Monday, April 23, 2012

JDRF/CHOP Conference

I'm participating in the WEGO Health Blog's 'Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge' where bloggers are asked to write about their conditions. The goal is to write from these 30 health related prompts for 30 days in April.

Today is day twenty three.
Health Activiist Choice Day. Write about whatever you like.

JDRF/CHOP Diabetes Conference

Grace and I attended the JDRF/CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) Diabetes conference on Saturday. It was entitled 'Living Well with Diabetes: Now and in the Future' which I really appreciated. There were lots of great speakers and sessions. And lots of families, many newly diagnosed, who came to hear all about diabetes care.

Dr. Aaron Kowalski of the JDRF spoke about the Artificial Pancreas Project (APP). This gives me the most hope, that Grace in her lifetime, will see something that will make her life with diabetes 'easier' for her, but most importantly, safer. The low blood sugar suspend feature interests me the most. Suspending insulin delivery when a CGM is already telling her that she is low, will perhaps save her life. I am all for that. It's exciting to see the technology, the clinical trials and the results. 

Marcus Grimm, a Team Type 1 rider, runner and athlete, spoke about exercise and Type 1 management. Here is a guy who just ran the Boston Marathon with a starting BG of 135 and an ending BG of 85. I will take advice from him any day. He had practical and useful strategies for carb-loading, testing while in a sport, refueling and how to prepare for an athletic event. This kind of stuff interests me, because if Grace learns all this, and I learn it, we can get on with life - dancing, swimming, doing everything she would like to do.

Grace met Robyn Cox, the dolphin trainer at SeaWorld, San Antonio, TX. What an inspiration! She was diagnosed at age 13 with Type 1 and also wears an OmniPod insulin pump, just like Grace. They talked about where they wear their pumps, how often they swim, how they attach it to themselves. It's so interesting to hear what others do. Grace's won't stay on without SkinTac and Robyn doesn't use SkinTac at all. Just proves that every person with diabetes is different. Grace was beyond thrilled to meet her in person and ask her questions and know that she can do anything she would like to do in life, much like Robyn.

Robyn and Grace, at the OmniPod table

We also some great friends at the conference, people who make it all worthwhile and lift my spirits. They let me know I am not alone in all this, and that if they can do it, day after day, I can too. The man of the hour, the incredible Bennet was there. And so was Haley, who spoke on a panel of teens with diabetes, for teens with diabetes. It was closed to parents, which was great. A few years from now, I will be sending Grace in to listen and share. It's exciting, the new chapters of life. Growth and independence.

Grace was in the children's group throughout her day, while I was in the sessions. She had a blast. She played games, did yoga and made art with the fantastic Lee Ann!

Grace in the games session with Bob the games leader!

Yoga class. She was relaaaaaaaaaxed.
Diabetes art with Lee Ann!

The Circle of Diabetes, The Circle of Life

And I love diabetes conferences. Carb counts on foods!

And I love my city, beautiful views from the 33rd floor of the Loews hotel!

And I love activity and exercise and the beauty of seeing this...

Great conference. Great friends. Great connections.


Unknown said...

Ahhh.... smiling ear-to-ear this morning...catching-up with some of my favorite D-Peeps.

shannon said...

what an AWESOME experience! sounds like a one-day version of FFL! FANTASTIC! :)

sheila thomas said...

It was so nice meeting you and Grace at the conference! Thanks for the help with camp and introducing me to Mark!