim. her devotion to islam is a beautiful thing; it has helped me connect to my own religion. and it has helped me perceive the world through kinder eyes.