Weekend for Women Conference Post-Event Update

sisterSTAFF Blog

Weekend for Women Conference Post-Event Update

May 25, 2010

The email I received from Weekend for Women Conference attendee, Linda Mahoney, says more about the Conference than I can ever put into words.  Thank you, Linda!

Hi Brandy,

It is Monday just past noon.  I stayed an extra night last night at the Marriott, had a 7am flight into Boston and came directly to work from the airport this morning and I am still flying high from the weekend!!  I have not stopped talking about the entire event and THEN, I sat next to someone else on the plane who attended, who also happened to be a nurse (like myself) and then joy and energy just kept flowing during our 1 and 1/2 hour flight home!!

Brandy, right before the conference (in April) I was hospitalized for 4 days due to my gastroporesis backing up so badly that my gallbladder acted up. The week after I got discharged, I broke two toes. So, here I am eating pureed food-cream of wheat, jello, pudding, etc. AND unable to work out. I was headed south quickly and was so close to the edge and throwing in the towel BUT, with a second grandson on the way, I have to keep going.  The conference has TOTALLY turned me around and motivated me to keep doing even better than I had tried to do over the past six months. 

I had SO MUCH FUN Saturday evening, laughing out loud and being silly--it was  better than any antidepressant or chocolate bar I could have had!! So, how do I/we start a PODS group here in Boston??  I would love to share the wealth with people in this area. And if that is not possible, then I would like to volunteer somehow for DiabetesSisters.  Please let me know how.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the experience of a lifetime! In my 44+ years now with type 1 I have never felt more motivated and less stressed about living with diabetes. (Even my male administrative assistant commented this morning on how good I looked!)  I am so glad that I found this organization of sisterhood and by the way, I have orange on again!

In good health,

Linda Mahoney

WoW!  I can’t believe what a great time I had at the Weekend for Women Conference!  As many of you know, I have spent the majority of the last eight months securing the funding and planning all of the details for the 2010 Weekend for Women Conference.  With the Conference filling up within 8 weeks of opening registration, having a waitlist of over 80 women, and even having women come to the TCOYD Conference with their bags packed just in case someone didn’t show for the WfW Conference, it became VERY evident that the Conference is filling a void in the health care community.  It was so awesome to see the diversity of the Sisterhood as well as the acceptance of all women with all types of diabetes (type 1, type 2, pre-diabetes, gestational, LADA/Type 1.5, and MODY).  Although there are some differences in the various types of diabetes, what became evident this weekend were the similarities that exist in the various types of diabetes and our ability to support each other, regardless of what type of diabetes we have.   

It was unbelievable how excited and charged women were to be at the Conference!  During Saturday night’s social activities, women joined in and made new friends with very little encouragement required.  By Sunday morning everyone was asking for a master list of attendees, so they could stay in touch after the conference was over!  The most common requests heard on Sunday were the date for the next conference and for the next conference to be longer- preferably from Friday evening to Sunday at lunch.  I DO believe the group of 100 women who were in attendance at the INAUGURAL Weekend for Women Conference were hand-picked by the Man Above.  I was truly shocked to hear the words “thank you” so many times from so many women.  It seemed as if every woman there was so gracious and appreciative to have something devoted specifically to them.  I can’t tell you how many times I heard women say that this was the first time and/or longest they had ever been away from their children/husband.  It is clear that these women truly understood the importance of taking time out of their busy schedules to take care of their own health.  They understood that we only get one chance at this life, so we had better do our best to take care of ourselves.  They also understood that if we want to be around to see grandchildren, college graduations, and weddings, we HAVE to take charge of our diabetes now.  There are no Grammy Awards for giving up your own health to look after family members, climb the career ladder, or raise children.  We are now working to get monthly PODS meetings set up around the country, so stay tuned for more information about potential PODS groups in your area.  In addition, the Weekend for Women Conference planning committee is meeting this week to discuss dates for the next conference…Stay Tuned for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! 

Finally, since I am out of space, I will wait until next week to share more of my DiabetesSisters story.  Because it is emotional, I have held off on sharing it until after the Conference.  I think it will further clarify the importance of following your passion even when times get tough.  If you know what you were put on earth to do, I encourage you to NOT let anyone or anything stop you!  Even though you can’t see how it will work out, just trust that it will!  Until next week! J