My name is Michael Arbitman and I believe that I am fortunate to be alive today. When I was only a year old, I became sick with an ear infection. The doctors told my parents that it was just an infection and it would go away. After a week, I started to throw up blood and would not stop crying. My parents took me to the emergency room and the doctors told my parents they did not know what was wrong with me so they were going to perform exploratory surgery on me. They also suggested that my parents call family members because I would not survive the procedure. Before I was carted away, one of the doctors thought it would be a good idea to check my blood sugar. Back then, there were no finger pricks or blood machines. The only way to test was to extract blood from the veins. So he did and saw that my sugar was over 500. He quickly took out the glucose IV and gave me a saline solution and insulin. My sugar level was stabilized and I was able to leave the hospital a few weeks later. It turns out that the infection traveled from my ear to my pancreas and stopped it from making insulin. It was at that moment that I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Since then, I have seen the evolution in diabetic control from the creating of blood monitoring devices for the home to being one of the first people to use an insulin pump back in 1993.
Being a diabetic means that not only do I have to watch my sugar levels, but I am more susceptible to colds and infections. A few years ago, I went to a foreign country for work and when I got back my right eye started to hurt. I went to the doctors and they told me I had Uveitis. I was prescribed Vigomox and was told that it was supposed to have killed the infection. A week later my left eye started hurting and the doctor told me that the infection had traveled to my left eye so I put in more Vigomox. A little while later the vision in my right eye disappeared overnight and I saw only in shades of grey. I then went to an ophthalmologist who told me that the strain of Uveitis I had was a rare strain and needed immediate surgery because the infection had attacked my retinas. He was unable to fix my right eye because the retina was too damaged. He was able to reattach the retina in my left eye but since the vessels in my eye are thin because I have been a diabetic for over 30 years, I am not receiving enough blood to heal me in a timely manner. I am legally blind in my left eye with no center vision.
I received my PhD. in computer science and computers were my life. Not being able to do my job or use a computer was devastating. My wife and I did not know what to do or where to go or who to turn to. She went to Google and typed in “blind Broward County” which led us to the department of blind services. They informed me about a mobility expert and another organization called Lighthouse for the Blind. The department of blind services told me that my phone provider should offer me free 411 because I cannot use the yellow pages. Then I called my cell phone provider and they told me about the national call center for customers with disabilities. The representative I found on the phone told me he had a blind brother and his brother uses 2 different screen reading softwares to navigate the computer. The mobility expert told them that there is a driving service in my county for people who are blind. My wife and I also went to the social security office to file for disability because I lost my job. Through social security, I met my partner Lixon Nelson who is an individual with a learning disability and Chrones disease himself, and who started a company called Aces which helps people with disabilities find work. Finding out all of this information took me two years. Two years of my life that was used in finding information in a time where all the information should have been at our fingertips.
That is where imuneek comes in. After brainstorming about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and what Lixon was trying to accomplish in his life, we came up with the idea of a social information networking site for people with a disability or condition to network and talk to other people with the same disability or condition. Whether it is for you or a loved one, talking to other people with the same uniqueness is the best source for answering common questions and real life questions that doctors cannot answer. Imuneek will introduce individuals with a specific uniqueness to all companies and corporations that cater to their uniqueness. For example, if this site was around when I lost my vision, I could have created a profile saying I was blind and have been connected to all other people with the same uniqueness that I have and see the list of companies that cater to the blind. This would have saved me two years of my life that was used in trying to research companies and solutions and what I was supposed to do next.
This is why imuneek was created. So that anyone with any type of medical condition or disability, or a loved one with a condition or disability can be connected to other individuals with the same uniqueness and see all of the companies that cater to them; All in one place, all on one site. www.imuneek.com is a site for anyone that has a uniqueness, has a loved one with a uniqueness, or is curious about a uniqueness. This can range from blind, diabetic, pregnant, HIV, depression, ADHD, autism, cancer, deaf, obese, bald, erectile dysfunction, addictions, and many many more. No matter your uniqueness, imuneek cares.