The JDRF – Transforming Lives

I had the pleasure of attending the Phoenix JDRF event Transforming Lives, Diabetes Today and Tomorrow a few weeks ago at the Arizona Biltmore resort. In all honesty, I woke up that day feeling tired. My blood sugar was in a good range. Perhaps, I was just overwhelmed from a very busy week prior. Perhaps it was that during the same day, I was scheduled to attend the JDRF event, a soccer game, get my daughter to a birthday party and shop for other birthday gifts for upcoming parties, write some notes to clients and finish an assignment that I had due that evening.  Whatever the reason was, I was feeling reluctant. I made my family attend with me as well. I am pleased to say that by the end of the event, everyone was smiling, met some new friends, felt more empowered and had enjoyed the time during this event!

My day started off getting my child into their KidZone. My daughter is not a diabetic, but I was indeed impressed with the staff and care that other children with diabetes were experiencing. There was a nurse to help with injections, boluses and any other issues that might come up and numerous activities planned that let the kids feel like this was a fun event. I was also amazed at the relationships that some of these children had with each other. Not related, many seemed to have attended diabetes events before and were friends already. This was so far from any experience in my childhood that I was shocked. Shocked that there were so many new diabetics, but shocked by the immense support that was in the room.

My husband and I started the day listening to a very informative keynote address by H. Peter Chase, MD. I was surprised by my husband’s reactions to the history of diabetes and the history of treatments. How little had I told him about the past? I also have spent many years hearing that it was the decade of the cure, only to be disappointed by the close of that decade. Some years I actually tried not to listen. I left this presentation with not only a better attitude, but a sense of relief. Dr. Chase had given me hope for the future of diabetes, but in an honest and realistic way. That had seldom been given to me before.
I got the opportunity to see new vendors and old friends as well. I know that I can’t mention each vendor, but I was impressed with the turnout I saw:  Banner Health Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Gila River Indian Community, Lilly, Medtronic, MyCareConnect, OmniPod, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Power Paws Assistance Dogs, Sanofi Aventis and Tandem Diabetes Care just to name a few!

I later had the chance to experience the session The DOC: Finding Every Day Support and Friendships through the Diabetes Online Community presented by Manny Hernandez of tudiabetes.org, Bill Woods of 1happydiabetic.com and Cherise Shockley of Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. The passion these individuals have for The Diabetes Online Community (DOC) is impressive. They have different backgrounds and affiliations with diabetes. Their presentation concerning the online world of support and guidance to those that live with diabetes was inspirational. It served as another reminder that none of us are alone in this. If you are a parent or spouse of a person with diabetes it was inspirational. If you live with diabetes, it was uplifting.

The day also provided other moments of fun. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the assistance dogs with Power Paws as well as seeing Miss. Arizona and Ms. Arizona at the event.

I was grateful to the Phoenix JDRF for hosting this amazing
event. I can’t wait to attend another like it. I encourage you to do the same.
There are many opportunities to get connected with others and gain new
knowledge from great speakers and groups such as these.

2 thoughts on “The JDRF – Transforming Lives

  1. Thanks for much for sharing your thoughts and attending our Social Media and Diabetes presentation. I am so happy in some small to have made your day more uplifted! Thanks so much again!

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