Syndicated newspaper columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are reporting that POISON frontman Bret Michaels will take time out from his current "Freedom of Sound" tour in early 2006 to do a TV campaign for juvenile diabetes.
"I've been a juvenile diabetic since I was 6," says Michaels. "We've started a web site because I want to take a much more hands-on approach, and we've created a very controversial shirt that will be available on www.bretmichaels.com. It has on the front a (shirtless) picture of me, and it says 'Bret Michaels Diabetic' and how many injections I'd taken in my life as of the day we did the shirt, which was, like, 253,210. Then it says 'Fear Nothing. Survive It.' "
He adds, "All the proceeds are going to juvenile diabetic kids to send them to a camp, so I can physically watch the money do something."
Michaels says being able to go to a camp for diabetics as a child made all the difference in his world. "My mom was one of the counselors, and later I was a counselor at a diabetic camp in Pennsylvania. I go back there every so many years to say, 'This is how I did it. This is what you gotta do.' When you're 5 to 8 years old, and you find out you're going to have to take insulin for the rest of your life, it's pretty depressing. It's heartbreaking ... but I just looked at it and embraced it. I said, 'I'm still going to go out and enjoy my life. I'm still going to make music and ride motorcycles and get tattoos.' I just gotta work a hell of a lot harder to take care of myself."