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The DX Diabetes Dish: W. Boyd Bush

From pastor to rodeo clown, while managing type 2 diabetes

Pastor W. Boyd Bush, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 16 years ago, ministers at a small church in the Austin, TX, area, and teaches at Wayland Baptist University. When Bush was offered the role of rodeo clown for Country Music Television’sCMT Made,” he thought it sounded like a fun way to keep active, clown around and hang out with contemporary rodeo cowboys. Coached by former American Gladiator and 25-year veteran of the rodeo circuit Hollywood Yates, Bush learned many lessons about professional clowning, including how to safely dodge bulls without tripping over cow dogs. “Because the level of activity involved with fighting bulls, I had to keep a close eye on my blood sugar [level],” says Bush. “I ate my snacks on schedule and stayed hydrated. I lost 25 pounds during the experience.” 

Boyd Bush. Photo by Danae' Bush.
Boyd Bush. Photo by Danae’ Bush.

What three words would you use to describe who you are?

Husband, father, God-blessed-fun-loving-grab-life-by-the-horns-extrovert-friend – that’s one word, right?

How does diabetes change – or not change – who you are?

Change – many have tried, all have failed. Diabetes does not change who I am. It simply affects a few of the decisions I make. I am who I am, and that’s all that I am!

What inspires you to do what you do?

My love for the Lord, my wife, my daughter and my community.

What do you appreciate most in your friends?

Honesty, zeal for life, sense of humor and barbecuing skills.

What would you pack for your favorite vacation?

My wife, Bible, extra pillows, a snorkel and my Kindle™ – aren’t you glad I didn’t pack my Speedo®?

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lean beef, lean ham, eggs, cheese, tea and my wife’s homemade spaghetti sauce (mmm, good).

What is your favorite way to relieve stress?

Sitting in a rocking chair on our back balcony holding hands with my wife while we talk and watch the sun set.

What is your idea of happiness?

Lubbock, Texas, in my rearview mirror. (No, wait, that’s a song.) Waking with my wife next to me every morning, receiving the first text message of the day from my daughter who lives in Portland, Oregon, knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always there.

What do you most dislike?


What’s your favorite diabetes management tip?

Walking. Going for a walk is magic.

What words do you try to live by?

Jeremiah 17:7-8

7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

What is your greatest extravagance?

Laundered shirts. I had a little old lady ask me one day at the cleaners if I were married. I told her yes, happily. She asked me, then why doesn’t your wife do your shirts. I told her, because she works harder than I do and deserves to not do them.

On what occasion do you lie?

At night when I am tired, I lie on the floor and take a nap.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

My daughter wouldn’t live in Portland.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My wife, my daughter and anyone who goes out of their way to help others.

What would you choose for your last meal?

Anything my wife makes that involves meat, especially steak!

What are you looking forward to right now?


All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.

© 2014 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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