MDE Featured Employee

Featured Employee: Gilbert Lookingland

Gilbert Lookingland

Gilbert Lookingland knew there was something wrong a couple of years ago with his 10-year-old daughter, Mackenzie. He just couldn’t figure out what. She had been losing weight and having repeated headaches but Gilbert wasn’t buying into the theories of friends that she was just too active in sports.

A visit to the doctor showed that Mackenzie had ketones, the byproduct of the body breaking down sugar, racing through her blood and her organs were at risk. She was hospitalized three days. The young girl had Type 1 diabetes.

But Gil, who works in chemical and biological monitoring for MDE’s Science field office, has done a lot more since then than just helping Mackenzie live with diabetes. During the work week, Gil has been intimately involved in some of MDE’s most important work over the years on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and oversees drinking water collection in Harford County.

True to his lengthy history of volunteering for good causes, Gil swung into action to assist young victims of diabetes. He and his wife, Erin, an occupational therapist for the Baltimore County School System, joined the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Gil’s talents as a deejay have helped the group raise $10,000 a year in its "Wiggin’ Out For a Cure" annual event in Baltimore. Each participant in the event wears a creative wig.

"It’s an exciting night full of pit beef, oysters on the half shell, stew and beer and we have a promo video that explains new advances in technology as we get closer and closer for a cure of diabetes," Gil said.

"My two other daughters, Morgan and Moira, don’t appear to be at risk for diabetes and we don’t have any other instances of it in our family," Gil said. "But we are constantly reminded of it because Erin has to get up two or three times a night to be with Mackenzie to manage her blood glucose values."

Gil has used his deejay talents frequently in doing good works for the Parish Council at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Essex and local schools including fund raisers, father-daughter dances, trunk or treat events, shrimp and bull roasts and fairs. He just finished coordinating and deejaying his fifth annual chili festival at the church.

"I guess it just comes naturally doing the deejay thing since I love music and speaking and many times I can hear the first note of a song and know what it is," Gil said. "I’ve been doing it professionally for 10 years now."

He also has the same passion and time commitment for youth soccer and has been coaching it in Baltimore County for the past decade. At one point he was coordinator for the Catholic Youth Organization soccer program for kids in the under-six and under-eight age groups. Gil currently is involved with the Perry Hall White Marsh 44 travel club teams.

"Our family has been blessed in so many ways and it is important for us to give back," Gil said. ​​