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Attention: Your Input Is Needed

August 7, 2008

Last summer, I spent quite a while working with some of our fellow bloggers on the prospect of a conference for adults with type 1 diabetes. A year later and as you can see, it didn’t really go anywhere. Why? Because it’s hard. Conference ain’t cheap and they don’t pay for themselves. It’s also incredibly challenging when the people planning it live in four different timezones and all have jobs and families and, you know, commitments.

Earlier this year, Scott Strumello was approached by Lori Weintraub, head of public relations for the Diabetes Research Institute, which is one of the most prominent research facilities in the country. DRI holds an annual research conference in the fall which rotates between NYC and Miami (where DRI is based). This year, it’s being held in NYC and they wanted to shake things up a bit with how they organized the conference. Lori and Scott spoke about integrating more general living with diabetes topics into the program. This is what the current agenda looks like.

I had the opportunity to meet Lori at CWD a couple of weeks ago and I reiterated everything that we had all expressed last summer. I told her about the survey that we had done and we discussed the possibility of incorporating one of those session ideas into the conference.

As of right now, we have been given a couple of hours in the afternoon to have our own adults with type 1 session. I know it’s not an entire conference, but it’s a start, right? It will take place from about 2pm until 4pm, with part of it overlapping the Tools and Technologies session. Because we only have one sessions, we need to pick a topic that is fairly broad enough to incorporate everyone or we need to choose a topic that we can then break down into smaller groups. For example, if our session was on Relationships, we could do break out discussion groups for those who are single and those who are married. Psychologist Wendy Rappaport has agreed to be on hand as our official expert.

Most of you gave your feedback last summer, but now that we have a more defined time and place and resources, I want to go back to you again to see what your thoughts are. Some of you may be wondering, well, I can’t come to this, what does this have to do with me? Well, the more successful we are this year, the more likely we will do something next year.

What kind of session do you think would be the most successful for our first try? Share your thoughts with me at amblass [@] or leave a comment.

Also, we are looking for some fun suggestions for a pre or post reception party. Do you know of a good location for a large group? Or perhaps you’re more inclined to have a cocktail party? If you’re from the New York City area, your suggestions will be invaluable.

Please respond by mid-day tomorrow. We’re trying to wrap this up quickly so we can send out the invites!

  1. August 7, 2008 12:52 PM

    I like the relationships idea. Along similar lines, I’m always trying to bring more attention to the mental health aspects of diabetes – the increased rate of depression, the motivational hurdles that challenge so many of us at times, those sorts of things. Even if you don’t use it now, hopefully you can incorporate it into future conferences/symposiums.

    No matter what the topic though, sounds like it will be awesome, and a great step towards what you envision!

  2. August 7, 2008 3:30 PM

    I agree with Lee Ann, that the mental health aspects of living with diabetes is generally underrated and would be a great topic.

    Unfortunately I’m always too damn broke to travel to these kinds of things. Hopefully that will change someday!

  3. Autumn permalink
    August 7, 2008 7:07 PM

    Well relationships would probably be the easiest to get your hands around on a short notice. You could break the groups down into 4 catagories: Single, Single and Serious (engaged or might as well be), Married, Married with Children.
    The middle 2 groups would be best if the siginificant other came to the conference as well as it can be scary getting married to someone with a chronic disease, even if it is well-managed. It’s hard for us D’s too because it’s hard to let go of managing our disease by ourselves and start teaching someone to be your co-pilot.

  4. August 7, 2008 7:41 PM

    Ditto on the relationships thing.
    Also, some other ideas might be “being Type 1 in a Type 2 world”. Kind of discussing education those around us, etc.

  5. Autumn permalink
    August 8, 2008 6:09 PM

    Oh, I like Cara’s idea. I get so annoyed by the media not explaining that there is a difference between type 1, type 2 & gestational. It makes my job of explaining and educating my family, friends and co-workers about my diabetes that much harder.

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