I still haven’t recovered from the Children With Diabetes Friends for Life Conference (CWDFFL) last week. I’m tired in a good way and my head is still full of ideas that I want to share with the DOC (and others that I will keep to myself because they are so very personal to me). Expect to see a lot of posts over the next few weeks about FFL as I come back down to earth, but for now… it’s Fab Five Fridays: FFL Style!
Christopher Angell, a Type 1 diabetic himself founded the company and I’m so glad he did. (His dad helps at trade shows… see Christopher’s comment below…They currently offer three flavors (Orange Creme, Wildberry, and Cherry) but I think there are more flavors on the horizon. (Many in the DOC are pulling for Nutella flavored tabs, but Chris is keeping mum…)
You know how you’re low, pop a glucose tab that you bought at the store, and go: “Oh, yuck. I have to chew this? Yuck!” Glucolift doesn’t make your brain do that. And unlike the old B-D Glucose tabs (which haven’t been available for years, may they rest in peace) or Starburst or juice, you’re not going to overdo it and end up sky high a few hours later.
You can order Glucolift directly from their website and they send you a nifty-gallifty (Extra points if you know that phrase’s origin) travel tube and a cool sticker. When we were at FFL, Chris put a Glucolift temporary tattoo on my daughter’s arm (with my permission, of course). She wore that tattoo proudly and showed everyone her “rocket ship!”.
I keep a jar of Cherry next to me in the cupholder in the car, one on my bedside table, and a full travel tube in my purse.
(They have a sample pack with all three flavors and a free travel tube so you can pick your own favorite.)
2. Drs. Sean and Tamara Oser - I attended a session about how to be the best patient you can be, led by these two very intelligent and very personable doctors. Sean is a Type 1 diabetic and so is one of their gorgeous twin daughters. They have the full 360 degree perspective: as doctors, as patients, and as parents of patients. I learned so much from them (and was shocked by some of the statistics they shared, which is another post in itself), but the cool takeaway was a planning worksheet to prepare you for your appointment. I’ll ask them if they’d be willing to post it online for download, because it’s so worth it. Sean blogs at t1works and Tamara blogs at t1family. Check them out!
3. Dr. Ed Damiano and the Bionic Pancreas (sounds like a band, doesn’t it?) - I’m still, a week later, trying to put into words what I felt listening to this gentleman speak. Driven by the T1 diagnosis of his young son, he set out with a grad student of his to create an algorithm that would push a little insulin or a little glucagon based on a CGM reading. I held it in my hands and sat with Anna at our table, who participated in the human trials this spring. (Scott Johnson even wore the CGM portion of it for the remainder of the conference and we saw his BG numbers on a large screen) I want one now, but I’m willing to wait four years until it’s available. Four years. It may seem like a long time, but in the diabetes timeline, it’s a blip. I’ll have a whole post about him and the Bionic Pancreas. Soon. Promise.
4. Meri Shumacher - Mom to four boys, three of whom at T1, she was one of the keynote speakers. Dr. Richard Rubin, who was a huge force in the DOC for years, passed away from cancer this year, and Meri had a special connection with him. Please have tissues handy when you read My Homage to Dr. Rubin at FFL 2013 - this is her keynote address.
5. Friends For Life 2014 - July 2-6, 2014. ORLANDO. Put it on your calendar. Look, whether you are an adult Type 1, teenager T1, parent of a T1 or interested in diabetes research, this is where you need to be. As I sat next to my parents at the keynote (They were so gracious as to attend to provide me some much needed toddler backup.), I wished with all my might that this conference existed thirty years ago. I’m grateful that it exists now. Join us next year. Please. I want to meet more amazing people. You were missed.