The three women met at a DiabetesSisters Weekend for Women conference* in 2013. Barbara Hunt, Joyce Yano, and Natalie Sera met and started talking there, and realized that they could bring the support, reinforcement, and resources of the larger experience to a group of women like them in Reno, Nevada. They began planning together, and the Reno PODS Meetup met for the first time in March 2014.
The group of ten to twelve women gathers on the third Tuesday of each month in a conference room at Renown Medical Center. Between the educational resources from DiabetesSisters and the expertise of the members (several with 25+ years of living with diabetes, as well as some who are health care providers), the group is very well-educated. Recent discussion topics ranged from how to plan for and manage Medicare enrollment and orders for insulin and supplies; delicious low-carb, low-sugar Italian treats; and immunization recommendations for women with diabetes. But members also enjoy the group because they talk about emotions, listen to each other’s frustrations, and help problem-solve diabetes challenges they’re facing.
The members and co-leaders agree that PODS Meetups are at the top of their scheduling priorities. One member says that every month she thinks she’s too tired to drive the 100+ miles round trip to the Meetup, but then remembers that being with her dSisters is the thing that keeps her going from month to month (and makes the trip). PODS co-leader Natalie reinforced that commitment with her feelings: “I'm not alone in this. It's nice to have friends who understand what you are dealing with. My dSisters have been my lifesaver.”
According to co-leader Barbara, the PODS Meetup has "coalesced into a really cohesive and supportive group. It’s wonderful how a group of mostly strangers can come together and become friends because of one unifying circumstance they all share.”
*Join us at the 2017 DiabetesSisters Weekend for Women Conference to gain support, learn about new diabetes management strategies and tech, and perhaps decide to start a PODS Meetup too.
Since 2010, the PODS (Part Of DiabetesSisters) Meetup Program has offered monthly support to women living with any type of diabetes or prediabetes, providing a safe and non-judgmental place to discuss the successes and challenges of living with diabetes. Led by women living with diabetes, the groups offer true peer support focused on women and diabetes. The PODS Meetup Program reaches more than 1,300 women annually in person (in 18 states) and online (members meet via computer cameras from the comfort of their own home). Women living with all types of diabetes are invited to attend PODS Meetups. If you would like more information on meetings in your area, or starting your own Meetup group, please complete the PODS Meetup inquiry form –we look forward to hearing from you!