May 2017 eNewsletter

May 2017 eNewsletter

 May 2017 NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 103                   Sponsored by                      
Dear Sister , 
Late last month, I had the privilege of serving as the Diabetes Advisor to HealtheVoices, a conference that brings together online health advocates representing a wide variety of health communities to learn, share, and connect. While Janssen Pharmaceuticals sponsors this conference and provided my travel and lodging for the weekend, the thoughts and opinions I express here are my own.
The weekend conference provided me validation that the work we do at DiabetesSisters is relevant and significant to our community. Working with other advisors across disease states such as Cancer, HIV, Arthritis and Mental Health (to name only a few!), we quickly realized that our experiences can help each other. While we planned the weekend for 105 patient leaders, we quickly learned that we all want the same thing: to provide support to those living the lives we live. The weekend, focused on Social Media, provided ways for health advocates to use Facebook to drive their mission, create captivating videos, and attack stigma and misconceptions. If you are interested in learning more, follow the conversations from that weekend on Twitter at #healthevoices17.

As we begin the month of May, we continue to learn from our weekend at HealtheVoices, and bring you a newsletter with ways to get involved (Weekend for Women Conference, PODS Meetups, research opportunities), interpreting A1c results to numbers you can understand on a daily basis, and learn more about the relationship between diabetes and the kidneys.

Until next month,
In Sisterhood,
Anna Norton, MS 
23 Triumphant (NOT Perfect!) Years THRIVING with Diabetes


Presented by , the 2017 Weekend for Women Conference follows in the steps of previous conferences, providing education and support for women living with all types of diabetes, as well as their caregivers.

This year, the Weekend for Women Conference Series returns to Alexandria, VA, the weekend of October 13-15, 2017. Partnering with The Diabetes Collective, we have developed a conference agenda that meets your needs, offering education, peer support, and networking. 

The year, we are presenting four different tracks, each guaranteed to provide you education, peer support and friendship. 

  • General Education Track - open to all participants. Sessions include technology, nutrition, mindful eating, glycemic index, exercise, and heart health.

  • Weekend for Women Track - open to women registering for the Weekend for Women conference. Sessions include pregnancy, disordered eating, anxiety and depression, and balancing the many roles of being a woman living with diabetes.

  • Diabetes UnConference Track - open to men and women living with diabetes. This track is led by facilitators living with diabetes and encourages open conversation from all participants. Attendees create the agenda based on topics they wish to discuss.

  • Partner Track - open to all partners of people living with diabetes. This track will combine education about diabetes, along with open conversations based on topics the attendees choose. The tracks for Weekend for Women Partner and Diabetes UnConference Partner are the same.

Our esteemed faculty of diabetes professionals and advocates - bringing an array of sessions in nutrition, exercise, anxiety, and technology - includes Anna Floreen, Rhonda Merwin, Gary Scheiner, Kerri Sparling and Susan Weiner.

Scholarships are available. Apply here.

For more information on the conference, including hotel information (our room block is filling up quickly, please reserve your rooms!), click here.

DiabetesSisters is grateful for the financial support of industry partners, including Presenting Sponsor Dexcom, Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim, Insulet, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, Novo Nordisk and Roche. 


Source: Type One Family Network


Shortly after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 48, PODS Leader Gayle McKenna felt alone and like she was in desperate need of support. She attended a DiabetesSisters Weekend for Women conference, and found strong bonds of understanding and peer support from other women who "get it." At the Los Angeles conference in 2014 she connected with several women near her who were also interested in creating a PODS Meetup. They began gathering together, Gayle kept networking to get more women who were interested, and three years later the group is still going strong. Today, 12 women with diabetes from the surrounding Ventura County and San Fernando Valley areas gather monthly for their monthly dose of support and education.
Members of the Ventura County 
PODS Meetup Group
"We all have the same disease yet not one of us has the same treatment.  We can identify with each other with our everyday struggles and successes, and thus the gift to one another is that we are not alone." 
~Gayle McKenna, PODS Leader

In partnership with 

The kidney has many important functions. It is responsible for filtering the blood. Kidneys maintain the salt-water balance in the body, remove waste products, and do other important things to keep the body healthy. As the blood filtering units for the body, kidneys are prone to problems with blood circulation and blood vessels. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, the kidneys cannot clean blood properly. Waste products and extra water can accumulate inside the body.

Diabetes has been linked with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is a gradual loss of kidney function over time. Diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney failure, which means the kidneys are no longer able to work. People with kidney failure need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) means a person has diabetes and a gradual loss if kidney function. People with DKD have a higher risk of kidney failure and heart and blood vessel disease.

Along with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and TrustNetMD, we are gathering women's voices on questions, resources, and thoughts on relevant health topics for women and diabetes via a new website: DiabetesSistersVoices
We invite all women over the age of 18, living with all kinds of diabetes, to register to the site and begin conversations with other women on life with diabetes, share resources, and pose pressing questions about the future of healthcare as it relates to life with diabetes. These contributions will shape the future of research, to be published in a final report, and distributed to healthcare providers.

Your thoughts, questions, and resource sharing are integral to research on diabetes and women. Please register today at

Funding for this project was awarded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).




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DiabetesSisters helps to connect women living with diabetes through peer support, education, and advocacy that improves their health and quality of life.  Since 2008, your dollars have allowed us to grow our programs and services, serving thousands of women each year.


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The creation of many of these educational pieces were a result of the generous support of our Advisory Council and industry partners including AstraZeneca, BI, Center for Hope of the Sierras, Dexcom, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Lilly, Merck, MicroMass Communications, Novo Nordisk, and Regeneron.

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 Ventura County/San Fernando Valley, CA  

May 1, 6:30pm
Jacksonville, FL   
May 3, 7pm
Arlington, VA   
May 4, 7pm

Chattanooga, TN

May 4, 6:30pm 


Boston Area
South Shore/Plymouth 
May 7, 1pm
Rochester, NY (Westside) 
May 8, 6pm


Princeton, NJ  
May 10, 7pm     

Columbus, OH 
May 11, 6pm 
Durham, NC 
May 11, 6:30pm
Williamsburg, VA  
May 16, 6pm

Greensboro, NC
May 16, 6pm

Rochester, NY (Eastside)
May 16, 6pm

Reno, NV
May 16, 6:30pm   


Boston Area
South Shore/Braintree 

May 17, 7pm

Apex, NC
May 17, 6pm

Denver, CO
May 18, 6:30pm

Chesapeake, VA
May 18, 6:30pm

Richmond, VA
May 18, 7pm

Boston Area

May 18, 7pm

May 18, 8pm EST 


Albany/Schenectady, NY

May 23, 6:30pm
May 24, 7pm

Rochester, NY (CollegeTown/UofR)
May 30, 6:30pm 


Want to attend or start a local PODS Meetup? Want to learn more about the Virtual PODS Meetup?



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