Ara Hovannisian first set off on his quest when he was nine, so has experienced many important things in his life, such as
naked people walking through doorways (what a childhood),
being told the world and his entire body are going to die (what an adult puberty),
learning to swim in cold water (what a life lesson),
and never having a warm shower (how pointless).
At the same time, Hovannisian has felt himself growing into who he is today and, as a participant in Quest Diagnostics Long Island Type 1 Diabetes Manager program, Hovannisian is just beginning a large-scale quest to understand himself better, he tells Paul Joseph Watson. Not only is it his health, Hovannisian says, but he hopes to gain insight into “why a personal health movement occurred and how it can change the trajectory of your life.”
“Instead of restricting myself to Type 1, Type 2, and obese are going to be people I’m going to keep track of,” Hovannisian tells Watson, “The information will allow us to create an effective mission.”
When you think about it, Hovannisian is in a wonderful position to find that information about his own life: She the type you are. (Wherever you are on that spectrum, I believe you should drive exclusively on the right side of the road.)
Hovannisian says he finds inspiration through interviews with people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and gets teased about what he does: “I’m, like, the guy that like studies diabetes. Like ‘You’re a junkie! You do drugs for diabetes!’ It’s very intimidating. I find myself always being misunderstood.”
One of the interviewees, Karen Moses, has worked as a nurse practitioner and a Type 1 diabetologist for 20 years, never diagnosed her patients with Type 2 diabetes: “I think I’ve done more for people with Type 1 than anyone’s ever done for me. I think they could care less, because what are they doing?”
Hovannisian gets to keep all the information he learns about Type 1 diabetes, though it also helps other people understand their risks. “In two weeks I’ll take all the information and use it against the 6,300-plus Type 1 diabetics living on Long Island,” he tells Watson.
Quest Diagnostics seems to agree with him. The Long Island company became the launch partner for Hovannisian’s Quest Healthy School program, which encourages kids to compete in active sports while learning to manage their Type 1 diabetes.
Quest defines active sports as “school-sanctioned, organized, team-based physical activity that can be done at home and at a park or other public facility.”
In partnership with Life Time and NY Life, Quest will launch Hovannisian’s Quest Healthy School Program in 2019, with the first 20 schools connected in August and the final 125 in December. Hovannisian plans to track participants’ waist circumference and blood sugar, which help guide future changes to their care and their diet.
Hovannisian was raised Jewish on Long Island; he has a very strong family history of diabetes. When he had Type 1 in fourth grade, his mother warned him to stick with healthy food. That was a close call: “All of a sudden my little hair started falling out and I was really hungry. And a lot of eggs and milk.”