5 Reasons Why YOU Should Attend The Diabetes UnConference

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The Diabetes UnConference deadline for Las Vegas early bird registration is January 15, 2016. Why should you go this year? I have my top five reasons. (Alumni, chime in if you’d like…)

  1. We’ve added Friday Pre-UnConference sessions with an amazing line-up: Dr. Stephen Ponder and Sugar Surfing, Glu’s T1D and Pregnancy, D’ABC (Diabetes Advocacy Boot Camp), and more…. These are FREE and open to the public, but seating is limited. (The Diabetes UnConference attendees have VIP seating. Register to attend The Diabetes UnConference and you are guaranteed a seat in the sessions you choose.)
  2. New separate safe, private sessions for Those Who Love Us: our spouses, significant others, family members who need the same type of support PWDs get at The Diabetes UnConference. We know that there are topics that they don’t want/like to discuss with us: fears, caregiver burnout, dealing with us when we’re not “in range” – and so we’ve added sessions just for them. (And we’ve added to our amazing team of facilitators for these sessions: Moira McCarthy Stanford, Mike Norton, and Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell.)
  3. Thursday casual fun is happening. Many of our alumni said they wanted to get together and hang out as a group. So, we’ve set up some fun activities for everyone… all unofficial and not part of the UnConference, but a great way to meet new friends and see old friends. (Go Kart racing is an option. Just sayin’.)
  4. You help to strengthen our community by participating. Many individuals hadn’t met another person with diabetes or weren’t involved with the DOC. Some began blogs, some participated in DOC activities, and some built friendships that make daily diabetes management… manageable. Every time someone registers that I don’t know makes me grin… because I know that I’m going to make a new friend. It’s like Christmas in March. (Except no snow.) I can’t speak for other alumni, but because of the friendships I’ve made at The Diabetes UnConference, my diabetes management has changed. For the better.
  5. It’s the only adults-only multi-day psychosocial conference for all adults impacted by any type of diabetes. (Because there are great conferences for families with Type 1 and day conferences for Type 2, but nothing in the world like this.) A funny thing happened last year – by the end, I couldn’t have told you who had Type 1 or Type 2 based on the discussions happening around the tables. Why? Because we all want the same thing: to happily live as long as possible, with as few complications as possible. How we get there may include different treatment plans, but we all have the same issues: complications, burnout, depression, stigma, motivation, disclosure, getting older, dating/marriage, intimacy, tips and tricks for daily living… and we talk about these issues as adults impacted by diabetes  – not adults on an insulin pump or oral medications or multiple daily injections or exercise only treatment… simply adults impacted by diabetes without judgement. It’s what binds us together.

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That, and that people impacted by diabetes are fun. Come to Vegas with us and have fun.

Register for The Diabetes UnConference, being held at the Flamingo Las Vegas the weekend of March 11-13, 2016. 

5 Lessons Learned: Lazy Ass to 5K with Diabetes

running-track-4-1531543-640x960Over the past few weeks, I have undertaken what could be for me, one of the most drastic lifestyle changes in my entire life.

I have committed to running a 5K this spring.

This is big. I’m a card-carrying lazy ass, making fun of those crazy runners, grimacing (although people tell me they are smiling) as they are supposedly making their lives better. Tearing up my lazy ass card is monumental. I’ve tried to exercise before, with less than positive outcomes, but this time… I’m committed.

John asked me what is different this time.

This time, I have a goal and it’s not to run a 5K.

It’s to be healthier: for me, for him, for The Kid. All the other times, it was “to get in shape” or “to help control my diabetes,” and not surprisingly, I found reasons to avoid it. (“I can control my diabetes without exercise…” or “I look like I’m in shape…”) I want to be able to live a long time, play with my daughter, and have fun. I’m not doing it to be a role model or an inspiration. I’m not being altruistic; I’ve had enough of being a lazy ass. It’s time.

But in doing so, I want to share what I’ve learned so far, just in case you need a little nudge off the couch, my fellow couch-potato with extra sour cream and bacon.

  1. Only you can rid of the barriers and excuses. I have a lot of fears about exercising, some of which are unfounded, but some are legit. I knew that I should start getting regular exercise (I hate filling out medical questionnaires and marking: No, I don’t exercise at all. Hahaha.), but I was scared about something going wrong with my heart or having bad lows. My cardiologist cleared me (He told me that I was lazy and that was not an excuse I can use.) and I have learned what has worked for me regarding my basal insulin and how to keep stable. Those excuses out of the way made it harder for me to avoid doing this. The “I am so busy!” excuse was lame, but it was the one I always used to mask the fears. Before I started, I actually sat down with my calendar and made appointments with myself to work out. Figure out what your excuses are for not exercising and then get rid of them.
  2. You can’t do this on your own. Sure, there are some people who can get up off the couch one day, put on sneakers and bound off into the wild. (I haven’t many many…or any… but I’m sure they exist.) Unless you are one of those mythical unicorn exercisers, help is needed. Peer and family support is crucial (and not just for exercise!), so I let my husband and my online friends know that I was not going to be a lazy ass anymore and welcomed their encouragement. I also knew that I needed structure (and not just a “let’s go for a walk” exercise program, because cold, rain, I’ll walk when it’s better weather, what if I’m 2 miles from the house and I have a bad low), so I joined a gym close to my house with great hours and hired a personal trainer. (I got a deal, otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible.). He understands that while I am the expert in my diabetes, he will help create a workout that helps my diabetes stay manageable. (P.S. I hate him, in the nicest way possible.) Even if you don’t hire a personal trainer, you can still get on a treadmill and begin to walk. Just let others know you are doing it.
  3. What the heck do you listen to when you exercise? Answer: Pod runner – This is what drives my feet when I’m on the treadmill. While there are apps out there that will tell you when to run and when to walk and tracks it all for you, I went “old school” based on a recommendation from someone I trust – and he didn’t steer me wrong. It’s a podcast. (I like podcasts. We produced one back in the day.) I’m doing the “First Day to 5K” series and the music is (hopefully) set to your pace. (It’s electronic dance music and changes for walking and running/jogging with a series of beeps to tell you when to switch.) There are other interval series: Gateway to 8K, Freeway to 10K,  Begintervals, and hundreds of free workout sessions. I hate being in a gym and having music that I don’t like or doesn’t match what I’m doing (Cooling down with upbeat music? No.) Does it track your runs? Nope. It just keeps you moving, which for me, is half the battle. When I strength train, I use Pod Runner and their DJ mixes.
  4. You feel great. And then you don’t. Keep Going. Pace yourself. I worked out and the next day, I was sore. A little sore. A few days later, I met with the personal trainer and went through a modified, shorter, strength training workout that kept my heart rate up. The next morning, I couldn’t move without whimpering. It wasn’t a sharp, debilitating pain, but more of a “hey, what’s up with these muscles that haven’t been used since Reagan was in office?” pain. I’m feeling stronger and can last longer than when I started, but there is a reason why some people say to wait a day in between workouts until you get into the groove.
  5. Everything changes. That’s what Buddha says and it applies to exercise, too. My food choices are more “nutritious.” I pull a banana out of the bowl rather than salty carbs. My insulin needs are dropping, especially my overnight basals. (I’ve had lows at 3am more frequently, so I’m taking steps to ensure I don’t drop at night.) My energy level is rising. I’m changing. Expect that you will change, too. Small steps.

Don’t think that I’m all “spring in my step and a song in my heart” right now. Exercise is work. I’m still in the motivation process, but I am finding that I get off the couch easier, so it’s a start. What about you?

CBP + Diabetes = Disaster

This is short and sweet and strictly to the point.

hands-talking-1311915-640x480People with diabetes on Medicare in the United States are on the front lines of a disaster: the Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) for diabetes testing supplies. Medicare thought it was a great way to save money and after a pilot program in nine test markets, gave it a thumbs up for safety and penny-pinching.

Except…. they’re wrong. It’s not safe and it’s not cost-effective and it’s killing people with diabetes, sending them to the hospital more than ever before, and costing the U.S. healthcare system (and patients) more money. However, they refuse to admit that, telling Congress that everything is hunky-dory. There is proof now showing their pants are on fire. We, as a community, need to help them put that fire out.

The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition is holding a presentation on Wednesday, December 15th at 1pm Eastern with Dr. Gary Puckrein, Ph.D, CEO and President of the National Minority Quality Forum to share the results of the study (which are scary) and then discussing what needs to happen.

It’s Wednesday at 1pm Eastern and DPAC is inviting you to join. Click here and register (and it’s a Go To Webinar program, so you can watch it on your phone or computer or tablet…).

Why is it important for you to attend?

Even if you are not Medicare eligible, there are repercussions to this program. Medicaid insurance programs often follow what Medicare is doing and then… commercial insurance programs follow suit.

You will be impacted – if not now, then soon, regardless of your age.

Find out how to stop this program before it’s too late. 

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Your 2016 Diabetes Conference Calendar!

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After not being able to find a single source for diabetes events and conferences that might be of interest for those who have diabetes and/or advocate for diabetes, I decided to create one. Begun in 2014, it’s become a popular rundown for all diabetes conferences and events that you might be interested in attending.

Ta-da.

Please note that this is U.S.-centric, as I currently live in the United States. (Most of me. My pancreas is currently on the lam somewhere where it cannot be extradited.) However, I have added some international conferences. Most of these can be attended by the hoi polloi, but some do require a medical designation/degree (although a press pass may provide entry). These are regional or national shindigs, not local groups or walks. 

If there is one that I have missed, please notify me at theperfectd [at] gmail [dot] com so I can add it. I will be updating this calendar throughout the year so I suggest you bookmark this page now. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.) 

Click on the title of the conference/event for the website link/additional information.


 

Want to help your fellow people impacted by diabetes by sharing this page on Twitter?

Simply click the birdie and let it automatically tweet this link for you.

Because you rock. 

Tweet: Your 2016 #Diabetes Conference Calendar is here: http://ctt.ec/H5uBi+ thanks to @theperfectdblog - bookmark it! #doc


 

 

January

52nd Annual Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology Conference (National Jewish Health) January 23 – 26, 2016 – Snowmass, CO

This conference is primarily for endocrinologists, primary care physicians, and other health care professionals with an interest in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism. That being said, perhaps you want to mention it to YOUR healthcare team?

February

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) February 20, 2016 – Anchorage, AK

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

March

63rd Annual Advanced Postgraduate Course (ADA) March 4 – 6, 2016-  San Francisco, CA

A medical conference much like other scientific sessions, leading diabetes experts will give presentations on the latest in diabetes research and care, with small networking sessions thrown in for good measure. Targeted primarily for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, psychologists, certified diabetes educators, and other health care professionals who care for patients with diabetes and who manage the complications related to this disease.

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) March 5, 2016 – Sacramento, CA 

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

15TH Annual Rachel Levine Diabetes & Obesity Symposium March 6 – 9, 2016 – Long Beach, CA

Made possible by the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, held in association with the Endocrine Society annual meeting and T1D Exchange. This is the meeting that I wish I could attend, because it covers some amazing topics, including “Lowering the Barrier of Entry and Long-Term Commitment of Pharma in Type 1 Diabetes” and Diabetes Technology (a topic near and dear to many of our hearts!).

The Diabetes UnConference March 10 – 13, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV

The first peer-to-peer idea exchange and support conference for all adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Unlike other conferences geared to patients, this conference has no keynotes or research/expert presentations; just discussions facilitated by those with diabetes about topics that may be difficult to have with people who don’t have diabetes!

The Diabetes Collective Pre-UnConference Sessions March 11, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV

Free and open to the general public, sessions will include Dr. Stephen Ponder’s Sugar Surfing, iLet information session, T1D and Pregnancy, policy advocacy, and more. Registration is required. This is for all adults impacted by diabetes. Childcare is not provided.

Bay Area Diabetes Summit March 13th, 2016 – San Francisco, CA

The Bay Area Diabetes Summit is a collaborative effort of medical providers, community organizations, and medical institutions throughout the Bay Area.

The Summit is open to all adults with T1D and their spouses, friends, and significant others, parents, caregivers, and family members of children with T1D. Children with T1D and their siblings can register for a Kids Camp offered by DYF counselors and staff.

April

ENDO 2016 (Endocrine Society) April 1 – 4, 2016 – Boston, MA

Remember that endocrinology is not just about diabetes; it’s about the entire endocrine system. While the annual conference does have diabetes sessions, it’s not the primary focus. There are a few pre-conference sessions focusing on diabetes and a few sessions during the conference.

Carb DM’s 4th Annual Mother-Daughter Weekend April 1-3, 2016 – Dublin, CA

This amazing event is for preteen/teen girls with T1D and their moms. This weekend focuses on T1D from a female perspective and addresses the female cycle from puberty to pregnancy and how it affects and is affected by T1D. Mother daughter communication, healthy body image, talking with peers and significant others about T1D, and more will be discussed.

Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Fall Church 2016 April 8 – 10, 2016 – Falls Church, VA

Three tracks will take you through technology, policy advocacy, Nightscout, and living with diabetes in this star studded conference near the nation’s capitol. Child care is available.

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) April 16, 2016 – Memphis, TN

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) April 30, 2016 – Honolulu, HI

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

GTC Diabetes Summit 2016 April 25-27, 2016 – Boston, MA

Got $2495? Then this conference is for you.

According to the website, that $2495 will get you research, partnership opportunities and network with academia, venture capital, government, small/medium size biotech, big pharma and healthcare organizations. The summit includes the Diabetes Drug Discovery and Development Conference, dealing with the clinical side of things. The Diabetes Partnering & Deal-Making Conference dives into opportunities for partnerships, funding, licensing, and the financial bits of it all.

May

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) May 21, 2016-  Washington, DC

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

31h Annual Clinical Conference on Diabetes (ADA) May 26 – 29, 2016,  Ponte Vedra, FL

While not patient-centric, attendees will hear “cutting-edge research translated into clinical practice”. The 30th Annual Clinical Conference is designed specifically for primary care and diabetes specialty physicians, doctor of osteopathy, podiatrists, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists and dietitians, certified diabetes educators and other health care professionals who care for patients with diabetes, at risk for diabetes, and who manage diabetes related complications.

AACE 25th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) May 25 – 29, 2016 Orlando, FL

Endocrinology encompasses more than just diabetes. There will be many sessions on diabetes and other endocrine issues at this conference for medical professionals.

June

Students With Diabetes National Conference June 3 – 5, 2016 – Safety Harbor, FL

A conference for young adults aged 18 – 30 from all over the country who want to learn about the latest in technology, research, and more from many amazing speakers.

 76th Scientific Sessions (ADA) June 10-14, 2016 – New Orleans, Louisiana

The “big” medical conference. While not specifically designed for the layperson with diabetes, many advocates do attend and sit in on sessions. Many study results are presented. We expect to see some major announcements this year.

Western Slipstream (Connected in Motion) June 17 – 19, 2016 – Canmore, Alberta, Canada

If you’re sporty and love The Great White North (to which the latter I can wholeheartedly attest), then go hang out with other Type 1s and do some athletic stuff. Connected In Motion is an amazing organization for adults with Type 1 diabetes.

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) June 18, 2016-  San Antonio, TX

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

2016 ConnecT1D Retreat June 25 – 26, 2016 – Seattle/Bainbridge Island, WA

The 2016 ConnecT1D Retreat is a 1-2 Day retreat for adults, teens and young adults with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). It’s a weekend to share, learn and laugh with others who face the demands- and oddities- of the daily grind that is T1D.

July

Friends for Life July 5 – 10, 2016 (Children With Diabetes) – Orlando, FL 

This is the de facto gold standard for any family with diabetes. It’s being held this year at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Room rates are $169 + tax. This rate is available 3 days before and after the conference for those families who might want to extend their vacation. Self-parking is $18/day, with a 50% discount if you are in the room block.

Larger Suites may be reserved for hospitality events or entertaining, subject to availability. Suites are also available for larger families, again subject to availability. There are different types of suites and they have different prices; please contact the hotel directly for availability and pricing.

For housing reservations, call Marriott reservations directly at (888) 789-3090 or use Marriott’s Online Reservation System. If you are calling, be sure to say you are with the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference. The Children with Diabetes room block is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that you are only in the CWD room block – and only have the perks of being in the room block – if you make reservations through these phone numbers or website.

2016 Practical Ways to Achieve Targets in Diabetes Care July 14 – 17, 2016 – Keystone, Colorado

While not a patient conference, worth taking a look at to see what’s being discussed. “This course is designed to help healthcare providers caring for patients with diabetes, including but not limited to, endocrinologists/diabetes specialists, internists, pediatricians, family physicians, physician assistants, medical residents, fellows, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians and certified diabetes educators.”

Hodia DTreat 2016 July 15 – 17, 2016 – Boise, ID

Hodia DTreat is a diabetes retreat for young adults with T1 and their support persons aged 18-30 years old! Over the weekend you will have the opportunity to form relationships with others who get it, and talk truth about the issues facing people your age with T1D.

August

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) August 27, 2016 Corning, CA

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

AADE 16 (American Association  August 12 – 15, 2016 San Diego, CA

This is a conference for diabetes educators but patients are welcome to attend as well. The focus is on fostering better communication between patients and providers and helping educators to become integral parts of a patient’s care.

September

The Diabetes UnConference September 9 – 11, 2016 – Atlantic City, NJ

The first peer-to-peer idea exchange and support conference for all adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Unlike other conferences geared to patients, this conference has no keynotes or research/expert presentations; just discussions facilitated by those with diabetes about topics that may be difficult to have with people who don’t have diabetes!

Summer Slipstream (Connected in Motion) September 16 – 18, 2016 – Ontario, Canada

If you’re sporty and love The Great White North (to which the latter I can wholeheartedly attest), then go hang out with other Type 1s and do some athletic stuff. Connected In Motion is an amazing organization for adults with Type 1 diabetes.

Friends for Life Anaheim 2016 September 16 – 18, 2016 – Anaheim, California 

Registration has not opened yet. This will be updated when the registration link becomes available.

52nd EASD Annual Meeting  (European Association for the Study of Diabetes) – Munich, Germany

This is the European “big” medical conference, much like ADA’s Scientific Sessions.

October

Slipstream in the US (Connected in Motion) October, 2016 – TBA

Connected In Motion is an amazing organization for adults with Type 1 diabetes and they’ll be coming to the US to do something athletic. At this time, no further information regarding dates, place, or cost has been released, but by bookmarking this page, you can come back and check!

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) October 1, 2016 – San Diego, CA

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

Canadian Diabetes Association CDA/CSEM Professional Conference October 26 – 29, 2016 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The “big” medical conference in Canada. While not specifically designed for the layperson with diabetes, many advocates do attend and sit in on sessions.

November

TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) November 19, 2016 –  Orlando, FL

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!


 

Want to help your fellow people impacted by diabetes by sharing this page on Twitter?

Simply click the birdie and let it automatically tweet this link for you.

Because you rock. 

Tweet: Your 2016 #Diabetes Conference Calendar is here: http://ctt.ec/B6b7I+ thanks to @theperfectdblog - bookmark it! #doc


 

PLEASE NOTE:

I did not include “invite only” conferences.

As always, there are bound to be more opportunities to meet other people with diabetes, learn about the disease, and advocate. These are just a few. As I hear of more, I’ll post them here. And if you’re interested in getting your national/regional event on the list, please contact me at theperfectd [at] gmail.com and let’s talk.

#CollegeDiabetesWeek

unnamed-8I rode to McGill University on a wooly mammoth with my abacas strapped to my back.

At least, it feels like I did when I talk with current college students. (I didn’t have a cell phone. FaceBook didn’t exist. You wanted to use the Internet? Go to the computer lab.) Yet, despite the years that will separate our convocation dates, we have the same university experiences: not enough sleep, too much to do, new challenges to face, and navigating towards an uncertain future.

For some of us, we add diabetes to the mix to make it fun. (I wish there was a sarcastic font. Then again, most of this blog would use that font. Never mind.)

I didn’t hide my diabetes, but I certainly didn’t raise awareness, advocate for myself, or seek out other T1s to get support at McGill. I didn’t know a single person with diabetes the entire four years of my undergraduate degree. When I disclosed this to the team at the College Diabetes Network  (CDN) last week, my heart ached a little.

Christina Roth, founder and CEO of the College Diabetes Network explains why CDN exists: “In 2009, during my junior year at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I started a group on campus so that I could meet other students juggling diabetes and college life. That group changed my life and the many barriers I experienced in creating the group changed the path of my life.”

I needed that peer support back then, just as much as I do now. I’m thrilled that this organization exists and is creating programs so that support is always available for students (and parents and friends, too!).

College Diabetes Week

logo_0This week (November 9 – 13), I’m going back to college. Not on my wooly mammoth, but on the Internet, and I hope you join me on social media.

As part of National Diabetes Awareness Month, CDN is hosting the 2nd annual College Diabetes Week. With over 30 campuses participating in the week’s events, we can join in on the fun (well, at least online)!

What’s this about? Here is a blog by one of the CDN students about College Diabetes Week.

How can you participate?

Use the #CollegeDiabetesWeek hashtag (and you can also use #college and #diabetes too!) to share your thoughts about what it’s like (or was like) as a college student with diabetes. Each day is a different theme:

Monday – Education

Tuesday- Fundraising

Wednesday- Awareness

Thursday Advocating

Friday- Celebrating!

Friends? Yes. Did they know I had diabetes? Only two of them. The others thought I really liked LifeSavers.
Friends? Yes. Did they know I had diabetes? Only two of them. The others thought I really liked LifeSavers.

If you could go back to university, what would you do differently to help educate, fundraise, raise awareness, and advocate? How would you celebrate life with diabetes as a student? What do you want current students to know?

Share your thoughts, views, and ideas on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and help CDN make this an amazing #CollegeDiabetesWeek!