In 2017, Fabiola Ibarra realized that she needed support and help to keep going with managing her type 1 diabetes after 30+ years. She told herself that if she felt that way, there must be plenty of other women in the Austin area living wth diabetes and feeling that way too - so she decided to take action. At that same time Estela Maria Diaz, a woman with type 2 diabetes who also lived in Austin, was also looking for peer support. Fabiola and Estela Maria got together and discussed it, and decided to begin a new PODS Meetup in the Austin/Cedar Park area.
Two years later, the Austin PODS Meetup has an average of about 10 women who meet together every month. They talk about topics such as different types of treatment and supplies, access and affordability of supplies and insulin, and appealing insurance denials. The group has also started to do some fun gatherings such as a Christmas social and a brunch.
The members appreciate being able to vent together, and knowing that there are other women living with diabetes having similar feelings or experiences. Members tell the leaders they look forward to PODS meetings; that their HbA1c results have improved; and that they are so glad they found DiabetesSisters and PODS.
Fabiola says, "Nothing we talk about is weird or off-topic. The learning about our diabetes is always ongoing! It's made me more accountable for my own diabetes, helped me decrease my HbA1c, and I feel so much healthier. Leading a PODS is an amazing experience."
Since 2010 the Part Of DiabetesSisters (PODS) Meetup program has offered monthly support to women living with any type of diabetes or prediabetes, and provided a nonjudgmental place to discuss the successes and challenges of living with diabetes. Led by women lwho live 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 22 states) and online (members meet via computer cameras from the comfort of their own home). Women age 18 and up, living with any type of diabetes or prediabetes, are invited to attend PODS Meetups. If you would like more information on local PODS Meetups near you, or starting a group in your community, please complete the PODS Meetup inquiry form – we look forward to hearing from you!