As J-Vibe has come into focus since its inception, we have automatically wandered onto a path of highlighting real people, just like your neighbor or the person sitting in traffic next to you or the woman in the office next to yours. Our goal of bringing real inspiration to you is still clear within all of our editorial pieces and this is the real Houston. When we were introduced to Jacob Kamaras, through Megan Marcus from FuelEd, the first thing we noticed when we sat down with him was that he was young and endearing. Impressively bright are words that come to mind when we think of him and what he is doing, what he has been through and what he goes through on a daily basis, and we knew that he was perfect for J-Vibe.
Jacob Kamaras is a Modern Orthodox Jewish Man. He grew up in Brooklyn and attended a co-ed Yeshiva. His parents are educated and his life was good. He attended Brandeis University and studied Journalism and started out as a sports writer, but at the age of 21, Jacob was dehydrated all the time and was losing weight at an alarming rate. After going for a physical, he found out he had Type II diabetes, which is rare for someone his age to be diagnosed with. At Type II, Jacob was still producing insulin, so they put him on medication and that worked for about 6 – 9 months, and then stopped working. His dosage needed to be adjusted.
The second time the pills stopped working, Jacob Kamaras had to move to insulin shots two times a day that was a fixed dosage. This worked to control his diabetes for a year, and then this too stopped working. It was at this point that Jacob went to the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, which is one of the leading centers for Diabetes research and care in the country, to find out what was going on. When he was tested he found out he was now Type I, which is juvenile diabetes and meant that he produced no insulin.
It is very rare that diabetes moves from Type II to Type I and they don’t have a reason why Jacob’s body decided to stop producing insulin. He now uses two different kinds of insulin and counts carbs before meals and gives himself a shot before every meal to cover that meal and then a fixed shot at night. One thing that Jacob doesn’t want to do is carry shame around about his disease and wants to be open about it.
Jacob doesn’t think of himself as having limitations, because he doesn’t like to put limitations on himself. He has a weak spot for sweets and admits to not always being as healthy as he needs to be, although he is more thoughtful than he was post-diabetes. He checks his blood sugar four times a day and gives himself a shot before every meal and will do this for the rest of his life.
It’s not easy and I don’t want to minimize the challenge. For me it’s a bigger mental challenge than physical challenge. I think for anyone who is my age or younger and has to rely on shots for insulin, the key is to take it day by day and each challenge as a unit. Wake up each day and look at is as a different way for that day to be taken care of. Also, it’s so important to educate yourself about your condition. Make sure that the people around you are educated too and if you are with someone who is diabetic, have empathy for them, not sympathy.
Jewish News Service
When Jacob Kamaras isn’t dealing with diabetes, he is the managing director and editor in chief for the JNS, or the Jewish News Service. The Jewish News Service is a wire service that for a fee gives international new to local papers. They cover things as a news analysis so that what the papers pick up is relevant since they get that story fairly quickly. Jacob loves his job for many reasons, but the main reason is that he loves print papers and he loves that his service helps keep them in business.
One thing the JNS does is help build the community between Israel and Christianity by showing the mutual benefits each has for the other. Jacob Kamaras has a team of writers that read the news and decide on a different angle to write a story, and it’s not opinion based, but fact based reporting. The prodcut of the news services is that they provide non-partisan news to Jewish and Christian print and web media.
As an editor at JNS, Jacob Kamaras likes to make other peoples work better and put the finishing touches on it, and he loves to read. He realizes there are fewer good editors than writers, and he knows he is a good editor, but he enjoys writing more than reading, and he especially enjoys and appreciates the journalistic style of writing.
Jacob’s most favorite part of his job?
I love that the JNS has the power to influence public opinion in the community and I really appreciate that we can provide a lifeline to struggling and thriving Jewish newspapers to great affordable content that supplement and enrich their newspapers.
What do we love about Jacob Kamaras? He is darling. He is honest and genuine and open. He is funny. He is quick to laugh and smile and totally at ease once he feels comfortable. He is real people. He is real inspiration. He is real Houston.