PODS Leader Cindy Campaniello “caught the DiabetesSisters wave” after attending a Weekend for Women conference in 2011. She came home from the conference and started helping with a PODS Meetup in Rochester, NY shortly after that. A few years later, the group was strong and large enough that they decided they could move into 3 different Meetups each month (look for future Spotlight posts re: Rochester Eastside and College Town PODS Meetups and their leaders, Andrea and Julie). Since then, Cindy has made peer support, knowledge, and encouragement available to women with diabetes through DiabetesSisters of Rochester (Westside).
The Rochester Westside PODS meetup group has committed attendees that particiate actively each month. They cover important topics such as:
- self-advocacy with health care providers of various types
- finding health care providers in the area that are a good fit with their needs;
- personal challenges to diabetes management and overall health;
- maintaining healthy eating habits and counting carbs;
- exercising (and getting back on the exercise train); and
- their own experiences (pro and con) with new and different medications.
The PODS members love that their meetings are confidential and nonjudgmental, so that they all can speak freely about their lives with diabetes, ask for and offer help, and share acceptance with each other. Cindy stresses that everyone brings compassion and a spirit of true sisterhood to the group.
She and the members keep in touch with each other outside of PODS Meetups to continue supporting each other throughout the month. Every few months, the group schedules some purely social gatherings to have the chance to hang out together and bond. Some of the members have also participated in events together such as the American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.
Cindy also enjoys sharing knowledge about diabetes management that she has learned from DiabetesSisters. Members may have questions that haven’t been covered by their doctors or diabetes educators - sometimes basic points that are important. One member, originally diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, decided to see a new endocrinologist and have further tests after attending a few PODS Meetups. With a new (type 1) diagnosis and new prescription for different insulin, she is managing and feeling much better now.
Cindy says that DiabetesSisters of Rochester (Westside) is a tremendous support for her personally – if she struggles with staying the course, the women in the group help her through it. “PODS Leaders have current, accurate resources to share. We are each other’s support system. I love helping to encourage support and real change with my dSisters.”
Join us at the 2017 DiabetesSisters Weekend for Women Conference to gain support, learn about new diabetes management strategies and tech, and perhaps decide to start a PODS Meetup in your community.
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 non-judgmental 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 18 states) and online (members meet via computer cameras from the comfort of their own home). Women age 18 and older, 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!
DiabetesSisters would like to express appreciation to the Dexcom One Step Ahead Foundation and the Boehringer-Ingelheim-Lilly Alliance as the 2017 sponsors of our signature PODS Meetup program.