Tag Archives: Christel Marchand Aprigliano

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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A few quick hits for you today, since my life has become crazy in the last few days:

– First, the reason why things are so crazy: I developed a major tooth problem over the weekend, which necessitated my first trip to a dentist in about ten years. More on that later. But a root canal is in my very near future, and because of that, my pump decision has been put on hold until 2015. I think my new gravatar is going to be me crossing my fingers, hoping my Medtronic Revel™ pump holds out. If it doesn’t, I’m back on MDI until I can save some money.
– Speaking of insulin pumps: I have two things to tell you about. First, as many of you know, Asante, makers of the Snap pump, will let you try out their pump for up to 30 days. They’ll even throw in a voucher to cover the Humalog cartridges that go with it. And if you decide to try the Snap pump this month, mention Diabetes Hands Foundation, and Asante will make a donation to DHF. Win-Win! To find out more, go to http://snappump.com/landing/dhf

Something else made its way to my inbox… During the month of December, Tandem, makers of the t:slim pump, are offering up to $400.00(US) toward the out-of-pocket cost of the t:slim as part of a pump exchange program. I’m a little short on details, but if you contact your local t:slim rep or call 877-801-6901, I’m sure they can fill you in.
– Your response to the open docket on Food and Drug Administration Activities for Patient Participation in Medical Product Discussions (Docket number FDA-2014-N-1698) has been tremendous. People have blogged and reblogged and shared via Facebook and Twitter and other avenues, and that has caused a noticeable spike in comments added to the docket. Last I checked there were 106 comments submitted so far. Thanks Strip Safely, Diabetes Mine Diabetes Hands Foundation and Diabetes Advocates, Christel Aprigliano, Bennet Dunlap, The Type 2 Experience, and everyone who has shared this far and wide.

If you haven’t left your comment yet, you still have until December 4th. That’s two days from this publication.

It takes a village, and this village rocks.
So… what’s new in your world?

I’m looking at you…

I’m looking at you… you person, who has up until now procrastinated and not submitted comments on blood glucose meter and test strip accuracy to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

You have one week left.


For one more week, two draft guidance documents are open for comment from the community at large. One is for equipment used in a clinical setting, like doctor’s offices and hospitals. The other has to do with the meters and strips we all use as consumers (read: patients).

Due to enthusiasm from the Diabetes Community, the FDA has added an extra month to their deadline for people to leave comments on these important documents. But that extra month ends next Wednesday.

Have you commented yet? (Hint: you don’t even have to be a person with diabetes to comment)

Have you spread the word about this important draft guidance?

Is the answer c) None of the above?

Don’t worry. The important information on the draft guidance, and how to leave comments, and even some sample text you can use when commenting, is all available on the Strip Safely site.

Let’s say you’ve left comments already. Well… Have you read the information about third party strips documented so well at Strip Safely and over at Diabetes Mine?

Did you know you could add additional comments expressing your concern over third-party accountability? Guess how long you’ve got to do that? That’s right… one more week.

Don’t miss out on lending your voice to this important issue. It is needed and wanted and appreciated. So please, take this not-so-gentle reminder to heart, and help ensure better accuracy of the glucose meters and test strips that are used multiple times every day. Time is running out. Procrastination is not an option any longer.

Many thanks to Christel Marchand Aprigliano and Bennet Dunlap for leading the charge up the Hill of Guidance.

#StripSafely Is Opening Doors Again.

I just have a minute to get this down before running to catch a flight out of town… Monday is a big day for all of us who have been pounding the Strip Safely drum for nearly a year.

The best part is that you get to be part of it.

Bennet Dunlap and FDA expert Courtney Lias will head up a conversation with us. Yes, us too—we’re invited! You can register for this important call and listen to, and engage in, direct conversation between the Diabetes Community and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Click here to register for this one-of-a-kind event.

Find out more about how the FDA regulates medical devices. Find out more about what the FDA is doing to ensure accuracy of blood glucose meters. This is your chance to hear the answers to any number of diabetes-related questions directly from the FDA.

I know many of you have expressed frustration, feeling like the FDA doesn’t listen to us. Well, in fact… lately, they are listening.

Monday’s conversation is a golden opportunity for the Diabetes Community to grab the ear of the government agency here in the USA that regulates our meters, our pumps, our CGMs, and more.

It promises to be a very important hour. Don’t miss it. Don’t miss sharing this with everyone you know. As Christel said yesterday, this is where all the cool kids will be on Monday.

The chat happens Monday, March 31st from 1:30p.m. to 2:30p.m. Eastern Time.

Click here to register for this meaningful event.

In case you didn’t know… This is a big deal. This kind of access is miles beyond what we could have imagined just a couple of years ago. Please take advantage of this unique opportunity, and don’t forget to share it with your DOC friends. Your voice is needed and appreciated. Be part of the conversation, or just listen in.

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