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Green named Diabetes Father of the Year

Mike Green’s contributions to the campaign against diabetes have been absolutely huge. MIKE GREENE

That is why the Lake Oswego attorney was one of five men honored at the first annual Father of the Year Awards, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and the Father’s Day Council of Oregon and southwest Washington. The recognition came last month at a gala event in Portland.

A father of three children, Greene himself was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1980. A year later he began his volunteer work with the ADA.

“There’s no cure. There’s no solution,” Greene said. “Fighting diabetes is a lifetime commitment. It’s like being a dad.”

At the start, however, Greene was not a very promising recruit for the ADA.

“I was angry and upset about getting diabetes,” Greene said. “I wouldn’t follow the care program set up by my doctor, Dr. Jack Stephens (a pioneer in endocrinology in Oregon). He told me, ‘You’ve got to redirect your anger in a constructive way.’

“A friend told me about a diabetes camp at Gales Creek. Helping out there really worked for me.”

Greene eventually became the first Oregon resident to serve as chairman of the national American Diabetes Association board. For three decades he has observed vast improvements in the treatment of diabetes, including monitoring of blood glucose and production of synthetic insulins that are easier to administer and are more effective. Greene’s tireless fundraising efforts played a key role in these developments.

It is on the community service aspect of diabetes, though, where Greene has had the greatest impact. He has headed up the effort to assist diabetics in their everyday lives — employment, school rules, insurance and medical care. Today, diabetics in Oregon have much better lives than they did before.

Gala events are one way that people who make great contributions are rewarded, and Greene was on hand for the group photo with the other four honorees. This was a problem since it featured two really tall men, 6-foot-6-inch Craig Robinson, coach of men’s basketball at Oregon State University, and former Lake Oswego resident Chris Dudley, who at 6 feet 11 inches is just as intimidating as he was in his 16-year NBA career.

This caused a dilemma for Greene.

“I’m a tall guy. I’m 6-2,” he said. “But I looked short standing next to those guys. People were telling me, ‘Hey, I thought you were tall?’”

Still, nobody in Oregon stands taller in the battle against diabetes than Mike Greene.



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