Diabetes UnConference Las Vegas 2016.

Another Diabetes UnConference is in the books. Over one hundred People With Diabetes (PWDs) and People who Love Us (PLUs) gathered over three days at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year’s UnConference was different for me because as a facilitator, I was not only involved in the conversation, I was tasked with helping to make every attendee’s UnConference experience as good as it could be.

When you think of it only that way, it seems kinda scary. But the truth is, there was over 2,500 years of diabetes experience in the room. These people know what it’s like to live with the ups and downs of a disease they have to manage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So while it could have been scary, in fact it was exciting. And fun. I was overwhelmed by the inspirational, friendly, loving, caring individuals that I shared the weekend with. I learned a lot about compassion, anxiety, and perseverance.

Just like last year, we covered a range of subjects that matter most to people living with and affected by diabetes. Some of those conversations were raw, some elicited laughter, some included tips and tricks for navigating high blood sugar numbers or insurance snafus.

To provide a safe, supportive environment for all in attendance, we adhered to the no social media policy instituted during the UnConference. So while I can’t talk specifics, I can reveal that together, we created a space for anyone to say anything, share anything, and help with anything. This is the hardest thing to explain to people who weren’t there, but it was absolutely the most critical part of the weekend.

While it might seem scary to help facilitate at a unique group gathering like this, the truth is that it was an incredible honor to share that role with my fellow facilitators. Special thanks don’t even begin to cover the admiration I have for Christel Marchand Aprigliano and what she has created.

As I watched the sun set over the Great Plains on my flight home, I realized that its magnificence paled in comparison to the many bright lights that shone from the Diabetes UnConference Las Vegas 2016. I am grateful you are part of my tribe. I can’t wait to see you again.

The Diabetes UnConference Las Vegas 2016 Alumni.

The Diabetes UnConference Las Vegas 2016 Alumni.

The Diabetes UnConference Atlantic City 2016 will happen September 9, 10, and 11 along the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Come be part of the tribe. To find out more, CLICK HERE.

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  • Jenn  On March 16, 2016 at 9:30 am

    A safe place like no other! You were a great facilitator and I’m glad to know you got so much from serving in that position. #vegasdust *bear hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  • Kate Cornell  On March 16, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Stephen, your dedication to making life better for all of us never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for being part of the team and doing such a great job. It was another incredible weekend! See you again in September!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • StephenS  On March 16, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Kate, it was great working with you, and I’m looking forward to September!


  • rick philips  On March 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Stephen cool post, and I heard super things all week from the conference. I heard you were a wonderful facilitator as well.

    I included this post on the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of March 14, 2016

    Liked by 1 person

  • Merle  On March 16, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Stephen, you have a calm presence that makes one feel comfortable and listened to. These qualities make you the perfect facilitator. Thanks for being you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • StephenS  On March 16, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      Merle, thank you so much! I appreciate what you brought to the UnConference, and I appreciate all that you do.


  • Shannon  On March 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Great post, Stephen! Hope so much that I’ll be there in September!

    Liked by 1 person


  • By The Long Goodbye | Diabetes Blog - Happy-Medium.net on August 8, 2019 at 10:13 am

    […] symposia and participating in clinical trials and going to blogger summits and #DSMA Live events. I facilitated at the Diabetes UnConference, started a podcast, was a speaker before groups a few times, and I sat on the state Advisory […]


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