Onward and Upward
Don’t tell anyone, but my secret goal in life is to meet every diabetic in the world. Saturday’s Diabetes 2.0 conference, hosted by DRI at the Marriott Marquis in New York City (on what was one of the crummiest days I have seen in awhile), took me one step closer to reaching that goal.
Most of the other bloggers have given their own run-down of the day, which for me started off with Lee Ann waiting patiently for me in my kitchen while I finished getting ready (alarm clocks are not my friend). After a quick bus ride into the city, we met the other bloggers next to the breakfast buffet (obviously!) before heading in to hear speakers discuss new diabetes research (islet cell transplants, stem cell research and islet cell protection being among the most note-worthy of topics).
Our lunch panel was engaging and interesting, which I attribute to our wonderful moderator, Amy Tenderich, and the panelists, Dr. Jay Skylar and Dr. Norma Kenyon of the DRI, Fran Carpentier, editor of Parade and newbie blogger, Wendy Satin Rapaport, a hilarious psychologist, and Jeff Hitchcock, leader of the CWD empire. I took quite a few notes during the panel, but overall I think the Diabetes O.C. has had the right idea all along – work towards a cure, but don’t live for a cure. Be knowledgable about the science, but understand the limitations of movement. Immediate breakthroughs for scientists are not necessarily immediate breakthroughs for the patient – which means the discovery is useful for research, but not for us to put into practice. The media does not understand our world, so we have an added responsibility of reading the news with a filter, not to completely avoid it, but to understand the inherent flaws of having an outsider explain our world.
The break-out sessions and I attended the exercise session with David Weingard of Fit4D, the Tools and Technologies session with Dr. Tamborlane (which taught me absolutely nothing new, but I wasn’t really expecting it to), and Diabetes Burnout which was hilarious despite the emotional topics. At the end of the session, Sri gave the blogger table (which at that point consisted of me, Gina, Val, Kelly, Lee Ann and Bernard) a huge nod of support which led the audience to applaud – it was very amusing and thoroughly appreciated.
We had a bit of time do some photo-opping and chit-chatting before bidding farewell to Amy, Gina and Kelly and then the remaining bloggers scurried our way through the rain, navigating the subway system (I felt like a camp counselor!) and took a cab for a total of three blocks. But trust me, it would have been the longest three blocks of our lives if we had walked. Dinner at Cibo was amazing, as usual. They have such a good menu and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with everyone who came to Diabetes 2.0 and the Diabetes Community Dinner, which is the fifth event that I’ve hosted. Pretty cool!
I’m sure at least a few people are wondering, “So is there going to be an adult with diabetes next year?”
The answer is still “I don’t know but I am trying.” I can tell you that we have a conference call in the works with Lori, who works for DRI and is part of the event planning. All the thoughts and opinions that people have sent in are helping. The more voices we hear from, the more we can share with the organizations that there really is a need for a conference for adults with diabetes. We need everyone to realize, however, that we’re not going to make everyone happy. We live in a very large country and in this economy it’s very difficult to have disposable income to travel. We are making attempts to find a happy medium for people. Like most events, this will continue to grow each year as we’re able to prove attendance (companies don’t want to pay for sponorships if no one comes, ya know?).
Anyway, I’m excited by the potential that we have to see our dream come to fruition and while I might not be able to meet every diabetic in the world, I’ll definitely meet every diabetic in my world (hint: you).