Just Talking with Jeff Hitchcock

Jeff Hitchcock, President of Children with Diabetes, Inc., is my guest this week. We cover the origins of childrenwithdiabetes.com, the massive popularity and growth of the Friends for Life conference, keeping up with diabetes news and technology advances, and the simultaneous feeling of fear and freedom that comes with running a non profit organization. I also learn which movie best depicts the work culture of the CIA, because I can segue from, and to anything. Enjoy.

Visit childrenwithdiabetes.com for diabetes resources and more information about upcoming conferences.

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Just Talking with Kim Vlasnik

This week I’m catching up with Kim Vlasnik and chatting about life illustrated by animated gifs, life with a garden, life as a mother, Friends for Life 2014, the You Can Do This Project, and her upcoming Ignite Talk at Medicine X. Enjoy!

You can follow Kim on Twitter @txtngmypancreas, textingmypancreas.com, youcandothisproject.com, and diabuzzfeed.tumblr.com.

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Catching Up on MasterLab

This weekend, thousands of people with diabetes (and their families) are invading Orlando, Florida for Children With Diabetes’ Friends For Life Conference. Before the #cwdffl14 hashtag assumes control of your Twitter feed, the Diabetes Hands Foundation put on a MasterLab for diabetes advocates. From what I gathered on Twitter, the sessions were quite effective and well received. Hopefully this can be the beginning of a larger diabetes advocacy effort, with MasterLabs accompanying other noteworthy diabetes conferences like AADE and Scientific Sessions. One can hope, right?

For those of us who were unable to attend, presentation slides and a video archive of the day will be available here. If you’ve ever wanted to step up your patient advocacy game but didn’t know which step to take first, this is a great starting point.

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A Real Vacation

First, there’s a new video over at the You Can Do This Project showing the journey from “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we were at a conference” to “holy amazeballs, we did it!” Go check it out.

Now where was I? The most important part of Friends For Life, for me and Dayle, was the fact that this was our first for-realsies vacation in a long time. Dayle had been super busy traveling the world over the past four months and was well deserving of a break. And I know we were both excited to sleep in on a weekday instead of our usual 5:30 a.m. wake up.

So who wants a photo montage? (Click a picture for the super-size montage. And here are the rest of the pictures I took in Florida.)

About the Booth

You’re about to read a sentence that likely make your eyes roll. I swear, I’m not trying to be that guy. If you’ll stick with me, I’ll bring it back around by the end. Full circle and whatnot.

I met a number of people at Friends For Life who “knew who I was”, but I wasn’t familiar with their blog or their twitter name.

The first time it happened it was silly but understandable. After the fifth or sixth person it was embarrassing. It’s hard to keep up with the diabetes community. I knew this before going to Orlando but now that the dust has settled, I have infinitely more respect for the people who can keep track of everyone. You are the real heroes.

As horrible as I was at connecting faces to online personalities, I did, however, do my fair share of connecting people to the You Can Do This Project (see what I did there?). Continue reading

This Calls For a Reunion

There were whispers, at times, that Friends For Life felt like an expensive family reunion. Considering how much of the conference was aimed at children with diabetes, or their parents, it was easy to feel like an outcast at times. As I’ve mentioned, the conference was fantastic but the overall awesomeness of the experience is a direct result of hanging out with all of my friends. I think there should be a middle ground between Friends For Life and “nothing”.

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