Last month, Sarah (our Director of Operations) and I attended the 76th American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, LA. I’m not certain the city of New Orleans was ready for a crowd of thousands - eager to participate in sessions, learn about the latest technology (Meters, Insulin pumps, and Continuous glucose monitors, oh my!), and listen to clinical trial results – but ADA was ready, and they did not disappoint with the wealth of knowledge we received.
During my time at the sessions, I was invited to a Novo Nordisk-sponsored event - Setting the Record Straight: Diabetes Language, Myths and Stigma. This session, like many others throughout the conference, brought together a panel of people living with diabetes (including Renza Scibilia from Diabetes Australia and members of the Team Novo Nordisk professional cycling team – all people living with diabetes), moderated by Dr. Jane Speight of the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes.
Along with Dr. Speight, the panel addressed many misconceptions we have broached at DiabetesSisters, including statements such as:
· Do you have the good kind or bad kind of diabetes?
· Can people with diabetes live long, health lives?
· Did you get diabetes by eating poorly?
We later participated in discussions on the challenges people with diabetes face, along with how to address these challenges. For me, as both a diabetes professional and a person living with diabetes, I was not surprised that these are challenge we all face, from all corners of the world. The consensus is that we must continue to educate our communities about diabetes, erase misconceptions, and wipe out the stigmas surround diabetes.
At DiabetesSisters, we continue to do this in our daily programing and messaging. Our goal of educating and supporting women with all kinds of diabetes will never waiver. We still have to work to do.
The remaining sessions did not disappoint, and the Exhibit Hall was full of the greatest innovations in diabetes to date. From meters, to insulin pumps, to continuous glucose monitors, and talks of the artificial pancreas – as well as treatment options to include diabetes along with cardiovascular disease – my mind is still full from the sessions.
As always, DiabetesSisters is thankful to the American Diabetes Association for allowing us access to the sessions as Members of Press.