Andrea Herndon knows her way around peer support and diabetes advocacy. Eight years ago, during the early stages of DiabetesSisters and PODS Meetups, she saw an advertisement for DiabetesSisters in a diabetes magazine while waiting at her doctor's office in Rochester, NY. Soon after, she invited a group of women living with diabetes to gather around her kitchen table, get to know each other, and talk about living with this disease. That was in 2010...the rest is both history and excitement for the future.
As Andrea looks back, she says it's hard to remember a time when PODS was not a part of her life. At the time she hadn't seen or experienced such a group for peer support, and there was nothing else like it in Rochester at the time.
A steadfast group of 6-9 women regularly attend the Perinton/Fairport PODS Meetups, which recently changed the name of its location to be more specific and reach women with diabetes or prediabetes in those areas outside of Rochester. During recent meetings they have discussed topics such as: the need for checking BG (blood glucose), the need to find and schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist, carb counting, how exercise affects our BG numbers, and much more.
When Andrea asked members what they like best about the PODS Meetup and DiabetesSisters, they told her that they learn so much from each others' different experiences; the support that they get from and give to each other; and especially that they never feel any judgment, because each one of them has been there, in that same space with diabetes. Maybe most importantly, once they found PODS they no longer felt alone.
"I say this all the time (and so do the members of our PODS): I can't imagine my life without the women in this PODS group, or without the DiabetesSisters organization. The support, resources, and encouragement it offers is unique, and I haven't found anything like it anywhere else."
Since 2010 the PODS (Part Of DiabetesSisters) 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 better, 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!