Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 AADE Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. I was granted a special press pass to attend, where I met (and was reunited with) many other diabetes advocates, CDE's and medical professionals, exhibitors and vendors, and DiabetesSisters' volunteers.
I must admit, when I arrived I had no idea what to expect, I was pretty nervous. An early morning, turned into a very busy three days, where I oversaw the DiabetesSisters' booth and (finally!) met Barbara Metcalf, formerly PODS Leader in Beaufort, SC, and currently PODS Leader in Sanford/Daytona Beach, FL. I also had the pleasure of meeting Ruth Harnden and Linda Bork, both PODS attendees. Along with additional volunteers, Claire Blum, Judith Jones-Ambrosini and Cherise Shockley, the DiabetesSisters' booth was well-staffed and greeted hundreds of medical professionals over the course of three days. I am thankful to these women, along with so many, they are DiabetesSisters' Ambassadors, spreading information about our programs and services to everyone they come in contact with.
My expectations of the annual meeting were fulfilled as I greeted so many medical professionals, many which thanked me for the work we do at DiabetesSisters. The rest of our visitors stopped because they learned about us at one of the many sessions they attended and they were interested in learning more about what we do and wanted to refer patients to our peer support network, PODS Meetups and Conferences. I met many of our sponsors, finally able to thank them for the support they have provided DiabetesSisters over the years. I attended various meetings where I felt, as a patient, that my needs were being considered and that vendors were listening to what I needed to live my best life while living with a chronic illness. I returned to North Carolina excited about my role at DiabetesSisters, with a sense of pride that my work is meaningful to thousands of women throughout the United States and beyond.
On behalf of myself, and DiabetesSisters, I'd like to thank the staff of AADE for the planning and implementation of this Annual Meeting. With thousands of attendees, vendors and speaking faculty, I learned a great deal about new products for people living with diabetes, met exhibitors and representatives who share a common goal of providing the best treatment for those living with diabetes, and worked with volunteers who hold DiabetesSisters as a priority in their lives. I am already looking forward to AADE 2015!