Birthday Wish List and What’s New in 2022

It’s time to PAR-TAY!! Today marks my 40 something birthday living with Type 1 diabetes. I’m grateful to have a platform to share my story and look forward to all 2022 has to offer. Thank you for being part of the journey as I’ve learned so much from your stories! Read on while we take a look back at what we’ve accomplished in 2021, plans for 2022, and birthday wishes for today.

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Podcast 114: Defining Progress in Daily Diabetes Management, Part #2 | Insulin Pump Therapy Leaders

Imagine a future where diabetes is the last thing on the mind of people living with it – that is progress! In part #1 we got an inside look at how the insulin industry is spurring each other on to make advancements in diabetes management. In part #2 we continue the conversation with the leaders in the insulin pump industry, alongside my well-versed cohost, Mark Carter. As a little refresher, we had the pleasure of hearing from Michael Hill, VP of Global Portfolio Marketing at Medtronic, Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President and Medical Director at Insulet, and Dr. Steph Habif, a behavioral scientist at Tandem.

Let’s jump back into this topic and learn more about how you can define progress in daily diabetes management and what’s on the horizon for insulin pump therapy. 

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Podcast 113: What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg – Diabetes & OCD? | Brett Ryan Stewart

I’ve joked, and/or compared my diabetes management to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), but hadn’t met anyone living with both conditions until interviewing Brett Ryan Stewart. Brett is a Nashville based producer who shared – “ultimately what OCD kind of comes down to is this inability to accept what you can’t control and then obsessing about a way to control the uncontrollable.” I’m sure many of you living with T1D can relate to this mentality and Brett’s ability to give us a look into his daily life was eye opening to say the least.

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Podcast 112: Defining Progress in Daily Diabetes Management, Part #1 | Insulin Pump Therapy Leaders

Real Life Diabetes Podcast 112

The world of diabetes management is growing at an expeditious rate, so how do we define progress in this space? Great question, and one I couldn’t resolve myself so I brought in past podcast guest and fellow T1D, Mark Carter, who has worked within the industry. We had the pleasure of sitting with three insulin pump therapy leaders: Michael Hill, VP of Global Portfolio Marketing at Medtronic; Dr. Trang Ly, Senior Vice President and Medical Director at Insulet; and Dr. Steph Habif, a behavioral scientist at Tandem

Our conversation is packed with insights on how to define progress in daily diabetes management while addressing some of the community’s most burning questions. Stay tuned for part #2.

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Podcast 111: “Sacrifice the Weak, Re-open Tennessee” | Madison Thorn

It’s time to get rid of the word ‘weak’ when talking about people navigating chronic illnesses. In reality, we are some of the strong, unique and resilient people in the world, and Madison Thorn is spreading that very message. She was fueled by a nasty protest sign and turned that energy into a thought provoking project highlighting other high risk humans like ourselves, a story that needs to be told.

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Podcast 110: Avoiding the Self Pity Track | Ginger Vieira

Real Life Diabetes Podcast

Ginger Vieira learned quickly that it turns out there is a whole lot you can still do even while dealing with diabetes when you approach yourself kindly rather than getting stuck in self pity. She is a passionate writer and editor with a mission to turn complex health information into easy-to-read content. Ginger herself navigates not only through T1D, but other autoimmune diseases as well, but not for a moment does she let herself get caught up in self pity. Instead she works tirelessly to bring out content that impacts others going through similar struggles.

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Podcast 109: Slow Down the Forward Progress | Charles Mattocks

When Charles Mattocks was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, he was given little to no education on how to manage this disease so he took matters into his own hands. After getting his own health back on track, Charles is sharing his journey into advocacy, and how he is effectively trying to reverse the forward progress of unmanaged diabetes.

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Podcast 108: We Don’t Need a New PlayStation, We Need a Solution | Kayla Mattingly

Real Life Diabetes Podcast
People living with diabetes don’t just need the latest and greatest tech, they need real solutions to unique problems! Kayla Mattingly always knew she wanted 3-4 kids from the start, but never imagined two of her four sons would be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She rolled with the autoimmune punches, but an insulin allergy has her family and medical team scrambling for solutions. Type IV Hypersensitivity to insulin is rare, but she has found a handful of other parents who are looking for answers. 

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Podcast 107: Sometimes You Just Have to Step Back | Kristina Loskarjova

To all those who need to hear this – yes you can! This is the lifelong motto of Kristina Loskarjova, a woman who sets her mind to something and makes it happen while living her best life with T1D. She shares how taking a step back from the pressures of management could be exactly what you need to get back out and start living a fulfilled life. Kristina is an accomplished designer, entrepreneur and author who is sharing her story and those of other people living extraordinary lives with this disease. 

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Podcast 104: The Advocacy Sweet Life | Bridget McNulty

I’m fascinated with diabetes care and advocacy efforts in other countries so I was thrilled to connect with Bridget, a fellow T1D making waves in South African healthcare. She goes above and beyond to ensure people living with diabetes have the information and tools they need to live their best life. South Africa has a long way to go and I feel confident Bridget will be leading the movement.
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Podcast 102: Raising the Voice of People Living with Diabetes | Kyle Jacques Rose

Kyle is a seasoned traveler and person living with T1D whose career path has been shaped by the bumps and bruises of living with this disease. He currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for DiabetesWise who has launched the DiabetesWise Device Finder, a tool created at Stanford University School of Medicine to help PWD easily identify the best technology for their personal diabetes management.
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Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour Registration

Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour Registration

The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour takes place every Thursday from 5 – 6:15pm CST. The event has nothing to do with alcohol, but is for adults living with diabetes or caring for someone living with this disease. Each week is filled with laughter, lame jokes, trivia and live music with people who get it from across the globe. Don’t be shy, pop in and make a new friend. CLICK HERE to register.

Podcast 101: Understanding the Executive Order Freeze Concerning Insulin | Mike Hoskins & OK State Senator, Carri Hicks

This impromptu episode was a no brainer when President Biden took office and put a freeze on past executive orders. The diabetes community flipped out so I contacted two friends who can help me and the DOC better understand what this really means. In this episode we discuss the EO freeze on insulin and grassroots advocacy efforts. 

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Happy Birthday to Me – Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour

Today, January 7th, 2021 I celebrate my 29th year on this beautiful planet and considering the current shit storm of world events and quarantine I would normally be sad, BUT connecting with my diapeeps every Thursday during the Real Life Diabetes Happy Hour has literally saved my life. I would love for you to join me tonight or any Thursday you are free to pop in between 5 – 6:15pm CST. Please be sure to register – CLICK HERE.

This birthday pic was taken three weeks before I was diagnosed with T1D and celebrating with other people who “get it” is a reminder – I am not alone and you don’t have to be either.

Podcast 98: Research Is Me Search | Dr. Allyson Hughes

Dr. Allyson Hughes is a self-proclaimed animal lover, methodology geek and research scientist who collaborates with various industries to develop research projects from beginning to end, and advocates for health policy with the data she collects. Having been diagnosed with T1D herself, she knows all too well the struggles we face. This is what prompted her career path as a health psychologist dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes.

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Podcast 97: A Snarky Comment Helps Lessen the T1D Burden | Jutta Haaramo


I’m a sucker for witty banter and was thrilled to connect with Jutta Haaramo, co-founder of the Happy Bob app, who has brought a bit of lightheartedness to managing her son’s life with T1D. Her mission is to share the latest diabetes data, without overloading people with information by making it a fun, and rewarding experience. This is just the beginning of an exciting partnership with Jutta and the Happy Bob app team.
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Podcast 96: I’m Not a China Doll | Janet Hatch & Zandra Soanes

Thankfully, many of us living with Type 1 diabetes have a supportive parent(s), but have we really taken time to think about how our diagnosis affected our loved ones. When Janet’s media kit fell on my desk, I knew I wanted to connect. Their story of strength and partnership as they navigated through this disease, both highs and lows, is a reminder – we are not alone.  Continue reading

Podcast 95: Shooting for the Stars | April Blackwell

I don’t know about you, but in kindergarten I wasn’t considering space exploration as a career path, but April stuck to her guns and achieved this goal even after a T1D diagnosis. Her calm demeanor, passion and journey to become an aerospace engineer is inspiring to say the least. She deserves to be the first person living with diabetes in space and absolutely shares my personal mantra to dream big – diabetes or not.

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Podcast 94: Who Forgets if They’ve Given an Insulin Shot? | Sean Saint & John Sjolund

With a little friendly stalking I had the pleasure of chatting with two incredibly inspirational industry leaders, and self proclaimed friendemies, Sean Saint and John Sjolund. Their drive to succeed and multiple success stories mirror my mission to help improve quality of life for all people living with diabetes. They are entertaining to say the least and had me laughing throughout the interview while giving me hope for the future of diabetes management.  Continue reading

The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour is Growing!

The Real Life Diabetes Virtual Happy Hour takes place every Thursday from 5 – 6:15pm CST. The theme or activity has attendance growing because we have a TON of fun with folks who “get it”.  This event is a great place to meet new people, connect with old friends and hopefully lift your spirits as you roll into the weekend.
Checkout a few fun pics below and be sure to click on the Happy Hour logo to register. Continue reading

Podcast 91: The Importance of Connectivity | Diabuddies App Founders

The battle against diabetes doesn’t have to be done alone, we need community. That is the mindset of today’s guests (yes plural!) the Diabuddies App Founders, Amy, Sarah and Charlene. As we dive in, you’ll learn how these ladies’ experience with diabetes led them to create something ALL people living with diabetes can support. Continue reading

Podcast 88: T1D Drives Me To Serve The Underdog | Reverend Andy Bales

Reverend Bales story was one I could not pass up. While many of us living Type 1 diabetes quarantined, he hit the front line to serve the homeless community on Skid Row. He has lived with T1D for 48 years and hasn’t let this disease keep him from achieving his goals both physically and professionally. He is truly a hero!
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Podcast 87: Taking T1D on an Epic Appalachian Trail Adventure | Mike Joyce

Throughout his epic adventure, Mike went from couch potato to dropping around 100 lbs. in order to fulfill his dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail all while adjusting his diabetes management. It takes a lot of courage to completely overhaul your habits! His ability to plan all things hiking for 5+ months AND throwing in all the diabetes supplies traveling cross country blows my mind. This is only the beginning as he soon off to his next adventure. Continue reading

Podcast 86: The Highs & Lows of Diabetes and Cannabis | Sarah MacLeod

Sarah is a breath of fresh air. Her ability to be honest, vulnerable and willing to discuss all aspects of her T1D journey is the perfect combination to connect the diabetes online masses. In this first ever episode for the DDG, we discuss medicinal cannabis and what it has done for Sarah in addition to daily practices of yoga, meditation and online connectivity.
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Podcast 85: An Open Conversation About Insulin With Novo Nordisk | Dr. Todd Hobbs & Ken Inchausti

After a recent announcement from Novo Nordisk I cleared my schedule to record this episode with Dr. Todd Hobbs, Chief Medical Officer for North America and Ken Inchausti, Senior Director of Corporate Communications. In this open discussion they share resources and cost saving programs, details about insulin production, insulin trials and what’s on the horizon for insulin therapies. I learned SO much about a drug I’ve been taking for decades!

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Podcast 83: A Positive Poster Child for the Type 2 Diabetes Community | Tracey D. Brown

For newly diagnosed T2D, it might be overwhelming and many fall into diabetes denial. In an effort to change this mentality, Tracey shares an authentic story of how a question from her daughter was the “aha” moment to take things seriously. In this episode, Tracey unapologetically shares her story because there is no shame in the game! Diabetes is a family affair and her energy, lifestyle choices and overall mentality is hopefully contagious – in a good way.

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Podcast 81: Pandemic or Not – Emergency Insulin Resources | Big Pharma

This impromptu episode was created to hopefully set your mind at ease. As PWDs are flooded with stories on social media concerning the fear of an insulin shortage or the disruption of diabetes supplies, I felt compelled to act. Even though most companies have issued statements reassuring people living with diabetes that everything would be okay, I wanted to hear it for myself from the company leaders. Continue reading

Mini-Podcast 3: DreaMed Diabetes – Turning Patient Data into Human Insight

DreaMed Diabetes, a leader in AI solutions for personalized diabetes management and the company behind the first artificial pancreas technology recently launched Advisor Pro software. This software can analyze glucose and insulin data in seconds and advise on an optimal treatment plan including basal rate, carb ratio, insulin sensitivity factor, and personal management tips. The Advisor Pro also allows remote clinic visits and frequent titration changes.

Mini-Podcast 2: Steady Health – “You Deserve More Than a Quarterly Check-Up”

Steady Health is the first full-service digital diabetes clinic in the US. Their services combine the power of continuous glucose monitors and the convenience of telemedicine to deliver a new type of care to patients. You can see an endocrinologist from home and get ongoing care and support from a team of diabetes specialists.

Podcast 61: A Glamorous & Glittery Perspective on Life with T1D | Paloma Kemak

While on the road with the Real Life Diabetes podcast in Scottsdale, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Paloma Kemak (aka Glitter Glucose). Her story is very different from mine, but her diagnosis and overall mindset is entertaining and up-lifting. Paloma’s energy and ability to laugh while sharing her story is contagious and inspiring to PWDs from across the globe.

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Podcast 11.5: Chasing The Driving Dream with T1D | NASCAR Driver Ryan Reed

Real Life Diabetes Podcast - Ryan Reed, Nascar Driver

Diabetes and driving – race car driving that is… is the topic today as Amber recently won the Lilly Diabetes My Diabetes Pit Crew Sweepstakes! She’s officially an honorary member of Ryan Reed’s pit crew and was given the opportunity to interview the Nascar driver about life on the road with diabetes. In this first ever MiniPod, we talk real life – Amber style (no filter). Ryan Reed indulges her “non-traditional” questions, shares his go-to recipes, and who has access to giving him a shot. Continue reading

Podcast 11: What You Don’t Learn At The Endo: 8 Diabetes Lessons Discovered The Hard Way | Amber & Ryan

What You Don't Learn At The Endo | Real Life Diabetes Podcast 11

As Amber and Ryan have poured their collective souls into the Internet (a slightly terrifying thought) over the past two years, they’ve noticed a few themes when it comes to living life with this disease. That’s what today’s all about: realness in the form of personal experience. With 40+ years of experience between the two, they widdled down the advice into 8 simple, everyday lessons.

Here’s what you’re in for today: Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Medical Research Donations vs. Deaths

Fundraising ChartI came across a recent article, The Truth About the Ice Bucket Challenge by VOX.com, that sparked a bit of anger.  As someone in the non-profit world, charitable gifts are a HUGE component to the success of your organization or cause, and in my industry we have to be transparent as to what the donation will be used for (capital improvements, programming, general operation expenses, etc).  The recent ALS challenge and the statistics from this article brought that gut wrenching question to the surface – where is this money going?  Will it focus on finding a cure or just advancing methods/medications to treat the disease.  Both are very important, but my blood begins to boil knowing that a few companies actually benefit from the focus being on medications instead of a cure.   Continue reading