Tagged: advocacy

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.


 

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

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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.

Elle And Coach

040bf717d0da3d6a2fe11a0e36453408I thought that this would be an easy book to read and an easier review to write.

After all, Michael J. Fox explained:

“This book is so much more than a heartwarming story about a triumphant girl and her amazing dog. It’s a book about never giving up hope.”

I’ve read about hope. I’ve read about people with diabetes and their triumphs. Add a dog to the mix and even more entertaining. Easy.

I couldn’t get through the first chapter without sobbing. I had to put the book down and walk away. Once I got up the gumption to attempt a second chapter, I found myself wiping tears off the pages.

Stefan Shaheen, Elle’s mother, wrote this book about her daughter with help from Mark Dagostino, a NYT bestselling author, but it was Elle’s diary entries beginning the chapters that impacted me the most. Chapter 1, Diagnosis begins with:

“I was so scared. I actually thought I was going to die.” – Elle, age 12.

I don’t know what it’s like to have a child diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, although The Kid is four and we don’t know what the future will bring.

I do know, however, what it’s like to feel sick and think you are going to die. I scribbled in my diary at twelve:

“I’m drinking a lot of OJ and water. A lot. I’m thirsty all the time. I’m tired all the time. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know I should tell my parents, but I’m scared.”

Reading of the days leading up to her diagnosis sent me back in time to my own pre-diagnosis days. For those of us who live with a chronic illness and can remember those days before, it’s a tough chapter, regardless of the chronic illness you have.

The lack of knowing what’s wrong, but knowing something is not right is universal when it comes to health. Elle’s attitude and her parents’ attitude were normal, because nothing is never normal again.

The second chapter was also difficult for me, because Shaheen delved into the statistics that I abhor. These statistics need to be shared and shouted, because diabetes is an invisible illness. Many of us work very hard to “look normal” and not let diabetes rule our lives, but the book eloquently shares how diabetes doesn’t care how you look or if you want a break. Elle’s first diaversary was also her first seizure.

I wanted to kiss Stephany when she shared her frustrations about daily life with diabetes and how disruptive it can be – and not in the way one would think. It’s not just checking blood glucose and ingredient lists; it’s hours arguing with insurance or pharmacies or ferrying supplies to different locations. It’s the constant nagging feeling in the back of your mind: “What’s the latest blood glucose? Did I give too much or not enough insulin? Where are the juice boxes?” It doesn’t stop. Ever.

The grin slowly grew as I read:

This cannot be as hard as it seems, I thought. It’s 2007, for crying out loud!

And then the grin faded as she shares the heartbreak of Elle apologizing for a low blood sugar. I apologize to John all the time when I’m low. It was painful to read the reaction from a loved one. I don’t get to see it from the other side.

Elle does get a service dog named Coach, and I don’t think I’m going to give away any spoilers in sharing that he has assisted her in her daily diabetes management that goes beyond what a continuous glucose monitor can do.

And here’s why I love this book: this is not a “…and they all lived happily ever after.” Stephany doesn’t pollyanna this experience; she was reluctant to get a service dog.  Elle was denied by a camp director going back to a summer camp that she attended post-diagnosis before she got Coach. Elle still has diabetes. (Wait, is that a spoiler?)

The story is heavy on the Shaheen side of the family (they are a prominent family from NH; Stephany’s mother is a member of Congress and former Governor) and detracts from the story of Elle and Coach. (Elle’s dad has a brother with Type 1 diabetes, but after a few brief mentions, is excluded from the remainder of the book.) Not everyone gets to meet Dean Kamen and Michael J. Fox and other celebrities without the connections the Shaheen family developed through politics. The side stories were superfluous.

It also focuses solely on the early days of diagnosis with a young child. Even though the final words are written six years after Elle was diagnosed, very little is said about her life with diabetes now. How is she adjusting to being a teenager with diabetes? No burnout? How does a diabetes alert dog factor into dating? Not even a post-script from Elle. That was disappointing.

Elle & Coach is not about finding a cure for diabetes. It’s about finding what works until that cure is found. For Elle, it’s Coach.

My final thoughts: Go get a copy. I highly recommend it. Keep a box of tissues handy. You’ll need it.

 

Two Minute Diabetes Advocacy: CGM Medicare is Back and FDA Goodness

708615_95129272It takes two minutes to make a difference for people with diabetes. Here’s the latest on how you can help.

CGM Medicare Bill: It’s Back!

Want the back story? It’s here.

Right now, Medicare does not cover CGM devices, leaving seniors with diabetes without access to this technology. Among the most important goals of our advocacy and education efforts is to ensure that those entering the Medicare program at age 65 do not experience disruption in their diabetes management. (None of us with diabetes is getting younger. If you are, please let me know your secret!) I don’t want a single person to be denied coverage of this device simply because of their age (or any other reason for that matter, but first things first, right?) and we have an opportunity to make a difference for our entire community.

Remember that this bill will also help when artificial pancreas technology comes to fruition. We need everyone to get involved.

The Medicare CGM Access Act has to be reintroduced in both the House and Senate in order to move forward. (New Congress = sort of starting from scratch, but this is a good thing, in my opinion…)

Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) just re-introduced the bill in the House. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are expected to drop the parallel legislation in the Senate very soon.

57 members of Congress co-signed the bill last year. This is a great start, but we need your support and the support of your communities to drive more co-signatures.

Here’s what you can do RIGHT NOW:

Contact your representative (for the first time – or again!) about supporting and co-sponsoring this bill. 

Yes, you may have done this last year, but you may also have a new representative in your district or your representative may not have heard you the first time. Every. Voice. Matters.

FDA Goodness:

Clinical Considerations of Risk in the Postmarket Environment

If you care about the medical devices that we use each day to manage our diabetes (think insulin pumps, CGMs, blood glucose meters) and the risks that we take (and how to mitigate those risks), then sign up to be a part of this workshop. This will be webcast, so you can participate from the comfort of your home or office, but sign up ASAP. Registration will close on April 13th. Those in the DC area should know that you can attend this in person on the FDA Campus. Here are the details:

The FDA has announced a public workshop entitled “Clinical Considerations of Risk in the Postmarket Environment.”  The purpose of the workshop is to provide a forum for an interactive discussion on assessing changes in medical device risk as quality and safety situations arise in the postmarket setting when a patient, operator, or member of the public actually uses the device.  For details and registration, please see: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/NewsEvents/WorkshopsConferences/ucm436365.htm

Date, Time and Location:

This meeting will be held April 21, 2015, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the following location:

FDA White Oak Campus
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Bldg. 31, Room 1503 (the Great Room)
Silver Spring, MD, 20993

Get some knowledge and take the world by storm. We can do this together!

A House Divided…

Symbol home from hands isolated on whiteWhether you want to attribute it to Lincoln’s famous speech regarding slavery or a line in the New Testament (Mark 3:25), I’m repeating it for all of us to hear:

“A house divided cannot stand.” 

I have diabetes. It’s an insipid disease that slithers into lives, laying waste and fear in its wake. It cannot be compared to other diseases; it’s unfair and pointless. Moments are stolen from all of us who live in the shadow of its open maw, and sometimes not just moments, but the very breath we draw.

It does not matter what permutation of diabetes exists in my body. In every form, regardless of subset, the insufficient supply of insulin damages cells and organs and brains. Depending on the insufficiency, the damage can be rapid or so slow that it’s not noticed until well after the damage is done.

Every person with diabetes is at risk for stroke, heart disease, retinopathy, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy. Every person.

Every family with diabetes is subjugated to stress, heartache, frustration, and financial burdens. Every family.

The Divided House

I am a member of the diabetes community. Anyone who lives or cares for someone with diabetes is a part of the community. We all want the same end result: long, healthy lives free of the burden of this chronic illness.

Some of the community focuses their time and effort on cures. Others on technology. Emotional support. Financial issues. There are many avenues this community travels down together. All are worthy when the goal is to help make our lives better.

But this community, this house I love, is a house divided.

Over the past few years, as voices amplify with the Internet’s loudspeaker, the rise of separatist factions is coming to bear. Here are the voices from the crowd:

“I’m sick of the public thinking I’m Type 2.”

“Those people could have just not gotten fat and they wouldn’t have gotten Type 2.”

“Type 1s talk about how hard it is, but they don’t realize that Type 2s struggle too.”

“My son did nothing to deserve getting Type 1.”

“I’m thin with Type 2, but people think that it’s lifestyle, not genetics that got me here.”

“I’m not like them.”

 But you are. We all live in this house.

The Numbers Don’t Lie, But They Are A Little Fuzzy

Here are the latest numbers, taken from JDRF’s General Facts page and the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2014 from the CDC. (It’s pretty. With graphics. And it’s a PDF so you can print it out and put in on a bulletin board. Or maybe that’s just me.)

Who Lives In Our House

29.1 million people have diabetes in the United States.

21.0 million of them are actually diagnosed. The rest (8.1 million, because that’s easy math for me to do) is undiagnosed. People walking around with slightly elevated blood glucose levels… enough to do long-term damage.

3.0 million of those diagnosed with diabetes are Type 1. (Only about 10 percent of the total diabetes population.)

The dollar cost of diabetes, direct and indirect for 2012, which is the latest stat, is $245 billion. (The indirect part is work loss, disability, and death.)

The numbers are fuzzy because we don’t look at the big picture. What does this house look like? Is it a duplex with no way to help each other if someone needs support? Is it an apartment building with tiny boxes for parents of T1s, T2s, adult T1s, undiagnosed/pre-diabetes T2s, Medicare recipients, uninsured, and T2 kids all coexisting and trying to get landlord’s attention?

Our House is Getting Crowded

1429629_22426307Every thirty seconds, we get a new member in our house. Every thirty seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. We need a stable house with a firm foundation, because we need more room. The rate of diabetes is not decreasing; it’s increasing.

Without strong, unifying voices, we’re going to be fighting over who gets to use the remote control or who hogs the bathroom in the morning.

Step outside of the house and go stand on the sidewalk. How do you think our house looks like to a passerby on the street?

  • Is the exterior a hodgepodge of different colors, because we couldn’t decide?
  • Are windows boarded up because a particular group doesn’t need the sunlight shining on them?
  • Do we have an inviting path to greet everyone who knocks?
  • Is there a beautiful, intricate melody with different voices singing the same song, but allowing each group an opportunity to solo… but the chorus is the same? Or does the world hear cacophony? Or worse… nothing at all because we’re all just whispering different things?

I do not want a diabetes house divided.

I want a diabetes home.

Home, Sweet Home

1278626_89193909How can you help make our house a home?

  • Educate the public about diabetes: the differences AND the similarities between the different types. (Get educated yourself by reviewing the statistics and the research and the information that many major diabetes organizations provide to help explain.)
  • Let your policymakers know that it doesn’t matter what type of diabetes we have; we ALL matter when it comes to funding and public policy. There are bills being introduced on the Hill and in some states that can help – or hurt – people with diabetes. Find out what you can do. Even if you’re a Type 2, you can lend your support and your voice to CGM Medicare bill.
  • Ask people to describe their diabetes when you’re having conversations. If you (or your child) has Type 1 diabetes, learn from a person (children get Type 2 as well, although it’s not as prevalent) with Type 2 about what they do every day to live well with diabetes.
  • Focus on what is important: life WITH diabetes, not matter what Type, deserves attention and respect. In fact, we all as humans deserve attention and respect. Find the common ground and even if you don’t have much common ground, there is a piece that we can all build from…

Help build our community.

Help build our home.

Help make a home for everyone impacted with diabetes and let the world know that we are united.

 

You Deserve More Than Roses…

1526731_10153042281067328_1047114686242280778_nI hear her laughter and my heart swells with love.

I cannot imagine my life without my daughter.

I cannot imagine my life without the insulin that keeps me alive so that I can hear her laughter.

And yet… there are children in the world who do not have access to the insulin that will keep them alive.

No laughter.

No life.

No more. 

In parts of the world (some closer to the U.S. than you think), there is a problem getting insulin to children.

Lack of access to insulin remains the most common cause of death in a child with diabetes (Gale, 2006). The estimated life expectancy of a child who has just developed diabetes could be less than a year in some areas (Beran et al, 2005). Many die undiagnosed, others through lack of insulin or lack of expert care. In some countries, expert care is available but resources are limited and so early and serious complications frequently lead to death in young adulthood. – IDF

We know that insulin is expensive in the United States, but for some families in the world, the cost of insulin is more than a family will make in an entire year. And you know what can change that?

Us. 

roseFor the past few years, the Spare A Rose, Save A Child online campaign has helped to raise funds for the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)’s Life for a Child campaign.

Life for a Child began over a decade ago and gives donor funds directly to diabetes centers around the world, getting children insulin, test strip supplies, and care to help these children live… and laugh.

How Can You Help?

Valentine’s Day is coming.

Flowers are pretty. Chocolates are nice. Perfume smells lovely (Sometimes.)

But flowers wither. Chocolates get eaten. Perfume wafts away into the air.

You deserve more than that. 

Five dollars.

The cost of a single rose. Or a very expensive piece of chocolate. Or a few spritzes of perfume. (Or even that teddy bear that gets purchased at the gas station on the way home.) Five dollars gives a child with diabetes in an underdeveloped country a month of life.

Let those who love you know that you’ll take one less rose. One less piece of chocolate. Skip the spritz. You want them to give five dollars (or more) to the Spare A Rose, Save A Child campaign.

You can have them donate once or… they can remind you that you are loved throughout the year with a monthly gift to the program. You get a sweet acknowledgment and the knowledge that you are helping people all over the world hear a child laugh.

Want to get your office in on the action? Done. Easy-peasy-give-insulin-to-kids-squeezy.

Your donation is tax-deductible. (So, for those of you who are romantic AND financially savvy… you can say I love you and write it off. It’s still sexy.)

What About People YOU Love?

And of course, think about the people YOU love. You can donate in their name, then print out this card (or the other one) to let them know you love them more than roses.

You love them more than life itself. 

Click here to give life for a child. 

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