July 11, 2010
In June 2010, I had the honor of representing DiabetesSisters at three (yes, 3!) important events in the diabetes community. First, I attended the ADA Scientific Sessions from June 25-June 29th at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The number of people in attendance at the sessions and in the exhibit hall was astounding. It seemed as if everybody who was anybody in the diabetes world was there! I met many of those people such as Joy Pape (author), Kelly Rawlings (Diabetic Living), Paula Ford-Martin (dLife), and Howard Steinberg (dLife) for the first time! I also got to see and spend time with some dear old friends like Manny Hernandez (Diabetes Hands Foundation), David Edelman (Diabetes Daily), Elizabeth Edelman (Diabetes Daily), Amy Tenderich (Diabetes Mine), and Kelly Kunik (Diabetesaliciousness). I attended a few sessions, but I must admit that most of them went over my head after about the first 10 minutes. So, I don’t have many new and innovative research/products to report on (darn!) I did see a new meter for kids that was pretty innovative. It was Bayer’s new Didget meter. It actually plugs into a Nintendo DS (helps kids keep up with it) and it uses the gaming system to reward kids for testing consistently. I also saw the not-yet-approved POGO meter, which is an all-in-one meter that stores the test strips, lancet, and lancing device into one compact system. Almost all of the pharmaceutical companies have their own patient-focused website. I was excited to see a new emphasis on the psychosocial well-being of people with diabetes. For example, Novo Nordisk (along with the International Diabetes Federation) a global program to improve psychosocial support for people with diabetes in 2001 called the DAWN (Diabetes Attitiudes, Wishes, and Needs) Study. It involved over 5,000 people with diabetes from 13 different countries. DAWN was initiated to increase the understanding of how people perceived their diabetes in order to develop better outcomes for treatment.
The Roche Social Media Summit was a phenomenal event as usual! I was asked to speak to the group about DiabetesSisters success and share some best practices. After the entire group metwith representatives from ADA and AADE (read what the ADA learned from us here) to express patient concerns, we enjoyed an evening of Wii! That’s right! There were three different games- bowling, tennis, and table tennis. The winners got to donate their winnings to the charity of their choice! DiabetesSisters earned $250! Thank you David Edelman and Diabetes Daily!
Finally, the Children with Diabetes Conference provided a unique opportunity to observe children with diabetes in a setting that was made just for them. The Banquet (Teen Dance) on Thursday evening was memorable for me…and I know there are many young people out there who will remember that night forever—a dance full of people their age who are just like them. By the way, I have never seen so many test strips scattered on the floor throughout a hotel. I was so elated to know that, most likely, they weren’t mine this time!