Pre-Summit Reflections

Soon after Tia was diagnosed seven years ago we attended a Stanford Diabetes Day in San Jose and the UCSF Symposium in San Francisco. Those events changed our lives in ways I cannot fully articulate. But I know they put us on the path to seizing diabetes.

We were introduced to the amazing research that takes place at Stanford, UCSF and elsewhere in the Bay Area and around the country. We met clinicians who work tirelessly at these and others institutions in the Bay Area to improve the lives of people with diabetes. We met inspiring young adults who live their life to the fullest despite, and sometimes because of, type 1 diabetes. They all welcomed Tia with open arms and promised her and me that she could do anything with diabetes.

We met Noah Moore, the circus artist who shared his experiences traveling the world with diabetes and juggling, literally, life as a circus artist with diabetes.

We heard Will Cross share his stories of climbing the tallest peak on every continent and walking to the north and south pole. He told of his successes and failures at summiting Mt. Everest and how diabetes sometimes does get in the way (if I recall correctly, his pump failed on his first attempt so he had to turn back). But that if at first you don’t succeed–try, try again

I still remember those days vividly. That was when I first heard Dr. Bruce Buckingham and Barry Conrad speak about treating diabetes not only from the physical side but also from the psychosocial and emotional side and we were first introduced to the concepts of “checking blood sugars” not “testing” and that “there are no bad numbers.”

At UCSF Kathleen Fraser was quick to show us her pink meter, pink pump, and pink infusion site and on stage she introduced Dr. Steve Gitelman who spoke about the steep decline in the rate of complications, and later that afternoon during a breakout session with Dr. Adi he supported Tia’s desire to go on a pump even though she’d only been diagnosed for six weeks.

All of these stories and people inspired us to stay close to the diabetes community because we found that the closer we were to the diabetes community, the less burdensome diabetes felt. I often say that anytime two people with type 1 diabetes get together, magic occurs. So imagine what happens when you get a room full of people with T1D together? Or better yet, an auditorium filled with 388 T1Ders and a camp filled with 117 kids?

That’s the excitement I feel as we approach the Third Annual Bay Area Diabetes Summit.

These days I am honored, humbled, and privileged to be on the organizer side of the Third Annual Bay Area Diabetes Summit. Carb DM is partnering with the aforementioned heroes as well as our amazing partners at JDRF, ADA, and DYF with the support of every medical institution in the Bay Area: Kaiser Permanente, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Pediatric Diabetes Center at Stanford University, Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes at University of California San Francisco, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Mills Peninsula Health Services Diabetes Research Institute, University of California San Francisco Diabetes Center.

I’m excited for all of you to experience that magic tomorrow. It’s going to be a great day, and we look forward to sharing it with all of you!

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