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World Diabetes Day 2009

November 16, 2009

This past Saturday, I hosted a World Diabetes Day party in midtown Manhattan for about 20 of my closest D-friends. There was a great mix of type 1s, type 2s and type 3s there and we enjoyed New York style pizza and a homemade cake from one of the members of the ACT1 Diabetes support group.

Erik and I went down to the space near Penn Station around 11:00 to find Val already waiting for us! Val helped Erik and I move tables around to accommodate everyone, and while Erik went to purchase diet sodas (in 3 flavors!), Val blew up blue balloons while I taped streamers to the tables. It was very festive!

People starting arriving surprisingly on time – and we had almost everyone who RSVP’d by 12:15! Everyone took turns introducing themselves, how long they have had diabetes (or known someone with diabetes, as the case may be) and what treatment they were on.

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Some of the folks just hanging out before the pizza arrived.

The pizza arrived at 12:30 and everyone dug in! I stayed simple and just bought cheese and pepporoni pizza, while Brenda brought some Asian Black Bean noodles and Val brought homemade chocolate cookies that were totally bolus-worthy!

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Some of the WDD crew.

Promptly at 2pm, all the people with diabetes whipped out their glucose meters and tested, and then we marched downstairs (which was a multi-step process since the elevators didn’t fit everyone) and walked down 37th to 7th Avenue, and then back around on 36th to 8th Avenue. We arrived back at exactly 2:14 p.m. Then we all tested again! My blood sugar was already a bit high from that morning (a mystery high!) and was still high before and after the Big Blue Test. But I promptly crashed later that afternoon once my bolus kicked in.

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Gettin’ our 14 minutes of exercise. Though my boyfriend was probably the only one who broke a sweat, as he kept running head of us to snap some pictures.

We were also wowed by the beautiful cake that was made in Dr. Banting’s honor. It was scrumptious and most everyone enjoyed it (a couple people saved slices for later).

DSC_2662_1905The one on the left is regular, the one on the left is gluten-free.

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Just a couple of ladies with the Big D enjoying some cake.

Some of you may not know this, but November 14 was picked as the day for World Diabetes Day because it’s Dr. Frederick Banting’s birthday. Dr. Banting is one of the co-inventors of the manmade insulin we use today. We wouldn’t have gotten very far if it wasn’t for him! I thought it would be a cute idea to have a birthday cake for Dr. Banting. And who doesn’t like a little cake?

A few people have commented that I shouldn’t have had pizza and cake at a party for people with diabetes because they are “bad.” But I think “bad” is sort of relative, because I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of random things that spike my blood sugar and that I shouldn’t probably eat: bagels, Indian food, and Cheerios, just to name a few. In fact, if you actually looked at my CGM after most meals I have, you’ll see that my blood sugar goes up. So yeah.

But I understand why people wouldn’t want to eat pizza and cake. Which is why I invited people to contribute other food that they would want to eat. And only two other people did (and one of those people brought cookies!). So what does that say? Either people would rather stay away from a party that has pizza than bring veggies, or they don’t actually care as much about the pizza thing as one would think. There were a couple of people who abstained from the food, but they still reported that they had a wonderful time, even if they didn’t eat anything because of whatever preference they have. To each their own I say! I have actually been to a lot of diabetes events in my time, and I often see people eating dessert or bread with dinner or something that another person might claim is “unhealthy.” In fact, I know a lot of people grimace when asked, “So, what can you eat?” because some of us believe we can eat anything as long as we know what we are eating. We all have made our peace with how we manage food.

As the party was winding down, everyone pitched in to help clean up the conference. People helped rearrange the tables and chairs, throw away cans, and clean dishes. And a few eager folks whipped out their lancets to help pop the balloons! We also took a big group picture, although a few folks (hi Val!) had already left.

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Later that evening, as Erik and I were on our way to another gig – babysitting a four year old with diabetes and her baby brother – we snapped a few pics of the Empire State Building in blue. The Empire State Building is my favorite building in the city, and I loved looking out my room when I lived in Hoboken to see what color it was that day. But there’s nothing as breath-taking as seeing it lit up in blue. Our blue.

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12 Comments
  1. Casey permalink
    November 16, 2009 3:13 PM

    Great party!

  2. Tina permalink
    November 16, 2009 3:22 PM

    I had a wonderful time Allison, thank you for hosting such a fabulous celebration!

  3. tmana permalink
    November 16, 2009 3:55 PM

    Had fun, thinking forward towards the idea of a covered-dish DOC party at some time…

    Also: the “anti-pizza” folk popped up on dLife as well… I’d forgotten the 4th School of Thought at the party: that nobody, diabetes or not, celiac or not, should ever have cake or pizza…

    • November 16, 2009 3:58 PM

      I definitely think we should do a potluck next time. I think that would be fun and to mix things up a bit. I’ll probably aim to do something next spring.

  4. November 16, 2009 6:40 PM

    Wish I lived closer – looks like everyone had a great time.

  5. November 16, 2009 7:09 PM

    Hi Allison!

    I guess helping set up lets me off the hook for sneaking out before cleanup. Thanks a bunch for organizing this!

  6. Crystal permalink
    November 16, 2009 7:41 PM

    Looks like fun was had by all. Great job/idea Allison!!
    Love that last picture. I adore that building, seeing it in our blue is breathtaking and way AWEsome.

    I want cake now. ;-)

  7. November 16, 2009 8:30 PM

    Thanks for hosting this great event, Allison! I’m sorry to have missed the beginning, but glad I was there in time for my GF cake and for volunteering everyone else to clean up :)

  8. November 16, 2009 9:33 PM

    Had I been there – and Saturday was definietly a day I wish I could have been two places at once because I was pretty bummed I couldn’t go even though I had my own WDD event to attend – I totally would have brought a full pump and eaten pizza and cake! You wrote a very nice post about the variety of approaches to dietary management, but I’m definitely a grimace-when-it’s suggested-I-can’t-eat something kind of chick, myself, and I think pizza and cake are the PERFECT foods for a WDD party :) And i would have taken a little more insulin and washed that down with a cookie too – just because I can, thanks to Dr. Banting.

    Thanks for posting the picture of the Empire State Building too. I had looked for one late on Saturday, but couldn’t find one. It is a fabulous building, great architecture, and it looks awesome lit up in honor of us :)

  9. November 16, 2009 10:30 PM

    I’ll bet it was something to see – The Empire State Building lit up in blue. A great way to communicate awareness. Some good info on the tower is at http://www.sightseeingreview.com/empirestatebuildingtower.php

  10. November 17, 2009 3:15 PM

    This party was a blast—and I loved the cake. LOVED IT!

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