Message Monday: Why I Blog

Diabetes Blog Week: Message Monday - Why I Blog

On this first day of #dblogweek, why am I here? Why am I writing this? Why am I still blogging about diabetes after all of these years? The truth is, when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was only 4 years old and the only diabetic around me was……….me.  I was the only person in my grade school who had juvenile diabetes until the middle of high school, but we only knew we were both diabetics because the nurse had their extra supplies in her office. I was the only one who had to poke my fingers in the middle of class. I was the only one in my school who needed insulin before eating lunch, who had to have sugar free popsicles instead of those red, white, and blue ones. I was the only one who had a purse, well a [big] purse full of life saving supplies at a very very young age. I was the only diabetic trying to use an insulin pump and wearing the pump site or taking a shot, feeling how much it hurt. Diabetes wise, I felt alone.

mjwalkbreakfastNow don’t get me wrong…my sister and I, along with our Mom and Aunt Mama, my diabetic angels, began advocating for more funding for research to find a cure mjGMAgroupwhen we were 5 years old. We were featured in a weekly “Video Diary” on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson. We all were speaking for those who couldn’t. Being able to tell my story, to hear Jackie, without diabetes – talk about what it’s like as the sister of a diabetic, to hear my Mom describe how she barely sleeps at night, because she is awake worrying about me….To tell other people, not just diabetics, how much we need a cure, that is my diabetes awareness message – whether it’s through blogging, testifying, through our music to donate to research, or through those video diaries.

When I first started blogging, there wasn’t a name for our community or a hashtag, but we all knew of each other and kept a “blogroll” of our diabetic friends. We each shared experiences, maybe daily conversations we had with other people, new pump stories, our [many] frustrations, and positive things too! (I know! They do DIABETES-ROLLERCOASTERexist!)

But really, until I met what is called the Diabetes Online Community (that’s “DOC” for short) where I found other people writing about their experience with diabetes I found out I wasn’t the only one.

Yes, I met other diabetics at conferences and Fundraising Galas, and Walk to Cure Diabetes Events, but it’s not like when you’re 10 years old, you’re going to talk on the phone a lot, send a fax, write a letter, and email each other about diabetes, right? But we did. And technology changed, so web-chatting became blogging.  I started blogging because I knew there were other diabetics out there looking for the same information I was. Even if it was just to read my ranting of my day sometimes, it’s what I am going through, and if my message of the day is not always positive or perfect, that’s ok, because diabetes has it’s ups and downs. I can go from “yay, my blood sugar is 100”  to “i hate diabetes today, i want to throw my pump across the room” moments.
Diabetes is a roller coaster, whether we see it on our CGM graph or not. Sometimes it’s only on twitter, or a picture on instagram, or I will explain exactly what I’m feeling like with a lot more than 140 characters on here, but now, I know I am not alone and I hope you know you aren’t either. We’re all in this together, and we all have moments to share, and I am grateful to have a place to go to share my experiences!


What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.
You can also check out the topics over here and you can find a list of participants over here. And don’t forget to check out the DBlogWeek Facebook page here. Sending a special Thank you to Karen Graffeo, of Bitter Sweet Diabetes!

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Diabetes and Oral Health: Things You Need To Know Now

FEATURE FRIDAY on CUREMOLL

DIABETES and Oral Health - Things You Need To Know To Know Now

DIABETES & ORAL HEALTH: THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW!

Research links Gum Disease to…

  • Diabetic complications
  • Pregnancies-Premature and low-weight births
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • As well as…Mental Health, Eating Disorders, Pancreatic Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Obesity, Lung Conditions, and Bacterial pneumonia!

The Danger of Gum Disease

By now you understand, Oral Health is about more than bad breath. For those of us who live with Diabetes type 1 or type 2, poor Oral Health can literally be the difference between life and death. [1] For me, the objective is to prevent any degree of gum disease and in so doing, prevent the potential for diabetic complications. Little did I know that my solution would be as simple as the groundbreaking toothbrush…The 30 Second Smile Toothbrush!

Why Share This Life-Saving Information?

For those of you who follow me on curemoll.com, you know that I rarely recommend a product…that is until now! However, this information about an innovative and technologically advanced toothbrush is too important to not share with the entire diabetic community, their families and friends.

My Experience30-second-smile-ad-curemoll

Let me backup…some months ago, I was introduced to this new and groundbreaking technology. I was curious, but I thought it’s just another toothbrush right? Don’t’ they all do the same thing the same way? The answer was a resounding NO! Not this brush!  The 30 Second Toothbrush was different from anything I had ever seen or used. This brush did the work for me instead of me trying to work the brush.

Because of this brush I discovered I wasn’t properly brushing my teeth…are you? To be honest, I thought I knew how to brush my teeth, but to my surprise I learned I really didn’t! On a side note, I’ll tell you that because I have diabetes I work extra hard to be hands-on and take care of myself, including frequently brushing my teeth throughout the day, however I now know that when it comes to my oral health, that wasn’t enough, it didn’t matter how many times I brushed…if I wasn’t doing it correctly.

There really is a correct way to brush your teeth!

You see, there is an exact way to brush your teeth (front, back, bottom, angles etc.) and unless you do it properly every time, twice a day, using circular motions, at precisely a 45 degree angle with the brush always touching the teeth and the gum, using a soft brush (never hard), for a minimum of two minutes with an electric brush and 3 minutes with a manual brush…you are not brushing properly and you may be putting yourself at risk for gum disease that can lead to a multitude of serious health issues. [2]

Brushing Incorrectly and the potential for human error

This is why I am so grateful that I was introduced to the 30-Second Smile Toothbrush…”Every other toothbrush ever developed is reliant on the user’s skill to be effective, but as I just explained most of us probably don’t brush our teeth precisely as required…every time we brush. If a patient uses one of those products and doesn’t take the time to brush properly, then they will never achieve an acceptable result. 30 Second Smile changes all the rules for proper oral care. When a patient uses this brush, there is no more guesswork, no more hoping they will do a good job. There is no need for a timer, and no more hunting and pecking, twisting and turning to brush those hard to reach areas.” [3]

How the 30 Second Smile Toothbrush works

“The 30 Second Smile toothbrush uses 6 microbrush heads that surround your teeth in soft bristles automatically cleaning the top, bottom, front, back, and biting surfaces, simultaneously…all you do is guide the brush like it is on a track!” [3]

It is the easiest, coolest, toohbrush I have ever used!

Why I made the switch to the 30 Second Smile Toothbrush

I feel strongly that The HydraBrush 30 Second Smile Toothbrush helps me prevent gum disease, which translates into good Oral Health and less potential for diabetic complications…it literally accomplishes everything I could hope for and more from a toothbrush!

Approximately, 95% of Americans who have diabetes also have periodontal disease. (4)
95%

 

Comparison of the HydraBrush Tooth Brush with Two Commerically-Available Powered Toothbrushes

Hydrabrush Comparison #1 to Sonicare Plus and Braun Oral-B 3D Excel Powered Toothbrushes

In Clinical studies The HydraBrush 30 Second Smile group had significantly less stain and gingival intensity compared to the Sonicare group.

Read More

 

Hydrabrush Comparison #2 to Sonicare Plus and Braun Oral-B 3D Excel Powered Toothbrushes

At 4, 8 and 12 weeks, the HydraBrush group had statistically significantly less plaque than the Sonicare group.

Read More

 

Georgia Health Sciences Clinical Study

Improved gingival health can be achieved in shorter brushing time using the Hydrabrush/30 Second Smile toothbrush. This may improve oral hygiene compliance for all patients, especially those with dexterity issues.

Read More

Equally Important For All Of Us…

You Can Have Peace of Mind

The 30 Second Smile Toothbrush truly gives me peace of mind and it is the only brush I will ever use again, but don’t believe just me…Read the Clinical Studies and listen to professionals like Dr. Howard Farran, Founder & CEO of Dentaltown.com and Dental Town Magazine who said… The HydraBrush is the most amazing preventative dental toothbrush I have ever seen in my dental career.

30-second-smile-ad-curemoll

For more information on the 30 Second Toothbrush and how to save 5% on whatever you purchase, be sure to use the DISCOUNT CODE: CUREMOLL at checkout! 


Click the banner to the left or
Click Here to Order!

 

SOURCES: [1]  [2] [3] [4]

Disclosures: Hydrabrush 30 Second Smile provided me with products at no charge. Hydrabrush does not compensate me for content on curemoll as a blogger.

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Tutorial Tuesday: T:slim Grab and Go

Tutorial Tuesday: T:Slim Grab and Go

It’s Tuesday!  So naturally it’s Tutorial Tuesday – T:slim Grab and Go!

When I first got my Tandem T:slim pump and was being trained by a pump specialist, my trainer gave me a wonderful tip that I wanted to share with all of you! As you may know, when you get a box of cartridges, it comes with the needle, cartridge, and syringe. All separate. Which is awesome! But when you’re in a hurry or getting ready to travel, sometimes people forget one piece to this puzzle and then they can’t use a syringe to draw the insulin out of the bottle…like some people we know (me!)

Cue plastic sandwich bags, and my problem has been solved!

So basically, if you have some sandwich bags lying around in your kitchen drawer and your pump supplies, then you have everything you need!

Step 1: Start with 1 of each of the supplies from the t:slim Cartridge Supply Box.
You will need:

    • 1 syringe
    • 1 fill needle
    • 1 cartridge
    • 1 sandwich bag

Step 2: Insert all 3 supplies into a plastic sandwich bag. (You could totally add an insertion set too! see photos below…)

Step 3: Repeat this process until all supplies are in separate sandwich bags.
(This way, when you’re in a hurry running out the door in the morning but need to change your site, [like i have many times] you grab a bottle of insulin, an insertion set, and your “cartridge bag” and ta-dah! You have everything and are totally ready for a set change!)

Note: You could either place all of the grab-and-go bags back into the box by pushing down the middle partition cardboard, or you could add the bags to wherever else you keep your supplies, whether it is a plastic bin or perfectly sized drawer.
After each use, since I “normally” change my site at home, I reuse the bags, but if I am traveling, I have found that having that extra bag to place each piece of the wrapper and the needle into becomes super helpful.

Here’s a pictorial because I am a visual learner and need to see an example of this. 😉

TSLIM-curemoll-Grab-and-Go-infographic

 

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Our Love of the DOC

In the beginning…Jackie and I were real trailblazers back in the day. What I mean is, before there was the grand awesomeness that is today known as the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) we were co-hosting and moderating webchats (yes, like an actual chatroom boys and girls), where we would conduct live interviews with doctors/researchers and other diabetes professionals and guests around the country would log on and talk amongst each other too (it was called “Diabetes Teen Talk” with Allison Nimlos) and for that hour, we all felt connected.

I mean pre-Twitter, pre-facebook, pre-Tumblr, sort of mini DOC era, our followers, the two of us (and the Diabetic Angels) and Allison, truly enjoyed this weekly communication and it was so fulfilling to witness diabetics and their friends and family being helped, encouraged, informed and empowered during that hour because of these simple little ‘chats.’ 

As you may know, that has grown into an entire community of people with diabetes, their family members and friends. We are so grateful to have been such a small yet integral part of shaping what the DOC is today and have loved watching it progress into countless twitter meet ups, Twitter Chats on Wednesdays, (#dsma on Twitter) and entire conferences (those conferences by the way, the people who attend – are representing all of the DOC out there.)  Have you read these Blogs that reach thousands of people every day? Kerri, Scott, Naomi, Allison, Michael, Amy, George, and sooooooo many more. So many blogs – that DiabetesDaily was created so that people could keep track of all of the blogs out there related to diabetes! (wow!)  

Without all of them and their support to so many, I don’t know where I would be. For example, Naomi Kingery is the reason I started blogging. I didn’t grow up or go to school with other people who had diabetes, other than attending the JDRF Children’s Congress, so Naomi was one of the first “people like me” I could find when I was looking for other people out there writing about diabetes and going through the same things I was going through. Her positive outlook on life and living with her diabetes was so inspiring and uplifting, I am forever  thankful, Naomi! She’s now an author of “The Sugar Free Series.” And that is the reason I still blog, because I know there are people out there going through the same things I am, and maybe I can help them. Even if its just with a comment on something they wrote. 

But it isn’t just the famous DOC bloggers that are a part of the DOC.  The Diabetic Online Community are ALL OF US! We’re all a family! All of us diabetics out there looking for support, advice, how-to’s, or just people who want to vent. 

It’s amazing and worthy of a big round of applause, for these are no small feat! For any blogger reading this, know that we truly admire and support everyone and your dedication involved in building the DOC… we hope you can feel the love from our keyboard to yours! 

P.S. If you’re proud to say that we were there contributing like us in the beginning, please like this post and/or tell us your story, we’d love to hear about your experiences! 

Connect with us! We’d love to welcome you and announce to the world you’re out there!  Making connections and commenting back to each other is SO important, so turn your replies on, your ask buttons, comments from disqus, whatever you need to do, give us all a way to comment! Let us know about your blog or Twitter name! Reply to this or @reply someone on twitter! (mine is @curemoll)

And if you’re feeling left out of the DOC, why? What are some things we can do??

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Kerri Sparling’s New Book, “Balancing Diabetes”

imageMy twin sister, Jackie, and I want the whole world and especially those involved with the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) to know how spectacular Kerri Sparling’s new book,  Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well,” is! We’ve admired, respected, and laughed along with her through the years, but seeing her attain this new level of success makes us even more proud of her!

After reading her book, I, as a diabetic myself, feel truly inspired and honored to know Kerri as a person; she has a true gift of reaching people and with such grace and wit too! I’ve been saying to myself all these years, “I don’t know how she does it!” and now I’m finally beginning to understand! Reading about Kerri’s diagnosis, growing up, going to camp for the first time, her sibling’s memories, falling in love and being blessed with her beautiful daughter has not only brought me back to the olden days of drawing insulin cocktails and fighting the urge to eat that darn birthday cake, but it has also showed me what I have to look forward to and how to handle experiences I have yet to deal with. 

It also made me very grateful and touched my heart when I read Chapter 4 about Siblings and Diabetes. Kerri has so many people in her life that are her “Diabetic Angels,” take her brother and sister for example. Seeing how much they care for her reminds me of my twin sister Jackie, who was also a contributor to her book. I know for us, me growing up with diabetes & having her as an integral part of my care makes my sister and I closer, because I know there is never a minute that goes by when she’s not wondering if I’m okay, or losing sleep over it.  

“…there were so many nights I would stay awake to make sure she was okay. It was terrifying to think that one morning I would wake up and she wouldn’t. I became her protector, always aware of changes in her breathing or sleeping, setting alarms to remind her to test her blood sugar at the appropriate time, grabbing juice and a snack for her when she couldn’t, and on two occasions before we were ten years old, setting up the glucagon kit and calling 911 while our mom held Mollie in her arms after she experienced an episode with dangerously low blood sugar levels.” – Jackie Singer, Chapter Four, Siblings in Balancing Diabetes

Reading about her brother, sister, mom, husband, and close friends being her “Angels” is so special. And as I’m sure every one of us diabetics out there have said at one time or another, “Thanks for watching over us!” So thank you Darrell, Courtney, Debbe, Chris, and Jackie for being Diabetic Angels!  

“Diabetes is a disease that affects the whole family. It’s not just the person who is receiving the injections or pump infusion sets or finger pricks who’s carrying the full weight of diabetes. I don’t know if my brother and sister understood what diabetes meant when I was first diagnosed and if any of us understood just how big the words without a cure really were. But I know that we learned about diabetes as a family, and dealt with it the same way.” – Kerri Sparling, Chapter Four, Siblings in  Balancing Diabetes

Balancing Diabetes explains the true complexity of the emotional toll diabetes takes whether you’ve had it for 1 month, 20 years, or not at all. After reading her trial and error tell-all, you don’t even know you’re informing yourself, you’re just inspired to have hope and integrate her subtle helpful hints into your daily life! Diabetes is a roller-coaster ride, and Kerri lures you right into her 27 year personal wild ride full of ups and downs, tears and laughs and if you’ve ever read her blog, SixUntilMe, you know exactly what we’re talking about….Kerri pours her heart and soul into Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well with her witty writing and her positive attitude rings true with each sentence. Like us all, she’s had her fair share of struggles, but she persevered and kept herself healthy and happy, all while inspiring others like my twin sister and me, to do the same. Kerri, if you’re reading this, you are a rockstar and will always be a beacon of light for the Diabetes community!! 

Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well is now available on AmazonBarnes and Nobledigital e-books, goodreads! You can find more about Kerri on her blog, SixUntilMe, you’ll love reading it! She’s also on Facebook, Twitter @sixuntilme, and Instagram!

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November’s Diabetes Awareness Month “Photo-A-Day”

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Since it’s the last day of November, here is my 30 day collection of November’s Diabetes Awareness Month “Photo-a-Day!” Enjoy all in one blog post! Click through to see all pictures…and more! 

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#day1 – Past. 
Throwback to when Jackie and I won the the Most Caring Young American Award in Washington, D.C. Such an honor for the Diabetic Angels and us to be recognized.

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#day2 #Check
During a trip to Nashville, I had to change my site in the car because when I checked my blood sugar, it was so high and i discovered that my pump had come out and I hadn’t been delivering insulin for the whole morning. Not fun, but a new experience! Changing my site in the car! 🙂 

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#day3 #snacks
Grabbing a snack while the four of us rollerbladed in Newport Beach, California! 

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#day4 #day20 #day19 #proud #healthy #chronic
Celebrating 20 years of good health and living with a chronic disease.  

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#day5 #advocate
Jackie and I speaking on the stops of the Capitol advocating the need for more funding for diabetes research. 

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#day6 #day9 #relationship #support
The relationship the four of us in MJ2 is so special! Having the support from my sister, mother, and aunt means the world to me, and I cherish that every day!!! 

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#day8 #organization
The Diabetic Angels is an organization we formed when we were in 4th grade after experiencing discrimination…and the Diabetic Angels were created to help reduce the ignorance and fear…and to teach our friends and family about diabetes, how to use glucagon, what to do in an emergency, and so many other things. We’ve gone from fax machines to a website since we’ve started, and we will continue to forge ahead until there’s a cure!

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#day10 #exercise
Getting some exercise and rollerblading with my family!

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#day11 #play
Playing guitar on stage with my family…LOVE!

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#day12 #work
Working on a new MJ2 song….always songwriting, practicing, learning, and rehearsing! 

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#day13 #awareness
Helping spread awareness when Jackie and I were on Good Morning America for several GMA Video Diaries when we were younger…showing people what it’s like to live with diabetes on a daily basis. 

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#day14 #WDD
We’ve shut down the site on World Diabetes Day to protest on behalf of all diabetics, the fact that there is NO CURE! 

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#day15 #alert
My latest a1c!!!! 7.2!!! SO HAPPY about this! It’s been a stressful few years and my a1c’s have been higher than I wanted, so 7.2 is a huge step in the right direction!

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#day16 #blood
Well….sometimes when I poke my finger, 2 holes decide to bleed. So i made a smiley face and saw the bright side of this weird moment!

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#day17 #doc
Meeting Kerri Morrone-Sparling in New York City, she is such an inspiration to me and a huge part of the “DOC” (Diabetic Online Community)

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#day18 #frustration
Pure frustration when you find out your site came out at the Rodeo…when you’re not home or have an extra supply of insulin. Not cool. 

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#day21 #sweet
Celebrating my “20th Diabetic Anniversary” with something sweet!!! 

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#day22 #happy
HAPPY about my blood sugar being 98 when I was at the beach, PURE JOY RIGHT THERE!

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#day23 #diagnosis
The night before I was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. 

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#day24 #cure

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#day25 #wishlist
This is a drawing my sister drew when we were in grade school…..the picture says it all.

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#day26 #day28 #healthcare #necessary
The necessary healthcare supplies I need every day.

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#day29 #travel
My idea of packing/storing lots and lots of glucose tablets….read my tutorial here.

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#day30 #future
My future is to be cured of diabetes.

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DIABETIC ANGELS RISE UP

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As most of you know, MJ2 and the Diabetic Angels are HUGE supporters of the Diabetes Community and Research, and like most people in the DOC, we too are wearing blue, not because it’s our favorite color, but because it’s a state of mind. With that said, The Diabetic Angels’ website has shut down in protest! After years and years, there is still NO CURE for diabetes!  25.8 million people STILL have diabetes.  We’ve shut down the site on World Diabetes Day to protest on behalf of all diabetics, the fact that there is NO CURE. 

While we’re grateful to Dr. Banting, researchers, and the entire diabetic community for their tireless effort, governments and people around the world must unite to cure this devastating global disease.  Still don’t have a cure, still need insulin to survive, still need to prick our fingers, still have complications. “Still Have Diabetes” must become “Used To Have Diabetes!”

Join the Diabetic Angels in our protest and make your voice heard!  – follow us on twitterlike us on Facebook – instagram – subscribe

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The DOC Rocks! [updated]

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Such a fun night hanging out with @ninjabetic, @scottkjohnson, @1LittlePrick, @sugar_nova, @mj2jackiej!!! What a great DOC Meetup!  

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And we FINALLY met Manny Hernandez from TuDiabetes (@askmanny on Twitter)! He is SO cool! And a special thanks for always being so helpful, you guys rock!! 🙂 

[UPDATED]

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The next night, Jackie and I met Naomi Kingery!!!! She was the first diabetic blogger I ever talked to, and it feels like we’ve been through everything together!  We’re so happy to have finally met Naomi and it was really nice to be able to hang out and talk for a little bit!! 🙂 She is such an inspiration, and like you said Naomi, if we lived in the same city, we would be best friends! 🙂 Look out for her book coming very soon! Check out her “Sugar Free Series at livetolovediabetes.com

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Bill from 1HappyDiabetic, Manny Hernandez from TuDiabetes, Me, and Jackie! 🙂 

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Me, Ginger Vieira, and Jackie!  We’ve heard so many good things about Ginger and that night we finally met in person! 🙂 We talked a lot about exercising and diabetes, basal rates, carbs and protein, and so much more!  🙂 haha Thanks so much for all of your advice! 🙂 

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The big group picture! 🙂 Manny, David Edelman, Jackie, Mollie, Allison, Bill, Ginger, and Elizabeth Edelman! 

Meeting and hanging out with members of the Diabetic Online Community is always so much fun, and hopefully we can do this again soon! 🙂 

Pictures on Flickr!  and Facebook! 🙂 Feel free to tag yourself on Facebook! 🙂 

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The Big Blue Test

As you may or may not know…it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month!

November 14th is World Diabetes Day…and there are some amazing efforts to bring more awareness for diabetes and what the cure for diabetes would mean to all of us. This is where we all come in!


TuDiabetes and the Diabetes Hands Foundation is raising much more than diabetes awareness…they are raising money and for every view of this powerful and inspiring video, Roche Diabetes is giving a child in need a week’s worth of insulin! How amazing is that? Watching this for less than 2 minutes can make all the difference. 🙂

Please watch, and please send it on to your friends, or reblog this post or link to the video! The goal is 100,000 views!  Right now, it’s up over 41,000 views!  You have no idea how much it would mean to all of us to do the Big Blue Test this year!  I know I will! 🙂

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Featured Blogger of the Diabetes O.C.!

Hey everyone!  So I am very excited to tell you that this week, I’m the featured guest blogger on The Diabetes O.C. website!  I’ll be posting two more entries during the week, so keep a look out! The website is a great place to find other blogs that are related to diabetes, it’s such a cool directory!

So, today, the first post is about why we created the Diabetic Angels. I’m so excited, I am posting a copy of it here! Feel free to leave comments! 🙂

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Hey everyone, I wanted to start writing this blog about why almost 11 years ago, my twin sister Jackie and I, along with our mom and aunt, our mom’s twin sister, started the Diabetic Angels, let me explain.  In 1998, we were faced with a challenging situation that seriously impacted our lives, one that nearly every diabetic has experienced. Ultimately, this demoralizing incident became a blessing in disguise and resulted in the formation of a special group that raises funds and provides education and support for diabetics, their families, and friends…The Diabetic Angels.

At the age of 10, Jackie and I were having the time of our lives, we enjoyed school, had a great group of friends, and were becoming increasingly more involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, life was great…until we found out the hard way how diabetes is painful in more ways than one. The incident to which we are referring began when we had been invited to our friend’s 10th birthday party. Ecstatic, we ran home to tell our mom and for the rest of the night, going to the party was all we thought about.

The next day, our friends and us excitedly talked about all the fun things we were going to do at the party. By the time we completed our morning classes, we looked forward to lunch so we could do what we did before school, talk about the party. As usual, all of our friends sat together at the same table, and shortly after we sat down, there was a lull in the conversation as all of us started eating. However, the silence didn’t last long when the birthday girl took advantage of the full mouths and made an announcement. The birthday girl looked across the table at us and matter-of-factly said, “Oh, by the way, I have to uninvite you to my birthday party Mollie…because my mom said Diabetics are a hassle…but Jackie you can still come.” We were so stunned, we couldn’t talk, but worse, I was humiliated and brought to tears, there was nowhere to hide, no where to run. Jackie did her best to console me, but no amount of comforting was going to ease the pain. Somehow, we made it through the rest of the day, we tried to wear a smile and put up a brave front, but it only lasted until we walked off the school grounds and into our mother’s car before the two of us just started sobbing.  Mom looked at us and let us cry, but when we got home, asked us to tell her why we were crying. Jackie felt the same way as I did, the same pain I felt, Jackie felt, angry and powerless (we thought).  However, as it turned out, mom helped us understand that we weren’t helpless, and with the clarity we now had of what happened and why it happened, we began to correct the injustice. Later that night, mom contacted the parents of this child and agreed that they had the right to invite whoever they wanted to their child’s birthday party, but to tell any diabetic child, and in particular, her child, that she was a hassle because she was a diabetic, was way out of line. Mom went on to explain why I was not a hassle, as I was a well managed diabetic who knew exactly how to take care of myself and whose twin sister also knew how to help me and what to do should there ever be an emergency (which had only happened once when I was 4). Our friend’s mother agreed that she didn’t know about diabetes, admitting that she had made a mistake and didn’t mean to hurt our feelings.

A few days passed and Mom let us feel bad and try to come to terms with our emotions before she sat us down and all of us talked about what happened, why we thought it happened and what, if anything, we could do about it. At first, we didn’t think we could do anything to make it better, but the more we talked with mom, the more we realized that maybe there was a way of preventing other young people from experiencing this kind of humiliation and pain. After having talked for hours, mom explained to us that most people weren’t intentionally cruel. She told us that she believed the reason people say hurtful things such as, “Diabetics are a hassle,” is a direct result of ignorance and fear based on misinformation. All of a sudden, we understood what she had been saying, there was something we could do to stop the ignorance and the fear; that something was to find a way to help all young people who lived with a chronic disease, or who faced additional challenges.

The sadness we had been feeling for days began to diminish, as joy and hope replaced our grief and anger. By the end of the weekend, we were feeling empowered and motivated to take on the challenge of educating everyone that crossed our path about the reality of diabetes. We believed that if we could teach our friends, our peers, and our classmates, they in turn would educate their parents, their friends, and their peers…and so began the concept of the Diabetics Angels.

In the end, mom helped us understand that we couldn’t change what had been done to us, but that dwelling on it would only bring about more sadness and accomplish nothing. She told us we needed to take this negative situation and turn it into a positive force, and that in actuality this incident was a blessing in disguise. The truth is that the embarrassment, humiliation and sorrow we felt left a scar, but it is also true that the wound healed when we found hope in the idea of changing the world one friend at a time.

Over the next few months, we mounted an attack on ignorance. We invited our classmates to join us in knowing more about diabetes than most adults (which sounded like a lot of fun at the time!). We asked them to agree to learn the basics of diabetes, what it meant to have normal, low, or high blood sugar, as well as, the symptoms of high or low blood sugar and then how to respond in case of a diabetic emergency.  Now, with the help of the internet, the Diabetic Angels have a page called Diabetes 101 where diabetics can take a quick refresher course or those who just want to know, can go and learn more about diabetes.

Furthermore, we asked them to agree to become diabetic advocates, which included writing their congressional representatives regarding the funding of diabetes research and technology. The “Diabetic Angels” also raised funds for medical research by asking people to sponsor them, as they joined our Walk Team, “Mollie’s Diabetic Angels,” in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF’s) annual “Walk To Cure Diabetes.” Finally, the “Diabetic Angels” joined us when we made public appearances, which in the end turned out to be one of our most enjoyable endeavors.

What started as an initiative with 7 girls quickly grew to become one of the coolest clubs in school. Although learning about diabetes was a serious subject, we realized the importance of making our meetings fun, and with this in mind, we put the fun back in FUNdraising!! For example, we help meetings at the local water park, on a camping trip, as well as, at our house with a sleepover and a pizza party. Our objective was met, we had fun, our friends learned more about diabetes than we ever could have imagined, and in turn, they shared their knowledge with everyone who crossed their paths, one “Angel” even used the knowledge she had gained to save her grandfather’s life…that alone made the formation of the “Diabetic Angels” worthwhile.

Since the first meeting in 1998, our lives have changed dramatically, as we watched the “Diabetic Angels” spread to 6 continents and positively impact diabetics, their families, and their friends. Today, we are proud to say that our mission to cure diabetes and teach others about the importance of diabetes awareness, advocacy, education and fundraising is succeeding! And as our story continues, Jackie and I would like to leave you with the meaningful thoughts of two of our heroes who have inspired us and hopefully will also inspire you. Oh, and by the way, since there are two of us writing the story of the “Diabetic Angels” and we couldn’t agree on just one quote, Jackie selected Mother Theresa, who once said, “There is a tremendous strength that is growing in the world through the sharing together, praying together, suffering together, and working together” which we still do with our friends, both old and new…and I, Mollie, have chosen Albert Schweitzer, whose words taught us that if we, “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it!”  We have spent many years imitating the good deeds of people we love and respect and it is our dream not only to cure diabetes, but also that the “Diabetic Angels” become a rippling effect of kindness and giving that spreads around the world.

Now that you have an understanding of why we started the Diabetic Angels, we would appreciate your help in our fight to stop discrimination and advocate for the cure!! If this is something you’d like to do, please become a member of the Diabetic Angels at http://www.diabeticangels.com where together, we will create an unstoppable global movement to cure diabetes!

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The 2008 Recap

2008 has definitely brought many good times and endless memories!  The year began in January when Jackie and I went to New York City for the Mudd Girls Move the World Photoshoot!! Exercise is a major part of managing my diabetes, and this year, taking Yoga classes brought my blood sugars in the 20’s and taught me a lot about maintaining my blood sugars during exercise!!!!

We turned 19 years old! We sang for the opening game of the UNLV baseball season! In March, Jackie and I found out from a comment on our myspace that we were in an ad in Teen Vogue Magazine! We wanted to say Thank You Mudd for giving us the opportunity to help bring awareness to Diabetes. Jackie and I sang the National Anthem at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 13th for NHRA! We made an account on YouTube. We uploaded only 3 videos in 2008, but now that we got the hang of it, watch for more in 2009!

Diabetes was definitely a big part of 2008. I had breakfast with Kerri, and dinner with Allison, while in New York City. It was rainy and windy in good old Manhattan, and our umbrellas insisted on succumbing to the wind.  Dear tester, I forgot you at home. Let’s try not to forget that again. Naomi Kingery’s book, “Sugar Free Me” came out and I was so excited for you, and you really are an inspiration!   My pumping experience went wireless in ‘08.   I was taught how to use the Omnipod, a.k.a. Sir Pod. Dr. Dewan started blogging for theDiabetic Do’s and Don’ts.  We met Diane, the newest member of the Diabetic Angels!  I blogged about pumping….To Pump or to Omnipod? I can now wear my Omnipod on my stomach – and I wore a dress without my pump being a big accessory.  My Diabetic Anniversary was on September 8th…15 years.  Team Diabetic Angels participated in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and raised over $4,000!  I wore the CGM to fine-tune my basal rates.  Thanks to Dr. Dewan and the Diabetic Do’s and Dont’s, he posted a Halloween Candy Carb List.

The Diabetic Angels have gone online, with a website, myspace and facebook. :]

In June, we visited family in New York City. We drove to Poughkeepsie, NY to see our sister Colee, John and Skylar.  We took a tiny airplane to Toronto Canada and received ____ award and sand Dreams at the Conference Dinner.    We moved our blog over to a new home and we finally blogged about The Caring Awards.

Jackie and I announced that we have been named as two of the spokespeople for Heart of Gold which was followed by an article in Justine Magazine’s August/September 2008 issue!!!  We went to Nashville and met our producer and manager to be and had the greatest time in Music City!  We were invited to sing at theJuvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Calgary’s Starry Starry Night Gala and met some amazing friends.

We saw Jackie and the Diabetic Angels on the back of Doritos Bags!!!

Mollie and Jackie MJ2 posted a YouTube video about Mollie and Jackie’s Hilarious Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s already December, this year has gone by so quickly! Next year will bring many exciting experiences and we are excited to see what comes next and appreciate everything that we’ve been blessed to do already. Happy New Year everyone!!!!

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Jackie on Bags of Doritos Chips!

The Diabetic Angels, which began 10 years ago, are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate our 10th anniversary by being featured on the back of Nacho Cheese Dortios thanks to Do Something and their Frito Lay Doritos campaign!!

We are extremely excited for the opportunity to reach and inspire young people across America. The Doritos campaign originated from a partnership with DoSomething.org, which celebrates through their annual Do Something Awards, “young do-gooders,” who are changing the world. We are proud to be associated with Do Something and grateful that the Doritos campaign aids us in furthering our cause to raise diabetes awareness.


We believe anyone can be a DA. Ultimately, we hope that with the help of DO SOMETHING, Frito Lay and their Doritos promotion of the DA’s, we will be able to expand our campaign globally to improve the lives of diabetics around the world.

According to a previous press release from Frito-Lay, The Doritos brand and Frito Lay recognizes inspirational individuals by sharing their stories with millions on bags of Doritos tortilla chips. The new Doritos packaging will feature a photograph and profile of the DOSOMETHING Award Winner and all 19 finalists’ projects.

“We know young people today want to make a difference in the world, and they have a voice to be heard,” said Ann Mukherjee, vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay. “Doritos recognizes that this voice is only as loud as the stage they are given and that’s why Doritos is providing these inspirational young people with a creative outlet to share their stories.”

“It doesn’t matter how rich or famous you are, the only way to get your mug on a bag of Doritos tortilla chips is do something amazing. These kids rock! They are like do-good Olympians,” said Nancy Lublin, CEO of DoSomething.org.

Celebrating these award winners on bags of Doritos tortilla chips is part of the brand’s commitment to recognizing the power and passion of young people today.

The Doritos brand is a trademark of Frito-Lay North America, the $10 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo divisions include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade, and Tropicana.

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