Jill Sobon was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in June 2015, and knew early on that she wanted to connect and engage with other people with diabetes. She found DiabetesSisters online and noticed that an abundance of support was available to women through DS programs and resources. In 2016 she contacted DS to find out more about the PODS Meetup program, and almost immediately committed to becoming a PODS Leader. She reinvigorated and led a PODS Meetup in the greater Washington, DC area for nearly a year. She attended her first DiabetesSisters Leadership Institute. Then life took her down a different path…to a new job in Chattanooga, TN.
Once Jill moved and started settling into her new town, new job, and new digs, she began thinking about peer support for diabetes and ways she could contribute again. She helped students start a new College Diabetes Network chapter at the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga, and met people at JDRF events. She knew she wanted to keep leading a PODS Meetup. She quickly found both a warm welcome for DiabetesSisters and a great location to meet at the local Ronald McDonald house. The first PODS Meetup in downtown Chattanooga took place in April 2018.
The first few meetings were small and energetic, and Jill has plans to promote and recruit more members from a variety of sources including various employers such as local high schools. Topics such as how to make healthy eating easier and best times and types of exercise have been a top priority for discussion so far. Members really enjoy sharing recipes that taste good (!) and don’t send BGs climbing.
“I’m confident that our membership will continue to increase. The ability to give and receive support from other amazing women with this condition is truly priceless. It helps me not feel alone as I face challenges, and allows me to share my successes and others’ successes with this disease in a safe environment.”
Since 2010 the Part Of DiabetesSisters (PODS) Meetup program has offered monthly support to women living with any type of diabetes or prediabetes, providing a safe and nonjudgmental place to discuss the successes and challenges of living with diabetes. Led by women living 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!