Background on Kyle

Letter that I wrote in 2017

Dear Representative Wittman:

            I would like to attend  the 2017 Diabetes Children’s Congress. I am in the 8th grade, and I was  diagnosed with T1D on April 27, 2015, about 1.5 years ago. It all  started when I was in 6th grade. I was feeling sick a lot, and was  always very thirsty. My mom took me to the doctor’s office, and that’s  where I was diagnosed. An ambulance then took me to the hospital where I  got a shower of needles and lots of insulin. The doctors took good care  of me, but then the most terrible news came to me that would change my  life forever. Because I had T1D, I could not join the Navy and I could  not attend the Naval Academy.

            Ever since I was 5  years old I always wanted to serve my country by joining the Navy and  attending the Naval Academy, just like my father, and just like my  grandfather. Unfortunately, the Navy and the Naval Academy don’t admit  Type-1 diabetics! I was crushed. I did not know what to do with my life.  I sometimes cried for hours. Other times, it seems as if I was  withdrawn from life entirely. I was staying up in my room for hours  reading books, hoping that the bad dream would end and I would wake up  cured. Then, a miracle happened. I read “A Brief History of Time” by  Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s most famous  theoretical physicists. Somehow, he did his amazing research on Black  Holes and the origin of the universe while having ALS. Eventually, he  had to be assisted with a wheelchair and a nurse all day. He could not  even talk without the help of a machine. Even though he had a very bad  disability, he did great things for the world. This is why he inspired  me to not give up on my dreams. So, now my career choices are to be a  theoretical physicist, a diabetic research scientist, an archeologist or  a Secret Service Special Agent.

            The coxswain in a  crew boat is the leader of the boat. His job is to steer the boat and  give the rowers orders. But, the most important part of being a coxswain  is to motivate and inspire the rowers. But, what does it mean to be a  leader? Does it mean to lead thousands of troops into battle like  Napoleon or Julius Caesar? I don’t know. What I do know is that to be a  leader and to do great things you have to be like a coxswain and steer  the boat in the right direction, make sure the men are doing what they  are supposed to do, and most importantly motivate and inspire them. So,  my new career choices require me to be a leader, just like I wanted to  be in the Navy. I have been preparing to be a coxswain in crew for the  past 5 years to help me get accepted by the Naval Academy. I am very  short, but also very strong. I can do almost 20 chin-ups! Now, I am  hoping to be a crew coxswain for another school like MIT, Harvard or  Duke.

            So, Representative Wittman, I would like to  attend the JDRF Children’s Congress because I think it will help me  become a better leader so that I can inspire other diabetics to never  give up on their dreams.

Kyle Thaller

Kyle at the Mid-Atlantic Erg Championships -- 2016
Kyle at the Mid-Atlantic Erg Championships -- 2016

May 18, 2019; Global Leadership Conference

Kyle was the Keynote Speaker at this conference. 1,500 attendees; May 18, 2019; Woodbridge, VA

leadership-keynote-version Final w-pix-compressed HD (pdf)


Global Leadership Conference Keynote -- Preparation

Preparation for Keynote Speech at PWCS Global Leadership Conference; May 18, 2019; Woodbridge, VA

Global Leadership Conference Keynote -- Live Footage

Keynote Speech; Unfortunately, I do not yet have a copy of the entire 15 minute speech. See the Downloads Section for a written copy (with pictures) of the speech.